A Healthy Taste of Mexico!

— Written By

Mexican food is as diverse as it is delicious, but how healthy is it? Traditional recipes are healthier than you may think! As long as you stick to fresh and authentic ingredients, there’s no need to worry!

Today we’re going to make Pez y Vegetales (Fish and Vegetables). Let’s look at the health benefits of some of the ingredients.

Fish is a low-fat, high-quality protein. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.

Beans are one of the best sources of soluble fiber (which keeps you feeling full and helps lower cholesterol), plus they’re a great way to get protein and iron. Use them to fill up tacos and burritos.

Corn is a whole grain and, as such, delivers a bunch of fiber — just 1 ear of corn delivers 4 grams of fiber. Even corn tortillas (which are basically cornmeal and water) deliver way more fiber than flour tortillas.

Red Bell Peppers are high in Vitamins A and C and are a great source of B6 and Magnesium.

The compounds found in Onions provide anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties

Salsa typically contains lime juice, onions, and tomatoes are all rich sources of the antioxidant vitamin-C. Fiber is found naturally in the cell wall of plants, and salsa is full of fiber without any fat or sugar. And it’s naturally cholesterol free.

Cumin, an aromatic seed. contains cuminaldehyde, a phytochemical with antibacterial properties, and a lot of iron — just 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds delivers 22 percent of the daily value.

Now for the recipe. Pez y Vegetales is based on the Build a Packet Meal recipe from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension “Cook Smart/Eat Smart” cookbook. You can change up the vegetables, spices, and toppings to suit your taste. Here’s what we’re using in this recipe:

Pez y Vegetales

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 fish fillets
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup salsa, plus more on the side

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Spray a 2-quart glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Sprinkle fish fillets lightly with salt, pepper, and cumin and lay on the bottom of the dish.
  4. Layer on black beans, corn, bell pepper, and onion and sprinkle with a little more cumin.
  5. Drizzle with salsa.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Caution, steam will be released when the foil is removed.

Can be served with brown rice or baked sweet potatoes for a delicious and healthy Mexican meal.