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Lightened Up – Mexican Feast

It’s no secret that Mexican food is one of my favorites.  It was one thing I really craved while we were in Poland and Italy – strange, right?  And no, I wasn’t able to find decent guacamole anywhere.

I’ve posted my step by step “recipe” for enchiladas before, but didn’t include the nutrition breakdown.  It’s one of my go-to meals to when I’m feeding my parents, brother, and husband because I can make them a beef or chicken version and a veggie version for me.


I think I love Mexican food so much because peppers are by far my favorite vegetable.


 Ground meat above, mushrooms below… 



I cheat by using canned refried beans – fat free and vegetarian!


I also made homemade Mexican rice and salsa using recipes from Gina’s blog.  Both were delicious and worth the effort!


Making your favorite dishes at home gives you the opportunity to control exactly what is added – something that I like to have control over.

Here are the nutrition breakdowns for one of each enchilada (the recipe makes 12), and the beans.

Using 2% milk cheese, 90 calorie tortillas, and cooking spray can really cut down on the fat and calories in your Mexican meals. 

Trader Joe’s makes tortilla chips with 40% less fat too, which I always make a point of buying.  As much as I love salsa and guacamole, I need to save some calories on the chips!  Kale chips would be a great alternative to fried corn chips, too.

Do you make your favorite restaurant dishes lighter at home, or do you just enjoy them as they come when you dine out?


22 responses to “Lightened Up – Mexican Feast

  1. peaceloveandoats November 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    This is a great idea! My older brother LOVES mexican food like none other. I think he could eat it every day for the rest of his life and be the happiest man alive. I should try making this for him!

  2. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance November 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I’m a hugeeeee Mexican lover myself, and only let myself have it every so often. I’ve never even thought of making enchiladas or burritos at home! Do you have a recipe for the mushroom ones you mentioned?

  3. sprint2thetable November 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Great tips! I love “lightened up” recipes – especially Mexican and Italian.

  4. Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Yum – I like making Mexican at home. The hubs yells at me for buying 2% cheese instead of full-fat, but I tell him to just be happy it’s not fat-free. (0% cheese isn’t worth my time)

  5. Shanna, like Banana November 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I absolutely do! Especially with Mexi food — it, too, is one of my faves. I always scale back on the qty of cheese, triple the veggies, and use a lean meat (like turkey burger) if I even use meat at all.

    These look scrumptious!

  6. Melissa November 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I always lighten things up at home, but I can’t do the fat free cheese, either. I try to lighten up with the chips, but some of the lower fat versions are a little card-boardy for my taste. Still, anything I make at home is always going to be healthier than what you’d get out!

  7. Liz @ Southern Charm November 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    LOVE Mexican and that we can lighten up dishes at home.

    Thanks for posting your stats!

  8. Jess @ Jess Go Bananas November 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Mexican food is the best! The spicier the better! 😀 Usually, at restaurants I end up making them lighter, because they are mainly veggie and when I replicate them at home I make them as delicious as possible.

  9. Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy November 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I generally try to cook with pretty “light” ingredients, because otherwise I would use butter and cheese in every meal 🙂
    But any ethnic foods are great to make “lighter” since you can amp up the flavor with tons of spice. Looks delicious!

  10. Naomi(onefitfoodie) November 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    i love ‘lightening up’ food at home by making it homemade!! mexican is such an easy cusine to do that with! low fat cheese, avocado for healthy fats…lean meat! YUMMM

  11. Stephanie@Snacking on Sunshine November 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I like to try to mimic some of my restaurant favorites to eat every day, but when I’m out for a treat I try not to get caught up in the extra fat/etc the big chains throw in. I shudder to think of what lonestar puts in their veggie fajitas, but they’re one of my favorite things to eat so I just go for it!

  12. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate November 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I definitely try to recreate my restaurant favorites to make them a little healthier!

  13. Paige November 4, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I don’t think I intentionally make them lighter, but there’s probably less grease involved – inevitably 🙂

  14. vegansunshine November 4, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Mexican food is my weakness! I love it so much but I just don’t stop when I start eating it. Afterwards, I ALWAYS feel so sick and bloated. However, mushroom enchilada sound amazing and healthy!


  15. Kris November 4, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Girl, your recipes are always da bomb!! I love mexican so much and I love when they’re extra cheesy and saucy!!! MMMMMMM


  16. Pingback: Fantastic Fritatta and Favorite Soup « Live and Love to Eat

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