eats that feel like cheats
oil-less, butter-less, low-calorie, and delicious! home cooking that makes even the fanciest take-out look bad
Referred to as Chile Guerillo in hispanic markets, this long yellow pepper (Banana? Hungarian Wax?) is the perfect shape for roasting and stuffing. I'd been curious to try making Cubano sandwiches for awhile when I decided upon experimenting with these instead (I am always for whatever option allows me to cut out bread or tortillas from a recipe, as it makes it instantly lower cal). So glad I did! This is all the flavor with none of the unnecessary extra. Replaced the customary Swiss slice with some lower cal options as well.
Jewel Osco's 80 cal Hamburger buns continue to earn my love. They are so versatile. This week it seems all stores are out of the usual white bun option, so switched to the wheat, which would usually disgust me, but thankfully it seems to have no effect on taste for this recipe and the wheat bun is fluffier and slightly larger than the Signature Select Hamburger buns, while also being the usual 80cal. Pick up a bag and see why I spent a good two weeks on these babies. Once they are packed and reheated, they expand and become these gorgeous stuffed Pambazos that are entirely filling and flavorful! Lower in calorie and fatter than your average burger-you won't regret the time spent on prep. Once you've found your rhythm, it's no sweat!
One of many common mexican dishes that I had no appreciation for as a child but found myself craving weeks ago. After a visit to my bestie's home in which she loaded her plate with this and a beautiful side of cumin-spiced refried beans, I knew I had to give this dish a shot. Glad I did since this is so easy and quick to make-it makes the best use of the usual round-up of mexican spices. It's customizable too-usually made with steak only, you can substitute for your favorite meat/protein (I added the shrimp because who doesn't love grilled shrimp?) as well as substitute the peppers for your favorite kind (my best friend uses spicy red jalapenos for extra kick, I'd rather use sweet red bell because of that beautiful flavor once it's roasted.) By weighing and portioning off the meat/protein from the start, you can choose to make this a side (make the meat to veggie ratio off-kilter and eat only about 1oz of meat) so it's under 100 calories or tip the scale and eat a higher portion to make it a full meal, complete with beans and rice. Either way, you really can't go wrong!
Determined to match the deliciousness of traditional chiles rellenos without the fat, I ended up with this definite upgrade instead. This baby is so addictive that I ended up making it for two weeks straight despite the extra effort and time to have them lunch-ready. They're worth it, and so are you! So go ahead and treat yo' self.
Chiles Rellenos are one of those lesser-known dishes hidden somewhere on your restaurant menu. This dish features poblano peppers that have been roasted until the skin is soft, stuffed with cheese (some will add meat), battered and fried then added and later plated together with a tomato broth/sauce. Utterly delicious but a bit scary to someone who has long-since omitted flour-based recipes and natural eggs from her diet. See Mom's recipe below then keep reading to find my tests, trials, and variations.
Mom's Recipe for Chiles Rellenos:
Roast poblanos then peel roasted skin once slightly cooled.
Stuffed poblanos with chihuahua cheese.
Set two bowls: one egg and one flour. Coat poblanos in flour then egg.
Fry battered poblanos.
Add to tomato broth/sauce (featured in earlier post).
Many of these recipes will feature a tomato-based sauce that paired with cumin and garlic become a mexican-food essential-completely versatile, quick and easy. Make sure to keep your pantry fully stocked with cans of tomato sauce and you'll be good to go.
Mom's Recipe for Tomato Sauce/Broth Base
1 Can Tomato Sauce 8oz
6 Cups Water
Cumin, Garlic, and Salt to taste or start with 1/2 tsp each and adjust accordingly.
I've found that you can't go wrong with using the tomato sauce liberally and adding a pinch or two of spices for single servings.
Crunchy, delicious, and low-cal, tostadas are ideal when paired with seasoned meats-which shine through without the distraction of flour-y breads and thick tortillas. Tasty with a capital T.
Building on the Traditional Tacos De Papa (Crispy Fried Potato Tacos) featured on the Anything That Can Go Wrong Cookbook (a recipe straight from Mom's kitchen and my childhood), this recipe amps up the flavor and deliciousness with a layer of melted cheese and tomato, drenched in La Costena salsa Ranchera. Using tostadas as a substitute for tortillas, this recipe eliminates the need for unhealthy oils and is easy to cook on summer days when standing at a hot stove causes some real evaluation on how hungry you really are. Take out tonight? Nope. Just pop this in the microwave a couple of times and it is good to go-straight into your tummy!
Fresh Telera and Bolillo rolls are just another great reason to get up Sunday mornings and head to your local hispanic bakery. With a little bit of refried beans on top, possibilities are endless. While most restaurants will offer a version of this sandwich featuring a breaded steak milanese, swapping this out for a well-pounded thin chicken steak turns this dish into a guilt-less lunchtime favorite. Whatever you do, don't forget to pick up La Costena Salsa Verde and add a thick layer before digging in!
Visit your local hispanic market to pickup some Calabacitas: each squash is an estimated 30-40 calories and is absolutely delicious when tenderized and tossed with tomatillos, which in this recipe dissolve into a green sauce that is not scary-spicy but savory-delicious! Trust me. You'll want to tip the bowl and drink it up, Beast style.