Casseroles are so hearty, but they’re often heavy handed with the cheese — typically around two cups’ worth. This recipe shaves ½ cup of high-calorie cheese, while also packing in plenty of nutrition positive foods, like brown rice, canned pinto beans, and corn and peppers. It’s a dish that delivers on taste, nutrition, as well as satisfaction, thanks to the fiber and protein it packs.
Instant Pot lovers, this one’s for you! Mole is a signature Mexican sauce that often features a surprise ingredient: unsweetened chocolate. Yep, this smoky-sweet sauce gets a hint of chocolatey flavor from unsweetened cocoa. The seasoning blend is full of health boosters: Unsweetened cocoa has been shown to protect the heart and brain, cinnamon has been linked with blood sugar improvements, and cumin is said to improve digestion. But it’s the flavorful combo of these and other aromatic spices that make chicken mole a standout Mexican meal.
A casserole that keeps things lean by replacing tortillas with sliced zucchini? Count me in! This swap, often used in lasagna (otherwise known as an Italian casserole) means you get all the flavor and satisfaction of enchiladas without the carbs.
It’s up to you if you want to serve this veggie-packed dish as a main or a side. With all those veggies plus whole grain quinoa and black beans, this recipe provides plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other wonderful plant compounds. The colors and flavors, which include a citrus-y lime juice-olive oil dressing, will win you over any day of the week.
SIDES, DIPS and DRINKS
Mexican street corn makes my mouth water but the authentic version is coated with a not-so-light mayonnaise and sour cream combo. That’s why I was excited by this side salad, which replaces the high-calorie creaminess with nonfat plain Greek yogurt. You can enjoy it as a side dish or a dip, and if you don’t have fresh corn, frozen works, too.
Gazpacho usually reminds me of a salsa-style soup, but here’s a new twist: A blend of cucumber and pineapple is mixed with traditional Mexican seasonings, including jalepeno and cilantro. Not only is it nutritious, but soup is especially filling, making it an ideal choice when you don’t want to overdo it.