taco salad

MyPlate Inspired Dishes from Northern Mexico

Do you want to bring more spice and flavor to your home-cooked meals? The traditional Mexican diet is rich in spices, peppers, beans, corn, rice, and tortillas that you can use to help spice up your everyday cooking. These foods are the staples of popular dishes like fajitas, tacos, carne asada, and tamales. Typical family meals in Northern Mexico are influenced by the ranch culture of growing their own food or raising livestock, like beef cattle, chickens, and goats.

Mexican dish broken down into MyPlate food groups

This tasty burrito is an example of a Mexican-inspired MyPlate meal with ingredients from each food group of MyPlate.

You can keep the traditional taste of Mexican food and still eat smart by using MyPlate as a guide. A MyPlate meal should have half the plate filled with fruits and vegetables and include a protein, like chicken or beans, and a grain, like brown rice. Cheese and low-fat sour cream on top of your traditional dishes can count towards your dairy group! You can add some spicy flavor with fresh salsa made with fruits and vegetables.

Here are more great ways to save time and money in the kitchen while still making delicious Mexican inspired food!

  • Cook once eat twice: Our favorite trick is to use leftovers from one meal, like fajitas, on top of lettuce and your favorite veggies to make a taco salad for the next day! This saves time and reduces waste in your kitchen.
  • Use beans as a protein: Beans are a great source of plant-based protein and they have plenty of fiber too! Along with all of their great nutrients, beans are cheap and easy to include in dishes. Canned beans can save time cooking for busy evenings. Try adding beans to a side of rice and your favorite fruits and veggies for a great meal.
  • Grow your own herbs: You can also use your SNAP benefits to purchase planted herbs like cilantro and oregano that you can use multiple times. Reach out to a Master Gardener in your area to learn about growing food for beginners.

Check out this easy recipe for fajita veggies that you can pair with your favorite protein, dairy and grain for a balanced, tasty Mexican inspired meal! Pair with black beans, rice, and shredded cheese for a burrito bowl. Serve on a corn tortilla with roasted chicken and low-fat source sour cream for taco night.

Fajita Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bell pepper (any color you prefer!), sliced into thin strips
  • 1 white onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon of your favorite salt-free Mexican spice mix

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add peppers and onions.
  2. Add spice mix and sauté until tender.

What’s your favorite Mexican dish? Share with us in the comments!

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