Who doesn’t love a good Tex Mex meal? What I don’t love is the calories and fat. Believe it or not there are some pretty fabulous alternatives to the traditional meal that is filled with lard and other high fat items.
This cuisine is full of fresh items like tomatoes, corn and peppers. It is also chalk full of high protein black or pinto beans, lean beef, chicken and pork. This Americanized version of Mexican cuisine has tons of nutritional value if you go sparingly on the cheese, sour cream, and watch how you cook it.
Adding black beans to your menu is one of the best ways to add fiber, plant protein, and phytochemicals. Beans are the perfect side item or work well as a main dish. Since I am a vegetarian, I use black beans frequently as my main entree. This is also an extremely easy and quick dinner for moms on the run. A great way to spice up a plain can of black beans is to add seasonings like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. I also slice up about a fourth of a purple onion and let it simmer in the pot with the beans. Black beans also make a fabulous soup. It’s inexpensive, filling, and healthy. This slow cooker black bean chili is delish and easy.
Being a girl from the South tomatoes go with..well…everything! Tex Mex features tomatoes in everything from the salsa, sauces, and a fresh garnish. Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C and phytochemicals like the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is believed to help protect against breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer. When tomatoes are cooked as in the sauces it makes the carotenoids (including lycopene) more easily absorbed by the body. Simply slicing a tomato in half, adding a few seasoning, and throwing on the grill is another easy and healthy way to enjoy a low-fat and low-calorie Tex Mex meal.
All of these things are easy enough to accomplish, where I tend to get myself in trouble is with the high-carb tortillas and chips. The key is finding a great alternative. I have found the Flat Out Wraps are a wonderful alternative and are only about 100 calories.
If opting out of the cheese and sour cream is not a possibility for you, then buy the lower fat versions of them. Also, add salsa. It will add to the flavoring and decrease the amount of cheese and sour cream you need. Of course, jalapenos are another way to pack a lot of punch into your Tex Mex for virtually no calories.
The key is finding alternatives that are easily accessible and delicious. Focus on the beautiful vegetables and set up a fun Mexican-themed tablescape and you won’t even miss the queso! Looking for some perfect healthy Mexican recipes? Try these 50 Finger-Licking Good Mexican Meals!