Thursday, April 10, 2014

On a Mexican trip


Mexican food is the best, don't you think? Ever since my trip to Mexico almost three years ago, it's become a staple in my household. It's a great option for gluten free eating and is also a varied and tasty paleo option, if you're into that kind of thing.

My food photography leaves a lot to be desired but this post isn't about pretty, overly styled dishes, it's about healthful food that's fresh, nutritious and easy to prepare. 

In these photos are two meals I made on separate nights from a batch of chili made with lean beef mince. At less than 5% fat! it's a flexible base for what ended up being soft tacos one night and Mexican rice bowls the next. 

Here's a breakdown of my essential layers for these super meals.

Chili

Use beef, pork or turkey - just make sure it's lean (unless you don't care about that). All are great sources of protein and easy to cook.

Red kidney beans are a great source of fibre, more protein and low GI.

Cook with some red onion, olive oil, ground coriander, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne, or you can use a Mexican spice packet low on preservatives. 

Salsa

Tomatoes, capsicum, grilled corn, avocado and coriander (cilantro) are the staples. In the picture above I also added finely sliced radishes because I had them on hand; I've also been known to add cucumber sometimes. Dress with olive oil, some Tabasco and fresh lime or lemon.

Basically, your aim here is to have a decent raw component with a lot of crunch and freshness. The nutritional value of this layer goes without saying.

Guacamole

In some corners of the internet, this is a controversial topic. Even though avocados are super nutritious and delicious, they are fatty and I try to limit myself to one per meal (serving two). So I put half in the salsa and make my guacamole by mashing the other half with a couple tablespoons of non fat Greek yoghurt plus sea salt, coriander and some lime or lemon juice. The purists would be outraged!

This is my favourite layer because it adds a fresh creaminess to complement the sharpness of the salad.

Rice bowls

For the rice bowls, I layer the components above on a mix of plain boiled or steamed brown and black rice, two whole grains packed with antioxidants.

Eating it is the best bit: you dig your fork deep in the bowl and pull the rice through the salsa and guacamole for a complete little mouthful. Yum!




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