Traditional Mexican dishes are often oozing with cheese, stuffed with high-fat meats, garnished with sour cream or deep-fried. With a few simple ingredient swaps, you can still enjoy the irresistible taste of your favorite Mexican meal without affecting your waistline. Whether you are dining out or cooking at home this Cinco de Mayo, here are some better-for-you tips for a healthier fiesta.
- Replace fried taco shells with warmed mini whole-wheat soft tortillas or “oven” fry your own. To make, simply spray a corn tortilla and place it over the bar of your oven rack, then bake at 375°F for 7 to 10 minutes until brown and crisp.
- Choose lean ground beef or turkey that contains no more than 7% fat. Or make it meatless and try extra-firm tofu cubes, soy crumbles or black beans.
- Swap out the beef in traditional Mexican dishes and replace with grilled fish, shrimp or chicken for a lower-fat, leaner option. Pile on the veggies and top it off with salsa, guacamole and low-fat cheese.
- Add drained and rinsed black beans or pinto beans into your cooked lean ground turkey, beef or chicken mixture to reduce the amount of fat per serving and control your portion of meat. Beans also contribute plant-based protein and fiber for added appetite satisfaction. Always drain and rinse beans before use to reduce the sodium content by up to 40 percent.
- Replace sour cream with nonfat plain Greek yogurt that contains less fat, plus more protein and calcium with the same irresistible creamy texture.
- Get dinner on the table fast with a recipe-ready rotisserie chicken. Roasted to perfection and tender and juicy inside, rotisserie chickens are versatile for use in almost any Mexican dish, like tacos and nachos. For ease, carve the chicken while it’s still warm and remove the skin.
- Use canned vegetables in your favorite rice or main dishes for a quick and easy plant-based protein source. Canned vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh. They are picked at their peak, which locks in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential nutrients along with ripe, juicy flavors.
- Use canned vegetables in your favorite rice or main dishes for a quick and easy plant-based protein source. Canned vegetables are picked at their peak and packed the same day, which locks in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential nutrients along with ripe, juicy flavors.
- Top foods with tomato-based salsas for a punch of added flavor. Tomato-based salsas are low in calories, fat free and made with veggies. Make your own or choose a jarred salsa with the least amount of sodium.
- Spoon on healthier garnishes like low-fat cheese, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, light sour cream or fresh salsa for added flavor and a lighter amount of calories and fat.
- Load tacos and other dishes with plenty of colorful veggies like romaine lettuce, tomatoes, multi-colored bell peppers, fresh jalapeño and avocado. Avocados are a superfood known for their healthy monounsaturated fats and nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals per serving.
- Go beyond pairing guac with skinny dippers like baked tortilla chips and veggies and instead, savor its unbeatable flavor and creamy texture as the finishing touch to your Mexican meal masterpiece.
For more tips and info on a healthier Cinco de Mayo, connect with your Weis Dietitians via https://www.weismarkets.com/healthy-living/meet-the-team/.
¡Felíz Cinco de Mayo!
The Weis Dietitians
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