A Cinco de Mayo That Won’t Sink Your Healthy-Eating Habits

Cinco De Mayo is a fun celebration but enjoying it without all of the calories and fat is a difficult challenge. Mexican food from restaurants is typically cooked in lard and covered in cheese and sour cream. Not only are the portions large, but starting your meal with fried chips and salsa, guacamole, and cheese dip is not doing you any favors. Knowing what to order is important so you can enjoy Mexican flavors without sabotaging your healthy intentions.

 

Without knowing the nutritional information and analyses, it can be difficult to determine just what is in the Mexican food you order from a local establishment. The following are helpful ordering hints. But keep in mind that each restaurant may prepare the same dishes differently, and you may need to ask how dishes are prepared to ensure you are ordering a healthier option.

 

  • Skip the chips at the beginning of the meal and ask for a side salad.
  • If a tortilla is part of your meal, choose corn or whole wheat tortilla instead of a flour tortilla.
  • Avoid refried beans and choose black beans, borracho beans or frijoles a la charra which will have less fat.
  • Eat only half of the beans and rice served.

 

Healthier ordering options include:

  • Fajitas
  • Chili
  • Enchiladas with red sauce or salsa
  • Grilled fish or meat dishes

 

Enjoy this Mexican dish with a side salad and a small amount of guacamole or your favorite dressing. Top the fajitas with plain yogurt instead of sour cream.

 

Beef Fajitas

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces beef sirloin, select grade, cut into strips 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long
  • 1 red onion, cut into strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 4 whole-wheat tortillas, about 8 inches in diameter, warmed in the microwave
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup salsa

 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dredge the sirloin pieces in the seasonings, coating completely.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook the sirloin strips over medium heat until slightly pink, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper strips and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. To serve, spread an equal amount of the meat and vegetable mixture on each tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese, 1/4 of the diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded lettuce and 2 tablespoons salsa. Fold both sides of each tortilla over the filling, and then roll to close. Serve immediately.

 

New to Forum Health Knoxville? Schedule a 15 minute health advisor call today!

 

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