Tex-Mex Cuisine: Healthier Tips & Recipes (cont.)

When you're serving Tex-Mex at home, skip the chips in favor of a crunchy platter of crudites -- or have a reasonable portion of the baked version.

Now, you're ready to get cooking, Tex-Mex style!

Quick Mexican Rice

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups long-grain brown rice, uncooked
1 cup finely chopped white onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 can (14 1/2 oz) crushed or petite cut tomatoes
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

  • Heat oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat and saute the rice just until golden (about five minutes).
  • Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two more. Stir in tomatoes (including juice), chicken broth, and bell pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover the saucepan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until broth is absorbed.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving: 230 calories, 6 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 119 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 20%.

Chicken Enchiladas Verde

1 roasted or rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces (3 to 4 cups)
2/3 cups chopped green onions, white and part of the green
8 ounces reduced-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or a reduced-fat blend of Jack and cheddar cheeses)
10 flour tortillas (use higher-fiber tortillas to increase the fiber)
5 tablespoons fat free half-and-half

Verde (green) Sauce:
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or canned tomatillos (Mexican green tomatoes). If using canned, drain before measuring
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2- to 4-ounce can chopped green chilies (mild or hot, depending on your preference)
1 cup fat-free sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with canola cooking spray.
  • Add shredded chicken, green onions, and shredded cheese to a large mixing bowl and toss well to blend.
  • One by one, heat tortillas in a nonstick frying pan until softened. Lay a heaping 1/3 cup of chicken down the middle of each tortilla. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of fat-free half-and-half down the center of each. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side down in the prepared pan.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes. Pan can be covered or uncovered -- it works both ways.
  • To make the verde sauce, add tomatillos, cilantro, and green chilies to a food processor and pulse briefly (the texture should be somewhat chunky, not pureed). Stir in the sour cream. Serve the enchiladas with a spoonful of verde sauce over the top.

Yield: 10 enchiladas

Per enchilada: 275 calories, 20.5 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 350 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 30%.

Published April 7, 2005.

©2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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