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Heart Healthy Mexican Meals

by Peppi Hautala

Many people love Mexican food but think that they have to avoid it if they are worried about their heart health. While it is true that many Mexican meals are made with lots of pork, cheese, or beef, there are also meals that are based primarily on vegetables or fish.

In many areas of Mexico, cheese and meat were a luxury. Because of this, people created menus that were primarily based on beans, rice, and vegetables. The dishes were flavored by a variety of spices, herbs, salsas, and moles. So you won't be sacrificing flavor in favor of health.

Here is a list of some amazing heart healthy Mexican meals to try the next time you go out.

Frijoles De Olla

Frijoles de olla, or beans from the pot, is a staple dish in Mexico. The recipe is extremely simple, yet tastes delicious. Pinto beans are soaked overnight, and then cooked in salted water with diced onions. The result is a dish that is creamy, rich in protein, and great for your heart. It is full of fiber, and has none of that fat of re-fried beans.

Arroz Rojo

The companion to frijoles de olla is often arroz rojo, or red rice. This is a rice dish that is made by cooking rice in a pot with crushed tomatoes, which give the dish its signature color.

The rice is first sauteed in oil with diced onions. When the rice starts to brown, the water and crushed tomatoes are added. Once everything starts to simmer, the chef will add in minced chili pepper.

The combination of arroz rojo and frijoles de olla is known throughout Mexico as "rice and beans", which is a staple meal for most of the population.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is a chunky salsa that is made of peppers, onions, tomatoes and lime juice. It has more texture than traditional red salsa. It's super healthy because it is made of fresh, raw vegetables. It adds spice to whatever dish you are eating without adding fat. So opt for pico de gallo instead of a sour cream or melted cheese topping.

Huachinango a la Veracruzana

If you're looking for a fish dish, then this is perfect. The dish is from the coastal region of Veracruz where fish is in abundance. The meal is made by taking a red snapper and marinating it in lime juice and spice. After the fish has marinated, it is slow roasted with peppers, capers, and tomatoes.

This is a great dish for people who are not vegetarians but who want to avoid beef, pork and cheese dishes. It has loads of flavor as well as protein.

Next time you check out a restaurant like El Chico Cafe, keep these dishes in mind!