The benefits of Mexican cuisine

We all love Mexican food, and the Mexican cuisine must be among the most popular on the entire planet, but taste is not everything when it comes to these delicious dishes. People already love Mexican food because it tastes so great, but they would love it even more when they learn that eating Mexican is good for their health. As a Mexican to the heart, it makes me really proud seeing that my ancestors created a cuisine that is not just for your taste buds, but also for your overall well-being. I will tell you right away about the best known benefits of Mexican cuisine that will surely convince you to try it out.


You will get all the essential nutrients you need for a healthy body

Not many international cuisines on the planet can brag about combining all the important nutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle like Mexican cuisine. You find everything you need here: veggies, protein, legumes, fruits and spices, all creating a harmony of taste that will make you fall in love forever with Mexican food. You may wonder at this point if Mexican food can make you fat. Not as much as the American diet, I can vouch for it, but, if you care for your waistline, I recommend going easy on the cheese and sour cream that can be found in plenty Mexican recipes. Most of these recipes, if not all, work just fine without the fatty foods I mentioned, so you can slim any dish down so you can enjoy the great taste, guilty free.


There is plenty of fiber for a happy healthy digestive system

One thing that Westerners, in general, strive to achieve, is eating enough fiber every week. If you go Mexican, you do not have to worry anymore. Many Mexican dishes are based on beans, a powerful source of fiber that contributes to a very healthy digestive system. Those who suffer from constipation can reap many great benefits from eating a Mexican diet.


Protein is found in almost any dish

Protein is the most important nutrient in the development of a healthy body, and this you will find in great amounts in the Mexican cuisine. Chicken meat is much loved in Mexico, and that is why you will find it in many recipes born on these lands. My advice is to avoid fried meat, if you want to care about your weight, and go for the leanest parts of the chicken, like breast, to make sure that your calories are kept in check.

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This diet will lower your cholesterol

With so many delicious dishes to go around, you may wonder how so many Mexicans seem to be keeping in share without a problem. I kept the piece of resistance for the end; I am talking about those tiny, vicious jalapenos that make Mexican dishes so spicy hot. Hot spices are the norm for Mexican food, and their rich content of capsaicin is responsible for lowering cholesterol, as well as blood pressure. So, that is why our neighbors south of the border have fewer problems with heart conditions than our fellow Americans.

The humble tortilla

I’m sure a lot of people have experimented cooking at least once marvelous Mexican dishes. They are tasty, easy-to-make even for the less experienced and they sound exotic no matter how you pronounce their name or so I’ve been told.  Us, Mexicans have some foods that have come to be so famous all over the world that it gets quite tricky to find the right ingredients for them. In this case, you have no other option but to prepare them yourself that is if you want your food to taste truly Mexican. For example, I never buy salsa from the store here, as it doesn’t taste as the one you make at home. The taste is more industrial than food like.



Another traditional Mexican basic food ingredient is the tortilla. This you can make from wheat or corn flour and you can find it in many assortments in supermarkets and other stores. But, again, they will never taste like those you make at home in your kitchen and with your own hands. Actually, the tortilla is used in latin10many traditional Mexican foods, but it is also the most ignored one when it comes to preparing a certain dish like tacos or quesadillas. Most people will head to the store and buy a pack than giving it a try on their own. It’s not complicated. After all, it is just simple dough made with flour, baking powder, water, salt and oil. Once the dough is ready, you just divide into into equal pieces that you mold in balls. Then you pin these balls into round, slim sheets of dough – and that is your unbaked tortilla. You then bake the tortilla until it is golden and you put it aside.


It is, for the beginner a bit difficult maybe. If you are a beginner, I recommend you use a tortilla maker. This is a two-sided cooking appliance that will bake the flatbread evenly on both sides, so you won’t have to turn it or worry it is not cooked properly – which is very important for the taste of the food you are planning to cook. Plus, the maker lets you know if the flatbread is ready, so you don’t have to worry about overcooking it. In the end, you’ll see there’s a major difference between what the supermarket offers and what you cook at home.


