The Mexican Diet Planner

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Americanized Mexican cookery has enough fat and calories to blow a man to the moon and back again.

Cheese, lard, refried beans, jumbo tortilla shells, Mexican fried rice - it all adds up to big calories, big fat.

More often than not, the whole grain goodness contained within the tortillas - whether corn or flour varieties, as well as that within rice, beans and other popular ingredients used in Mexican cookery, the addition of those that are extreme in dietary fat mar the otherwise significant benefits that would have been obtained.

However, just because you're dieting - you don't have to cut Mexican cuisine totally from your diet plan.

Here are a few tips for fabulous Mexican recipes.

When dining out, ask your waiter for warm corn tortillas rather than bingeing on the chips and hot sauce. Add a smidgen of butter OR some salsa to TWO of the hot corn tortillas, roll and enjoy slowly.

Corn tortillas contain about 1/2 the calories of flour tortillas.

If you must have chips and salsa, concentrate on eating more salsa and less chips because the calories are in the chips. Pile as much salsa as possible on one chip - enjoy. Allow yourself to indulge in no more than 10 chips.

Generally - and depending heavily on the restaurant of your choice, some good menu selections include: Tortilla soup, chicken fajitas and tostados.

The beans and rice are ultra filling but are also generally high in calories. Request fresh fruit OR sauteed veggies instead.

Choose water and lemon, unsweetened tea or a diet soda for your beverage selection. One glass of sweetened tea contains enough calories to enjoy 1 taco.

Paper napkins work well to blot away visible oil.

Ask your waiter if grilled veggies are an option.

Look for heart-healthy selections on the menu as many restaurants are getting diet-conscience these days.

Diet Recipe for Mexican Chicken & Rice

You will need the following ingredients:

1 package of Uncle Ben's Spanish Rice; it requires 90 seconds in the microwave to prepare
2 cups of chopped or cubed cooked white chicken breast - or you can use dark meat for a few more calories
2 cups of reduced fat, finely shredded Mexican style cheese
1 cup of crushed tortilla chips

How to Prepare This Low Calorie Recipe

This is so easy to put together. Prepare the rice via package directions. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and add the cooked chicken. Combine using a large spoon then transfer to a small oven proof casserole dish. Arrange the crushed tortilla chips on top of the chicken mixture then top with the cheese.

Place into a 350 degree oven until the cheese melts and serve immediately. Other ingredients that you can add to this recipe before topping with the crushed chips and cheese include any or all of the following: 1/2 cup of low fat sour cream, drained jalapeno peppers (sliced variety), picante sauce or salsa, sauteed onions and bell peppers, fresh chopped cilantro, canned stewed petite tomatoes (Spanish or plain and be sure to drain), ground chili powder and ground cumin if you like a spicier blend.


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