Happy New Year 2019! Is it time for healthy food again? Lol. Healthy Latin Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less! may provide a little inspiration (and a lot of Latin flair) to get you headed in the right direction!
What Makes it a "Healthy" Latin Recipe?
First, I am not a fan of "diets." Never have been, and never will be! Of course dietary restrictions are another matter entirely...
My approach to healthy eating most resembles the Mediterranean diet which is more of a way of eating than a "diet." The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on (but not limited to) the traditional cuisines of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea... From a trusted source and for more information, see Mediterranean Diet: A Heart-Healthy Eating Plan from Mayo Clinic:
The foundation of the Mediterranean diet is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Meals are built around these plant-based foods. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are also central to the Mediterranean Diet, as is seafood. In contrast, red meat is eaten only occasionally.
The other component of a "healthy Latin recipe" is (of course!) Latin recipes. Lol. This vibrant cuisine features food from all of Central and South America, as well as Puerto Rico and Cuba in the Caribbean.
You'll find common cooking style, ingredients, and spices throughout Latin America, including (but not limited to) maiz (corn), beans, and chiles. It is a cuisine that celebrates fresh tropical fruits, vegetables ripened in nutrient-rich soil as well as austere soil at high altitude, and a vast array of seafood, poultry, and meats.
Quick Proteins and Methods
You may notice how well-represented shrimp is in this collection? Well, shrimp is one of the most quick and easy protein options!
It's healthy, delicious, and cooks in minutes. In fact, the most difficult aspect of cooking shrimp is not over-cooking shrimp... Avoiding rubbery shrimp requires your attention, and only a few minutes.
Fish is always a quick and healthy option as well. Don't feel you have to stay with tilapia with Pan-Fried Tilapia with Citrus, Mango, and Avocado Salad. I have found barramundi, red snapper, and cod to be stellar substitutions. If you're interested in sustainability, be sure to check Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
Have you tried using a rotisserie chicken as a shortcut for weeknight dinners? They're a great (and healthy) option when time is short! These yummy tacos can be ready in less than 30 minutes - 15!
Stir-frying chicken is a "go to" quick meal, and you'll love this Pollo Saltado (traditional Peruvian wok-fried chicken and vegetables!
Ground meat (or mince) is always a great option for quick meals, and can be lean as well. My Healthy Picadillo (Cuban Style) calls for ground chicken, but you can use turkey or lean ground beef or pork as well. The Peruvian Beef Noodle Soup (Sopa Criolla) specifies ground beef. I have used (and loved) ground bison. Elk would be excellent as well!
As a supporter of the #meatlessmonday movement, I do my best to include vegetarian or vegan options. As long as the dish includes a good amount of protein, I'm all "in." Of course black beans qualify, and the Latin flavors make these 2 dishes anything but bland! Both can be on your table in 30 minutes or less...
Does this collection inspire you? Cooking healthy meals in 30 minutes or less is an attainable and realistic goal in the New Year.
Here's to an amazing 2019! May your year be filled with (healthy Latin Inspired recipes) food, fun, family, and favorite things...