Everyday at my job I am asked questions about what foods are healthy, what foods we should eat, etc. Mexican food tends to have a lot of cheese…queso, enchiladas, tacos, burritos…is there any mexican dish that doesn’t have cheese on/in it? Yesterday, actually, one of my members asked me – “What is up with cheese, can I eat it if I want to lose weight and be healthy?” The answer is: yes!
I love cheese. Full fat cheese is high in fat (especially high in saturated fat). One serving of dairy, in regards to cheese, would be 2 slices of cheese. Looking at american cheese, 2 slices would have about 6g of saturated fat – 30% of what you should have in one day – in 2 slices! This is why low-fat or fat-free cheese would be best, you still get the protein and calcium, without the fat. Or, choosing a cheese that is naturally lower in fat: mozzarella cheese.
But I don’t like the taste of low-fat cheese! I don’t either! That is fine, just eat less of the good stuff. So go ahead, eat some cheese – just eat it less often and don’t use it as a main ingredient, but as an accent for your food.
Enchilada Chicken, slightly adapted from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 teaspoon salt-free mexican or southwest seasoning (Mrs. Dash Chipotle)
olive oil spray
3 tablespoons enchilada sauce
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the mexican seasoning in a bowl. Place chicken in bowl with seasonings and coat evenly. Place a large ovenproof non stick skillet over high heat. When hot, lightly mist with the olive oil spray and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is golden brown on the outsides.
Remove the pan from the heat and top chicken with enchilada sauce, then cheese, and cilantro. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside and the cheese is melted.
Serve over rice (I like spanish rice!).
Serves 2. Nutrition per serving: 146.3 calories, 6g fat, 3.3g sat. fat, 56mg cholesterol, 191.9mg sodium, 1.7g carbohydrates, .2g fiber, 20.2g protein.
Mexican Corn, source: Me!
2 ears corn (white, bicolor or yellow)
1 red pepper, diced (seeds removed)
1-2 tablespoons poblano pepper (seeds removed)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
olive oil spray
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, shuck the corn and remove all the silk. Once water is boiling, boil corn for about 5 minutes, depending on how soft you like your corn.
While corn is boiling, heat a medium-sized pan and mist with olive oil spray. Place both peppers in the pan and cook until just soft.
Once the corn is finished, cut off the cob and place in pan with peppers. Stir in cumin and chili powder and let cook for a couple more minutes then enjoy!
Serves 2. Nutrition per serving: 103 calories, 1.3g fat, 0.2g sat. fat, 0mg cholesterol, 18.4mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2.9g sugar, 4g protein