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Healthier Mexican Meals

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
March 11, 2022
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Ceviche

Ceviche is typically made with fresh fish or shrimp cured in lemon juice, and complemented with avocado, chilies, and other vegetables including diced onion, tomato, salt and cilantro.

Health Note: Ceviche is not high in calories, and naturally has added protein, healthy omega-3 fats, vitamin B-12, and many other vitamins. Because of the fish, the star ingredient, this dish is one of the highest protein and lowest fat options.

Keep an eye on:

  • Tortilla chips and tostadas are usually fried. Instead, toast your tortillas in a pan to get them crispy.
  • Some people use shrimp or carne de soya (texturized soy protein) instead of white fish. While shrimp is lower in fat, it is also lower in omega-3 healthy fats, and carne de soya is usually high in sodium.

Albondigas (Meatballs)

Ground beef or turkey is usually formed with rice and spices into meatballs and sautéed, then added here in a stew of vegetables, and sometimes accompanied by rice or beans. Use low-fat meat in cooking to make it healthier (with 90% lean or more).

Health Note: A meal of meatballs in stew is a healthy potion because it can be easily made healthy without extra fat, and still taste delicious. Its a great option for healthy protein, plus, depending on how much tomato, onion, squash, carrots, zucchini, and potatoes you add to the stew, it can be an extremely balanced and healthy meal with all the carbohydrate, protein, vegetables, and flavor that we crave.

Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Soup)

Pieces of chicken, celery, squash, carrots, corn, garlic, and cilantro make this soup. It is one of these meals that just makes us feel great- we eat it when we feel sick, or when we are just craving something rich, flavorful and comforting. It is also a naturally balanced meal with protein, carbohydrate, and a lot of vegetables. Depending how much vegetables are inside, it is safe and healthy for all diets.
Health Note: Loaded with minerals like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iron, and magnesium, chicken soup also has an amino-acid called arginine, which helps us maintain our immune function.

Pozole Verde de Pollo (Green Pozole with Chicken)

Succulent and comforting, this spicy pozole verde is made with slow-cooked shredded chicken, corn or hominy, and a spicy tomatillo-pepper blend.

Health Note: Replace the traditional pork shoulder with chicken and add fresh vegetables and peppers for a twist on the classic. Doing this will yield a dish that is high in protein and fiber and low in fat, while providing a variety of nutrients from all the vegetables . Depending on the recipe, pozole can be on the higher end of the sodium recommendations per meal, however, reducing the salt used in the recipe (or using low-sodium consommé/broth) will make it that much more perfect.

Regardless if you are eating a home-cooked meal or restaurant food, you can (usually) keep your diet and routine nutritious and healthy. Ask us for more tips, and always take care of yourself!

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