The tortillas will be fresh, tasty, crunchy and you will have complete control over the ingredients you use to make them. This way, your tacos or fajitas will taste like those made in Mexico.

How to make great tacos at home

Tacos are among the foods that have always ranked high in people’s preferences. I guess you could say they have a way of looking festive, delicious and easy-to-make, without you having to be a chef or, at least, a highly skilled housewife. Tacos are, in the end, accessible to everyone. That is not to say, however, that mistakes cannot be made when attempting a tacos recipe for the first time.


Choose the tortillas carefully

latin 4The most commonly encountered mistake that I can name is the way you pick the tortillas. As they are the basic ingredient of this dish, they must bring their own flavor to the one of the filling you’re using.  Many people dismiss the important role that the tortilla has on the overall taste of the tacos, but they shouldn’t, as the texture and the freshness of this simple flatbread contributes a great deal to the overall success of your recipe.

If you are trying to follow the traditional recipe and not the usual frying method everybody employs, you can try using a steamer pot, wrap the tortillas in a dish towel, place them in the steaming basket and leave them there for 10-15 minutes.



Don’t add too much sauce or filling

latin 7The tortilla offers you plenty of space to add anything you want in your tacos, but in this case, the risks exists that you overdo it. The ideal tacos should have a balanced taste, part coming from the tortilla and part from the filling and sauces. If you add too much of the two, you will barely feel the taste of the first and let’s not forget that you’ll probably spill the sauce and the ingredients on you while eating.



Use fresh ingredients for the filling

latin 6If you love vegetables filled tacos, you need to pay special attention not only to what type of vegetables you mix, but also how fresh and, implicitly, tasty they are. For example, when it comes to tomatoes, you may want to find a sweeter variety that will offer a special aroma to the filling, such as grape tomatoes. The onion should be raw, for a more pungent taste. For those who are too sensible for the natural onion flavor, you can try soaking the onion in water before adding it into the filling.



Make your own sauce

latin 8The same importance you should give to the sauce you are using, because you can’t prepare tacos without it. There are a few varieties of salsa you can add to your favorite tacos, but, no matter how you do it, we recommend you make it at home and using natural ingredients. The one you buy made from supermarkets is not nearly as tasty or healthy, and you can’t add or take ingredients you don’t particularly enjoy.



The final ingredient, the topping: what and how much?

For the topping you can employ various cheese types, depending on how much you want to stick to the original Mexican recipe or on your personal taste. Oaxaca cheese is one of the most popular varieties used for tacos or quesadillas in Mexico, but, depending on what type of cheese you love most, you can think about other options, such as Cheddar cheese.


Why I love quesadillas


Quesadillas aren’t the healthiest food in the world. Or are they? I’ve been trying to cut back on all the cheese and oily ingredients for a while now, which is why I’m always looking forward to discovering new and improved recipes for the older ones that I used to eat at home. I decided to share my experiments with you in a post so that you’re able to try these out as well, should you be in the need for a snack or anything else that’s rich in flavor, be it savory or sweet.

Latin1latin2The classic recipe I now use for when I have to prepare lunch for work is a BLTQ. I don’t recall the website where I discovered this recipe for the first time, but the main ingredients for this dish consist of two tortillas, anything between two to four slices of bacon, one chopped tomato, as well as some low-fat cheese. You could try to cook the quesadilla in a skillet, a microwave, or even in the oven if you have enough patience, but I find it a whole lot easier to use the George Foreman Quesadilla Maker as we have one in the house and I honestly couldn’t do without it. What’s more, this appliance allows me to get rid of the hassle of cutting the slices by myself. It only takes around five minutes for my lunch to be cooked, thanks to the George Foreman. Other variations on the sandwich experiment may contain pickles, ham, Swiss cheese, leftover steak, bell peppers, and even onions. I sometimes forget I’m trying to stick to the BLTW recipe and typically use whatever’s left from my dinner the night before.


