Mexican food has become one of the most popular types of cuisine around the world but anyone who’s tried to live on a diet of quesadillas will be able to tell you that it’s not the healthiest. Luckily there are Mexican dishes that are actually good for you and even some of those that aren’t, can become healthy with a few minor adjustments. Here are five Mexican dishes that are healthy for you.
Incredibly easy to make, guacamole is a dip made of mashed avocado, often with chopped onions, garlic, tomato and chili added to it. Lime or lemon juice helps to prevent the avocado from turning brown and adds some extra kick. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats, making it a great alternative if you’re looking for something creamy without the cholesterol. Rich in potassium and folates, avocado is also an invaluable weapon in your disease-fighting arsenal. Tomatoes and lemon or lime juice add plenty of Vitamin C. Remember though that guacamole is high in calories and that you should be careful about what you eat it with: Soft tortillas, a baked potato or even steamed fish are much better options than fried tortilla chips.
2. Huevos Rancheros
The best way to get yourself ready for a busy day is with a hearty protein-rich breakfast. The Mexican breakfast classic of huevos rancheros is a filling dish of two fried eggs on top of corn tortillas and smothered in a sauce of tomato and chili, with beans and avocado on the side. It’s much healthier than bacon and eggs, provided you go easy on the oil. Apart from the protein punch you get from these ‘rancher’s eggs’, you also benefit from all the good stuff in the avocados and the antioxidant-rich lycopene in the tomato sauce.
Authentic Mexican tacos are usually made with soft corn tortillas and because these aren’t fried like the hard ones commonly used in the USA, they’re friendlier to the waistline. If you choose leaner filling options like vegetables, shrimp, grilled fish or chicken rather than beef and cheese, you get the protein and carbs without the fat. Add to this the vitamins from the salsa and tomatoes and squeeze some lime juice over for extra Vitamin C and you have a delicious, balanced meal.
4. Yucatan-style Lime Soup
Chicken soup is the perfect comfort food, especially when you’re sick. In the Yucatan Peninsula, they make a soup that is light, refreshing and has all the benefits of chicken soup but loaded with Vitamin C as well. The light chicken broth gets added kick with the addition of lime juice – plenty of it – and fresh cilantro and tomatoes. Boneless, skinless chicken pieces add protein and if you want some carbs too, simply add tortilla pieces. It’s so tasty that you’ll want to eat it even when you’re fit as a fiddle.
5. Mexican Hot Chocolate
Chocoholics know that chocolate counts as a dish and often as a meal too. If you want the taste of chocolate without it going straight to your hips, try hot chocolate Mexican style. The chocolate is less sweet than American-style hot chocolate, but the addition of chilies and cinnamon gives it a rich, unique flavor. Traditionally it’s made with water instead of milk, so it’s much lower in calories yet rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. It’s for good reason that the ancient Aztecs and Mayans used this drink in their religious rituals: It’s heavenly.