Tex-Mex fans know how good Tex Mex tastes, but that great taste sometimes comes at the expense of our waistline. When you add all that cheese and sour cream and those refried beans and beef, that’s a big dose of foods that are anything but heart healthy.
So, if you are cooking Tex Mex at home, and you want to make something healthier for the family, what can you do? Here are a few ideas.
Lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, olives, and salsas are all good for you. Make sure you include them with all of your Tex-Mex creations. Look for dishes that feature tomato sauce or tomatoes, which are low in fat but high in nutrients. Instead of the refried variety, include a generous portion of regular beans with your meals. Beans are nutritious food, loaded with protein and fiber and little fat.
Less gooey stuff.
When you do use cheese or sour cream, cut down on the amount you use. If you go with regular cheese, cut the amount in half. Or you can use the low-fat variety, and that way you can use more. The same with sour cream: use less of the real stuff or use a low-fat version.
Bake rather than fry.
You probably know that frying adds a lot of fat and calories. So, instead of frying your Tex-Mex dish, give it a light layer of oil and pop it in the oven.
If you want to make sure the tortilla for your taco is crispy, give your skillet a quick coat with a cooking spray and then heat the tortilla in it until it starts to crisp, making sure that you flip it frequently.
Use chicken or fish instead of meat.
When you are making the filling, try chicken or fish. They are much leaner cuts of meat with less fat and fewer calories than beef. But you want to avoid frying anything. And take off the skin of the chicken because that has a much higher fat content. Also, avoid breading or coating these meats because that too adds fat and calories. If you do use beef, try to find the leanest cuts that you can, and don’t fry them.
Also, be careful about using sausage in your Tex-Mex meal, such as chorizo. Sausage in general is very fatty and high in calories. Just two ounces of chorizo, for example, has 22 grams of fat and 260 calories.