latin3If you’re in the mood for something sweet, a quesadilla can be a friend in need. I’ve noticed that not too many people like to experiment with fruits, various types of cheese, or even maple syrup when it comes to eating quesadillas. I’ve tried this by accident once and it’s been one of my favorite breakfasts ever since. All you need is a chopped banana, some cheese, and the sweet sauce of your choice. I prefer caramel simply because I find that it goes wonderfully with the banana and somehow enhances the flavor of the fruit. I feel compelled to mention that not all kinds of fruit go well with the quesadilla, although I guess there are no bad experiments. I haven’t tried anything other than banana and honestly, I don’t know if I want to risk messing up my George Foreman just because some natural sugar came out of apple slices or other ingredients.

Whoever said you couldn’t make a calzone pizza using two quesadillas was downright wrong. Sure, maybe you can’t use as many ingredients as you would with pizza, but even so, it’s worth filling the quesadilla up with shredded mozzarella, pepperoni slices, and even marinara, if it tickles your fancy. Other ingredients that I’ve used over time include anchovies, pineapple, and bell peppers. For this one, you have to heat up the quesadilla maker seriously so that it cooks evenly.

My Mexican heritage

The best thing about being an American-born Mexican is that you get the most of leading a comfortable lifestyle, while enjoying a delicious cuisine every day. My grandparents moved to the US when they were very young and, although they started a totally different life here, they kept alive the Mexican traditions and passed them on to the next generation. Every family gathering in a Mexican household is always accompanied by tasty dishes comprising a vast and mouthwatering collection of ingredients. What makes Mexican cuisine particular is that it combines together European elements and indigenous Mesoamerican cooking, resulting in a fusion of flavors and textures. Nonetheless, national cuisine is an important aspect of the culture, social structure and popular traditions, adding to the cultural identity of Mexico.


carnitasOne of the most delicious dishes is the carnitas y arroz con frijoles. Carnitas is literally translated as “little meats”, and are made by braising or simmering pork in oil until the chunks of meat become tender. However, it takes a pretty long time to cook it, between 3 or 4 hours, therefore it is usually served on special occasions. For a burst of flavor chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) can be served together with the main dish or, according to your preference, you may also choose between diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and frijoles refritos.


tamaleAnother dish that cannot be missed on special occasions is the tamales. In my family, every member has to participate in the making of tamales, so that I always regarded the initiative of cooking them as just another reason for having a family gathering, resounding with laughter and cheerfulness. The dough for tamales is made out of masa (made from corn flour), which is enriched with fat (usually lard) and additional water and stock moisture. What you have to do first is to beat the lard in a mixer until it gets a creamy texture, while adding a little bit of baking powder (two teaspoons) as leavening, and salt according to your taste. Then, you add the fresh masa to the lard and mix the composition together. You can buy the masa from a tortilleria shop if you have any available near you, or you can cook it by yourself at home. After blending the composition together, you need to add some water, until the dough reaches a spreadable consistency.poblanos For an optimal result, it is recommended that, after mixing everything together, you put the composition in the refrigerator for an hour or so. The next step is to prepare a set of corn husks wrappers, take the dough from the fridge and lay a heaping spoonful of the dough on each of the husks, fold them together and tie them with a cotton thread, carefully so that it won’t overflow. After that, prepare a pot and stack the tamales in an upright position, and steam for one hour. We would usually prepare a filling made out of roasted poblanos with strands of mildly salted Oaxacan cheese. Then, when the tamales cooled down, we’d all dug into one unforgettable family dining.


These are just two of the many recipes for which Mexican cuisine is renowned worldwide. However, there are plenty other recipes that make the pride of every Mexican and have even the most scrupulous people fall in love with Mexican cuisine.