Bold-flavored, delicious and light. A cooking trend that’s hot, hot, hot!

Making your favorite Mexican dishes healthier is lasy: Cut hack on the fat you add and up the flavor with vivid homemade salsas.

These recipes are easy enough to make any night of the w eek. On a weekend make them all and invite your friends to dinner.


Or if you prefer, Guacamole Light. Scoop it up with baked tortilla chips. Or use it as a rich salsa on quesadillas, burritos and chicken or beef.


For hot salsa with a smoky kick, purchase a mild tomato salsa and add seeded, chopped chipotle chilies to taste. (If you buy dried chipotles available in some supermarket produce departments soak them first in hot water until they soften. If you buy them canned in adobo sauce, rinse before using.)

indir (4)Avocado Relish

Calories per half cup: 80 Fat grams per half cup: 6

2 cups finely chopped plum tomatoes 1 cup diced avocado A cup chopped cilantro / cup minced scallion 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice A teaspoon salt

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, optional

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Makes about 3 cups.

Variation To turn this into a classic tomato salsa, just omit the avocado.

indir (5)Chicken Fajitas

Calories per serving: 400 Fat grams per serving: 8.5

1 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon oregano ‘A teaspoon salt A teaspoon sugar

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 green peppers, halved and seeded 4 8-inch flour tortillas

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce Roasted-Tomato Salsa (recipe, below)

1 cup thinly sliced red onion 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Combine the first four ingredients. Rub chicken breasts with half of the spice mixture. (Set aside remainder to use in Roasted-Tomato Salsa.) Refrigerate chicken and let marinate one hour or longer.

Heat broiler. Broil chicken five inches from the heat until cooked through, about four minutes per side. Meanwhile, broil peppers cut side down until charred. When chicken is cool enough to handle, slice. Peel blistered skin from peppers and cut peppers into strips. Warm tortillas briefly in the oven or in a hot ungreased skillet on the stove top.

To assemble fajitas, pile a quarter of the shredded romaine on each tortilla. To each, add sliced chicken, Roasted-Tomato Salsa, pepper strips, red onion and sour cream. Serve with Com Salsa. Makes four servings.

indir (6)Roasted-Tomato Salsa

Calories per half cup: 50 Fat grams per half cup: 0.5

2 pounds ripe tomatoes 4 unpeeled garlic cloves 1 cup chopped cilantro / cup minced scallion

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice A teaspoon salt

Remaining spice mixture from fajita recipe, above / teaspoon grated lime zest

2 jalapeno or serrano or 1 chipotle chili, seeded and minced, optional

Heat broiler. Place tomatoes and garlic cloves on a foil-lined broiler pan. Broil 5 inches from the heat, turning tomatoes and garlic as they char. Cook until lightly charred all over, about 10 minutes. Peel garlic. Chop tomatoes and garlic in food processor or blender. Pour into a bowl. When cool, add remaining ingredients. Makes about 2 cups.

Corn Salsa

Calories per half cup: 50 Fat grams per half cup: 0

2 cups frozen com kernels, thawed (or kernels cut from 4 ears lightly cooked fresh corn)

1 cup minced sweet red pepper

1 cup peeled, seeded, minced cucumber A cup minced red onion / cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon ground red pepper.

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Makes about 3 cups.

Refried Beans

Use as a burrito filling or as a side dish with rice.

Calories per half cup: 160 Fat grams per half cup: 5

A cup minced scallion

3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 15-ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed A teaspoon oregano / teaspoon ground cumin

In a small skillet, saute scallion and garlic in olive oil until garlic is fragrant and scallion is soft. Add beans and mash coarsely, adding water (about A cup) as needed to moisten. Add oregano and cumin. Cook, stirring, until well-combined and flavorful, about 2 minutes. Makes about 1A cups (enough for 8 bean burritos).

each with one tablespoon grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. Fold in quarters; top with more cheese. Bake ten minutes at 400° F. Serve with tomato salsa. Good additions to the filling: shredded cooked chicken or pork tenderloin.

Calories per serving: 425 Fat grams per serving: 14


Always a favorite-warmed flour tortillas filled with sliced chicken, savory salsa, roasted peppers and crisp red onion. For a cool counterpoint, serve with Corn Salsa.

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