Recipes for Spicy Foods That Boost Your Metabolism
Adobo Chicken & Kale Enchiladas
Put out your favorite toppings for these quick and healthy layered enchiladas. We like cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeños.
Vietnamese Pork & Broccoli "Rice" Bowls
Broccoli gets a whirl in your food processor, with rice-like results, in this healthy dinner recipe. Serve with hot sauce and limes for an extra kick.
Tofu Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Making tofu tastier can be as simple as tossing it in a knockout sauce like this Sichuan-inspired peanut dressing. To make this cucumber salad recipe a meal, add rice noodles and double the dressing. Serve with an extra drizzle of sesame oil and sliced scallions.
Tomato & Green Bean Casserole with Spicy Herb Pesto
No gloppy canned soup in this healthy green bean casserole recipe. Simply give cilantro, parsley or chives (or a mix of all three) a whirl in the food processor to make the pesto-like sauce that ties the casserole together.
Spring Roll Salad
All the tastes, color and fun of a spring roll without all the work! This healthy salad recipe is bursting with the colors of rainbow from generous amounts of fresh vegetables, shrimp and whole grains all topped with a peanut dressing for the ultimate satisfying salad.
Chicken Breasts with Green Chile-Almond Cream Sauce
Here we topped seared chicken breasts with a green chile cream sauce that was inspired by green mole. A touch of cream adds an extra smoothness to the sauce, but it can be omitted if you avoid dairy. Serve with brown rice and a tossed green salad with mango and red onion slices.
South Indian Shrimp Kebabs with Cilantro Sauce
Cilantro, lemon zest, chiles, paprika, ginger, garlic, cumin and fenugreek make up the South Asian-inspired marinade for grilled shrimp-and-cantaloupe kebabs. A yogurt sauce spiked with plenty of herbs and spices is delightful for dipping.
Red Chile-Spiked Chocolate Mousse
The idea of chile with chocolate still surprises most people, but the duo pairs beautifully in many chocolate desserts. In this silky, luxurious mousse the chile adds a light but bright accent.
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.
Enjoy this traditional Southwestern dish of sautéed summer squash, onions and peppers as a side or as a vegetarian filling for tacos.
Spicy Thai Barbecued Oysters
The great thing about barbecuing oysters is you don't need to shuck them. Put the oysters right on the grill and cook until the steam inside the oysters pops the shells open. Drizzle with a little spicy Thai sauce and you're done.
Ranch Chiles Rellenos with Ancho Chile Salsa
Poblano chiles are the traditional choice for chiles rellenos. They have great flavor, but may be too spicy for some tastes. Anaheim chiles are reliably mild substitutes. For a larger crowd, the recipe can be doubled. Serve the chiles rellenos with 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.
Jamaican Curried Shrimp & Mango Soup
Transport yourself to the islands with this Jamaican-inspired soup, full of fresh shrimp and sweet mangoes. We loved this soup with regular store-bought curry powder, but if you happen to have Jamaican-style curry powder, which has a hint of allspice, this is a great place to use it. Serve with brown basmati or jasmine rice with sliced pineapple for dessert.
Butterflied Grilled Chicken with a Chile-Lime Rub
A quick and efficient way to cook a whole bird on the grill is to butterfly, or "spatchcock" it. When cooking a whole chicken on the grill, try searing the chicken first over direct heat then finish cooking over indirect heat (as instructed in this recipe). That way you avoid the all too common problem when grilling--chicken burned on the outside and raw in the center. For best flavor, let the chicken marinate in the rub overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with lime wedges and fresh salsa.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.
Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole
Chiles and cheese turn mild summer squash into a zesty, satisfying casserole. The jalapenos make this dish quite hot; if you prefer a milder version, use a second can of diced green chiles instead.
Chicken "Carne" Adovada
Here we braise chicken thighs in a brick-red chile sauce. This dish is even tastier the next day. Serve with flour tortillas and, though it's not traditional, we like the contrast of creamy avocado with it.
Jicama & Cucumber Salad with Red Chile Dressing
This salad combines cucumber and jicama with a sweet-sour, slightly spicy vinaigrette and makes a great start to any Mexican-inspired meal.
Pinto Bean & Andouille Sausage Stew
An adaptation of the Andalusian dish fabada, this pinto bean stew is seasoned with andouille sausage, bacon, tomatoes, onions, peppers and smoked paprika. Fans of spicy beans should use the full amount of minced chile pepper (or more). Serve with brown rice and sour cream.
Spicy Stewed Potatoes & Spinach with Buttermilk (Aloo chaas)
This stewlike potato and spinach curry can be served as a side dish or as part of a vegetarian buffet. The touch of cream prevents the buttermilk from curdling when it's heated and helps balance the heat from the pungent chiles.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Marinated in Spicy Soy Sauce
Crisp on the outside and buttery-tender on the inside, these sweet and spicy soy sauce-marinated pork tenderloin medallions make for a delicious, healthful and elegant entree. Serve with snow peas, brown rice and Sour Mango Salad on the side.
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.
