eats that feel like cheats
oil-less, butter-less, low-calorie, and delicious! home cooking that makes even the fanciest take-out look bad
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.
Note: You'll notice that the rice is absent on the updated calorie count on the right side. Rice isn't actually necessary for this recipe-though flavored rice topping (Japanese) is always welcome if you've got some on hand!
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.
Takes a lot of time and effort on a dish that already takes a lot of time and effort. But if you are serious about watching that weight and don't want to give up those tamales (why would you give up a tamale?) then get yourself serious and give yourself some extra time to prep the night (or morning) before a great tamale-making session. It'll hurt for one day, but you'll thank yourself weeks later (any good Mexican knows that tamales are made in large batches and can last weeks with some good planning), when you are heating that last tamale, removing the corn husk to reveal a perfectly soft and smooth masa with that tender juicy chicken inside. No matter how much you make, chances are you'll kick yourself at that point, for not making more.
Nopales are a natural low-calorie food, so i'd recommend not worrying about the calorie count on this and making a large batch for use as a snack or side-dish. It's especially useful on days when you want to cheat and eat something that may not be as low-calorie as you'd like. Paired with a high-calorie main course, wave goodbye to Hunger and say hello to Happy. While you can buy cactus whole and use the knife to remove the needles, buying canned nopales makes this recipe quick and easy and always at your reach. Tried, tested, and delicious: Dona Maria's large jar of Nopales. It's usually on sale, too!