As we ease into warm weather, Mexican food invites us to enjoy festive south-of-the-border cuisine. It’s also one of the healthiest cuisines in the world thanks to its use of heart-healthy, immune system-boosting ingredients like fiber-rich beans and antioxidant-rich tomatoes. Level-up your diet and add amazing flavors to your weekly meal planning with these three easy-to-make, yet incredibly delicious, Mexican meals.
1. BREAKFAST: Huevos Rancheros
Huevos rancheros are a traditional breakfast dish in rural Mexico. Originally made with corn tortillas smothered in fried eggs and pico de gallo (a specific style of salsa), it has now evolved to also include different tortilla styles and different sauces (such as enchilada sauce, sour cream, and even cheese — all of which aren’t found in the original dish). This lets you get as creative as you want, while still enjoying a protein-rich start to your day that’s high in fiber, antioxidants, and flavor!
1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 15-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2 of a 6-oz can of diced green chiles
4-5 corn tortillas (you can substitute wheat tortillas if you prefer)
Butter or plant-based butter
4 large eggs, ideally free-ranged and organic
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
First, make the salsa by frying the onions in oil until they’re soft, translucent and fragrant. Then, pour in the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and half of the can of diced green chiles. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.
In a second frying pan, fry the eggs to your liking.
Assemble the huevos rancheros by placing a fried egg on a warm tortilla, topping it with a generous heaping of your homemade salsa, and garnishing with the cilantro. Enjoy!
2. LUNCH: Mexican Chopped Salad
This dish is perfect for a warm day, with its fresh ingredients, zesty flavor, and cool textures brightening your afternoon. Each ingredient is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and plant compounds that power-up your immunity. Top examples include garlic cloves (high in polyphenols), cumin (great for inflammation), and an assortment of colorful Mexican veggies (rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber).
Best of all, this salad is easy to make ahead and pack for school or work!
1/4 c fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp organic, local honey
1 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
Pinch of salt and pepper
Virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 bag of corn tortilla chips
1 bag of spring greens
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Add the salt, cumin, minced garlic, honey and lime juice to a Mason jar or similar container, plus 4 tbsp of oil, and shake vigorously to combine. This will be your dressing for your Mexican salad.
Combine and toss all the veggies, then crush the tortilla chips and sprinkle them on top of the salad. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!
3. DINNER: Fast Mexican Casserole
This dinner takes just minutes to make, isn’t finicky about baking time, and tastes great as a leftover. What more could you want for a easy weekday dinner? Best of all, like all the recipes listed above, it’s bursting with festive Mexican ingredients that are nutritional powerhouses for your immune system, cardiovascular health, and general wellness.
1 lb lean grass-fed ground beef, ground turkey, or plant-based “crumbles”
2 c of your favorite mild or spicy salsa
1 16-oz can of beans
2-3 cups of tortilla chips, crushed
2 c of sour cream or, for a healthier alternative, plain Greek yogurt
1 cup of black olives, sliced
1 Roma tomato, chopped
2 c shredded cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While your oven is heating up, saute the ground meat in a frying pan for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Add in the salsa and beans and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
In a greased 9×13 baking dish, add a layer of tortilla chips. Pour the meat-and-beans mixture on top, top with the yogurt or sour cream, then garnish with the tomatoes and olives.
Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for half an hour. Enjoy!