20 Mexican-Inspired Recipes That Can Help Boost Your Metabolism
Turn up the heat with these Mexican-inspired recipes featuring chile. Chiles contain a compound called capsaicin, which can help your body's metabolism and may boost fat burning. Try healthy recipes like Grilled Fish Tacos and Vegetarian Tortilla Soup for a bold and flavorful bite.
Grilled Chicken Tostadas with Sweet-&-Sour Vegetables
These grilled chicken tostadas are topped with rich mole sauce and sweet-and-sour summer vegetables and use store-bought tostada shells for convenience. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, leave out the grilled chicken.
Grilled Fish Tacos
Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don't have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
"Tortilla soup has a place, I feel, in practically every collection of Mexican recipes," says Rick Bayless. This is a vegetarian version of the classic soup, usually made with chicken. Earthy dark pasilla chile flavors the soul-satisfying broth. (Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless.)
The EatingWell Taco
Building the perfect taco is a very personal task--cheese under meat, cheese on top, no cheese at all? This is just our recommendation.
Although there are many variations of this Mexican chicken soup, spicy chipotle chiles are always part of the broth. Make it a meal: Serve with a Mexican beer and cheese quesadillas.
Here's a homemade version of the tomato salsa served at taco stands and burrito joints everywhere. Try it with all your favorite Mexican foods--it even works as enchilada sauce.
Beef & Potato Salad with Smoky Chipotle
In central Mexico, this salad is a standard--served as an appetizer, main dish or taco filling. Serve it with lime wedges, warm tortillas or tortilla chips. (Recipe from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless; W.W. Norton and Company, July 2010.)
Bean & Butternut Tacos with Green Salsa
Beans and roasted butternut squash make an outstanding vegetarian taco filling. For the best flavor, use fresh, good-quality chili powder and Mexican oregano. Look for both at Latin markets or in the bulk spice section at well-stocked natural-foods stores.
Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles
Everyone gets an individual portion with this vegetarian, Tex-Mex mini casserole. A normal-size casserole like this would take close to an hour to bake--these are ready in half the time. Heatproof ramekins are a cook's best friend--we use them all the time to hold ingredients while cooking. You can buy them at most grocery stores.
Chile-Lime Tortilla Chips
These tortilla chips are baked, not fried, and a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chili powder add flavor without tons of calories. Plus with 5 grams less fat per serving than a packaged version, they deliver all the crunch without the guilt.
Three Sisters Black Mole
This mole pairs well with any kind of cooked fish, tofu, vegetables or just beans and rice. Adapted from Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta: Recipes from the World-Famous Spa (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008) by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider with Chef Jesús González, Chef of La Cocina Que Canta.
Mexican Bison Stew
Mexican cooks are great at turning tough chunks of meat into delicious and tender stews. This one, which uses tougher cuts of bison, such as chuck or brisket, is flavored with chili powder, cumin and tequila. Serve with warm tortillas.
Squash, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tamales
Tamales are a sign of celebration at holiday gatherings in Mexican households on both sides of the border, especially for occasions like Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve dinner. Here we stuff them with creamy winter squash, black beans and tangy goat cheese.
Baja Butternut Squash Soup
This silky-smooth butternut soup gets a hit of spice from chipotle, cloves and cumin. Adapted from Chef Jesús González, Chef of La Cocina Que Canta at Rancho La Puerta.
Lean & Spicy Taco Meat
A combination of lean ground beef and ultra-lean ground turkey breast makes a less-greasy filling. Bypass taco-seasoning packets in favor of making your own full-flavored filling.
Poblano & Skirt Steak Fajitas
This variation on fajitas pairs fresh poblanos with steak and scallions. Skirt steak has fabulous flavor but tends to be chewy, so slice it thinly across the grain.
Crumbled soft tofu is often used to make satisfying, egg-free scrambles so it's a natural for a vegan interpretation of migas, a traditional Tex-Mex dish made with eggs and strips of corn tortillas. In this version, fresh chiles, chipotle and cilantro balance the neutrality of the tofu. Serve with a side of black beans.
Easy Black Beans
These easy black beans are the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican fiesta.
Quick Shrimp Enchilada Bake
Shrimp enchiladas offer a taste of coastal Mexican cuisine but some versions contain so much cheese, butter and sour cream that they can pack a whopping 50 grams of fat per serving. Our version has vibrant flavor and only half the calories and 6 grams of fat per serving, plus we use precooked peeled shrimp so you can get the dish on your table fast enough for a weeknight supper. The addition of refried beans helps makes these enchiladas an excellent source of fiber as well.
Tangy, mildly spicy and tender, this chicken is delicious with black beans and salsa. It makes a great option for a taco party.