Stuffed peppers get a healthful Mexican makeover for Cinco de Mayo

Mexican food and its Tex-Mex offspring are some of America’s favorite ethnic foods. With a few tweaks, they could also become one of our most healthful foods. Beans, corn, rice and tortillas are great sources of complex beans carbohydrates, and pinto and black beans also provide fiber and protein.

It’s the salt, sour cream, extra cheese and refried beans with lard that can make Mexican foods less than healthful. Here are some ways to reduce or eliminate them:

  • Use soft tortillas instead of the crispy deep-fried variety. Choose corn tortillas, which are not only more traditional than flour but also lower in calories and sodium and higher in fiber.
  • When you have a taco salad, avoid eating the deep-fried shell. Skip the sour cream or dressing and use salsa instead. It’s low in fat and full of flavor. You also can try a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
  • Go easy on the cheese (dishes labeled “con queso”) and add extra vegetables or beans instead.
  • Skip the chips and have a small cup of gazpacho or black bean soup as an appetizer instead.

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