Healthy (and Spicy!) Mexican Eats

This week we are ramping up the spice and looking at healthy Mexican dishes. You don't have to sacrifice flavor while eating healthy because it all comes down to the ingredients. Adding spice to your food has many benefits. Here are some of those benefits:

  • ​spicy foods ramp up your metabolism

  • spicy foods combat inflammation

  • may inhibit cancer cells

  • powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties

  • heart healthy keeping LDL (bad cholesterol) low

  • pain reliever

Let's look at some Mexican favorites.


​Start out by making your own seasoning mix. The beauty here is that you control the heat. ​

​Packaged seasonings can have fillers and plenty of sodium which are things you don't want.

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp oregano


Change up your regular enchiladas with this green sauce. It can be used many ways such as on tacos and in casseroles as well.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

or avocado oil

  • 3 lbs tomatillos, husks and stems removed, halved

  • 3 green chiles, ribs and seeds removed

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 head garlic, peeled

  • 2 jalapenos, stems removed (seeds and ribs are optional depending on how spicy you like it)

  • 1 lime

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro

  • Heavy pinch sea salt

  • Pinch black pepper

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  1. ​ Place tomatillos, chiles, onion, garlic and jalapeno in a large baking dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and broil until tender and lightly charred, about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it--if onion and garlic begin to cook faster, remove them first.

  2. Transfer your cooked ingredients to your food processor or blender. Zest the lime into the mixture, then add the juice. Add cilantro and remaining seasonings and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for 2 weeks or freeze for months.


Here is a nice, light cream sauce. Try it on a taco salad or over enchiladas.

  • solid coconut cream from 1 13.5 ounce can of full-fat coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, about 2 limes

  • 1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor, blender, or smaller bullet-sized smoothie blender. Blend until smooth.

  2. Note: if the sauce is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of water or lime juice at a time until you have a consistency you like. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for later.

  3. Store in a sealed container for up to 7 days.

  4. To serve once chilled through, soften by heating it prior to serving or simply dollop while slightly more solid on warm food for it to melt there.

Troubleshooting your sauce: if you find that your sauce separates while you make it, simply heat it up slightly (either in the microwave for about 15 seconds or on the stove just until the chill is gone) and stir again. It will come back together!​


There is nothing easier than a fish taco. The pickled onions are a nice touch.


  • 3/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced (reserve remaining 1/4 for the salsa)

  • 1/2 cup apple juice

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt*

  • 1/2 teaspoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil

  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced (or 1 tbsp. dried)

  • Zest from 1 lime (about 2 tsp.)

  • 1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned, firm white fish such as mahi mahi, lingcod, California (white) sea bass, or rockfish (aka Pacific snapper)*, cut into approximately 1- by 5-in. strips

  • About 1 tsp. kosher salt*

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • About 1 tsp. kosher salt*

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, and dried

  • 1 firm-ripe Hass avocado, peeled and sliced

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks

  • 1/4 medium red onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • Juice from 1 lime (about 2 1/2 tsp.), plus more to taste

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro (leaves and tender stems), chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

  • About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt* <