Many people tell themselves that they will start the New Year by eating clean. How about starting the year off right – the Mexican way? Authentic Mexican food is vibrant, delicious, fresh and fun. It is also colourful, spicy, and uses a fantastic array of fresh and dried chillies. Many of the ingredients are great for you if you’re looking at cleaning up eating habits in the New Year.
Mexican food is so good because it’s rustic. It’s something you eat with your hands, which is how people like to eat. Among the herbs and spices that give it its distinct kick are a variety of chillies (fresh, dried, smoked and pickled), alongside oregano, coriander (known as cilantro in Canada), cinnamon and cocoa. Garlic, onions, lemons and limes are also used for a full flavour bang.
Starting the year off right – the Mexican way
The choices are healthy, fresh and delicious. Whether you’re eating tacos, fajitas or beans, it’s a perfect opportunity to get extra veggies and beans in your diet. Keep an eye on the serving sizes of refried beans, but toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, corn, jalapeno, capsicum and chilli, are ideal. They provide a wide range of colours and vegetables, which means you’re getting a good variety of vitamins and minerals.
They are high in fiber
Tacos are great because you can get a variety of food sources into one meal, whether it’s meat, legumes or beans, and [aim for] at least four different vegetables, Veggies are a good source of fibre which we don’t tend to eat enough of. Canadian adults should aim for 30 grams of fibre a day.
Even those with wheat allergies can eat them
Taco shells tend to be made from corn, so they’re great for those with celiac disease. For those who can eat wheat, [soft] wheat tortillas are another way to get whole grains in your diet and contain vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Its ideal for vegans or meatless Mondays
Vegans generally consume more health-friendly fruit and vegetables than the meat-eating population, making tacos an excellent meat-free option. If you’re eating vegan meals, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting good quality protein sources. These include soy, nuts and legumes.
Eating what you love is good for you
When we deprive ourselves of a particular food, it becomes a wanted item. There is no such thing as a forbidden food. Instead, enjoy your food and be aware of what you’re eating. Sit down with friends or family, turn the TV and enjoy your meal and company.
The social aspect around eating, especially meals like tacos, cannot be played down. Friends and family come together when you eat a shared meal, such as tacos or pizza or salad bowls. And we know for sure that people, who eat in company, eat better and are healthier.
Kunal Patel, the owner of Quesada on Bayfield Street, starts by marinating meats every day and prepping all the fresh veggies used during the day. She is a strong supporter of eating fresh and healthy foods at any time of the year, particularly during the winter months. Fresh veggies are what it’s all about, with Mexican food, along with the flavour, of course. So if you enjoy eating out, choose healthy…choose Mexican.
Written By: Jane Laker
Photo Credits: Stephen Elliott
We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this article. Leave us a comment telling us what your favorite Mexican takeout dish is!