Give In to Your south-of-the-Border Favorites

All too often, we pass on popular Mexican dishes because they call for fatty meats, piles of cheese, high-sodium flavorings and unhealthy fats such as shortening. Rather than curbing your cravings, use below list of tips and tricks that allow you indulge!

Enchiladas: Add heart-healthy fiber by using whole-wheat tortillas. Cut by one-third and replacing one-third of the meat with hearty, nutrient-rich vegetables such as roasted squash, meaty Portobello mushrooms or cooked greens.

Seven-Layer Dip: To slash sodium, use home-cooked, mashed pinto beans rather than the canned variety, and purchase fresh pico de gallo instead of jarred salsa. Swap full-fat cheese and sour cream for low-fat versions and cut the amount of guacamole by one-third to shrink the fat count.

Bean & Cheese Burrito: Ditch empty carbs for healthy ones by opting for whole-wheat wraps and brown rice over their white counterparts. Go for low-fat cheese, and to increase the protein and satisfaction level, swap out half the beans for an equal amount of chopped chicken breast.

Mexican Rice: Axe refined white rice for long-grain brown rice to get a boost of energizing carbs. Reduce the amount of fat by sautéing uncooked grains in safflower oil instead of shortening or butter (replace shortening with half as much oil). Replace salty salsa or canned tomato sauce with unsalted tomato paste – simply cut the amount required in half.

Tacos De Carnitas (marinated, braised pork tacos): In place of fatty pork butt, marinated pork tenderloin and sear it in a hot skillet. A slow-roasted finish in the oven guarantees melt-in-your-mouth juiciness. To add nutritious veggies, sauté bell peppers and onions to top off your tacos.

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