Quick Chile Dilly Beans
Late in summer, glorious canned goods like dilly beans are up for judging at county fairs and are sold at every farmers' market. Some traditionalists would say that dilly beans are best after a month or so of marinating, but you can get that long-marinated taste in just one day with this quick technique. Any type of green bean can be turned into dilly beans, but super-thin, French-style beans stay tender and are less likely to be stringy or tough.
Easy Black Beans
These easy black beans are the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican fiesta.
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.
Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup
Here's a favorite Southwestern chicken soup recipe featuring the exquisite New Mexican green chile (but poblano peppers work well too). Traditional versions of this creamy green chile chicken soup recipe are made with heavy cream or half-and-half, but our recipe for this healthy chicken soup is made creamy with thickened low-fat milk.
Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili
Anything but dainty, this healthy cowboy beef and bean chili recipe is hearty with the addition of mushrooms and beer. To keep the saturated fat low, we use one pound of ground beef and add whole-grain bulgur to boost the volume and fiber in this chili recipe. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you're in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
EatingWell King Ranch Casserole
This healthy Tex-Mex King Ranch casserole recipe is typically made with cans of cream-of-something soup. We've lightened up this casserole recipe considerably by making a homemade cream sauce and loading it up with veggies at the same time. You'll never guess that a serving of our version of King Ranch casserole has 300 fewer calories and two-thirds less fat than the original. This recipe makes enough for two 8-by-8-inch casseroles (four servings each)--have one for dinner tonight and freeze the other for a night when you don't have time to make dinner.
Korean Turkey Burgers with Kimchi
Korean chile paste (also known as gochujang) blended into the ground turkey makes this turkey burger recipe incredibly moist and flavorful. Top these healthy turkey burgers with kimchi--a fermented mixture of cabbage and other vegetables--which can be found near other refrigerated Asian ingredients or near sauerkraut or pickles in well-stocked supermarkets or natural-foods stores.
Vegetarian Thai Red Curry
This flavorful vegetarian Thai red curry recipe matches sweet potatoes with fresh dandelion greens and asparagus, though you can substitute cauliflower florets, cubed Asian eggplant, squash or carrots. If you're using cauliflower or eggplant, add them earlier, when the potato is only partially cooked, as they will take longer to cook than asparagus. Classic Thai red curry is flavored with lime leaves and Thai basil. If you find them, use them, but even without them the vegetable curry will still be a knockout.
Vegetarian Spinach Enchiladas
This vegetarian enchilada recipe is weeknight-fast when you skip the step of filling and rolling the enchiladas and make a stacked enchilada casserole instead. Just layer the tortillas, sauce and cheesy spinach filling the way you would lasagna and have the casserole in the oven in 20 minutes.
Chipotle-Cheddar Broiled Avocado Halves
In this avocado side-dish recipe, zesty avocado halves are topped with melted Cheddar cheese and broiled until golden brown. You can serve these healthy avocado halves as a side dish with grilled chicken or steak.
Chile-Lime Veggie Noodles
We love the bright flavor that lime and chile-garlic sauce give to this quick and easy veggie-and-noodle stir-fry. Multicolored peppers make this recipe festive, while the addition of eggs makes it a satisfying vegetarian supper.
Green Curry Soup
This aromatic green curry soup is packed with spinach, mushrooms, green beans and broccoli stems (save the florets for another night). Green curry paste gives this soup a delicately spicy broth. The vegetables are cooked just enough to be tender, but retain their freshness and distinct textures.
This quick broccoli side dish recipe gets heat from your choice of pepper. If you prefer things on the mild side, use a mini red bell pepper instead of the chile pepper. Serve alongside roasted chicken or salmon or toss with pearled barley for a healthy grain salad.
Santa Fe Chile Colorado
This easy beef stew recipe with corn and potatoes is all about the chile flavor. New Mexico red chile powder--sweeter and richer than the typical stuff you find in the grocery store--is worth seeking out to make it. You can buy it from several online suppliers, such as Bueno (weshipchile.com).
Dan Dan Noodles with Shrimp
Skip takeout and make these delicious, healthy dan dan noodles with a sesame-soy sauce, shrimp and peanuts in just 30 minutes. The Sichuan preserved vegetables add a bright pop of tangy, slightly fermented flavor. Look for them at an Asian market if you want the most authentic flavor or use more commonly available kimchi.
Vietnamese Shrimp & Mango Lettuce Wraps
Large, untorn butter lettuce leaves are best for rolling up the filling in these Asian lettuce wraps without breaking. If you use larger shrimp, chop them before cooking to make the wraps easier to eat. Serve as a first course or light dinner with a side of rice or noodles.
Grilled Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa (Salsa de Tomatillo Asado con Chile Chipotle)
In this healthy salsa recipe, tomatillos are softened on the grill and slightly charred for smoky flavor. To vary the heat in this salsa recipe, use 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder for mild and up to 3 for a little kick in the pants. Serve with grilled chicken, steak and fish or use as sauce for tacos, enchiladas or tostadas.
Chile-Marinated Skirt Steak (Carne Asada en Adobo de Guajillo)
In this Mexican-inspired steak recipe, dried chiles are toasted, soaked and pureed to make a flavorful marinade. Toasting the chiles in a heavy, dry skillet is the key to unlocking their flavor (not just their heat). Look for dried chiles in the produce section of many markets. Serve with rice, beans and a green salad.