Healthy Mexican Recipes That Bring a Taste of the Tropics Closer to Home


Spring break is just around the corner (for those lucky enough to get one), which means many of you will soon be enjoying tropical getaways— perhaps to Cabo or Cancun? For those of you forced to remain stateside, however, why not bring some south of the border flavor to you? Bust out the margarita mix and follow one of these guilt-free Mexican recipes to create your own fabulous fiesta at home.

1. Mango Tomato Salsa (above)


  • 1 mango – peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 3 ThaiDragon Chiles, minced and seeded, to your taste
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion


In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, chiles, cilantro, and garlic. Stir in the salt, red onion, and lime juice. To blend the flavors, refrigerate for about 30 minutes or longer before serving.

Serves 8


2. Low Fat Fish Tacos
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  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 pound firm white fish fillets such as halibut or cod
  • 8 corn tortillas


In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cumin, olive oil, and cilantro. Place fish in a glass baking dish or in a resealable plastic bag. Add marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place marinated fish on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Alternatively, broil or grill fish, allowing 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Warm corn tortillas according to instructions on package.

When fish is cooked, cut into strips or chunks and divide among corn tortillas. Add shredded cabbage, low fat or fat free sour cream, and salsa for garnish.

Serves 4


3. Low Fat Chicken Enchiladas
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  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (skinless, white meat)
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup medium or hot salsa
  • 1 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Jack cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Warm tortillas according to instructions on package.

Combine shredded chicken with black beans and sweet corn. Mix salsa, yogurt, and sour cream. Then, spoon half the salsa mixture into the chicken, beans, and corn. Blend well.

Divide chicken mixture among the tortillas. Carefully roll tortillas and place them seam down in the baking dish. Spoon remaining salsa mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Serves 4


4. Guilt-Free Guacamole
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  • 1can (15 to 19 ounces) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1tablespoon (or to taste) lime juice
  • 1 jalapeo, seeded
  • 1/2cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4cup coarsely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • Baked tortilla chips or fresh-cut vegetables


In a food processor with the knife blade attached, puree beans and 1 tablespoon lime juice until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl.

In the same processor, place jalapeo, cilantro, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; pulse until juicy and thick.

With a spoon, scoop the avocado out of the peel and into the bowl with the beans; mash with a fork until the mixture is blended (with some chunks remaining).

Cut each tomato crosswise in half. Squeeze halves to remove seeds and juice. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Stir the tomato-and-onion mixture into the avocado mixture until blended. If you prefer a little more zip, stir in additional lime juice to taste.

Guacamole is best served as soon as it’s made, but you can also cover and refrigerate it for up to one hour. Serve with chips or vegetables.

Serves 2


5. Turkey Fajitas
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Tomatillo Salsa

  • 1pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 small poblano chile, cut in half, stems and seeds discarded
  • 1 small shallot, cut up
  • 3tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4teaspoon salt
  • 3/4teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Turkey and Onion Fajitas

  • 2 (about 1 3/4 pounds) whole turkey-breast tenderloins, or substitute 6 medium skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves
  • 2tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • 4teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Cilantro sprigs and red chiles, for garnish


Tomatillo Salsa:
Preheat broiler. Place tomatillos in a broiling pan without a rack. Place pan in broiler five to six inches from the heat source and broil tomatillos for ten minutes or until blackened in spots and blistering, turning tomatillos over once. When tomatillos are turned, add poblano, skin side up, to pan and broil for six minutes or until charred.

In blender or food processor with the knife blade attached, pulse tomatillos, poblano, shallot, lime juice, salt, and sugar until chopped. Stir in cilantro. Cover and refrigerate salsa for up to three days or serve immediately. Makes about two cups.

Turkey and Onion Fajitas: In medium bowl, toss turkey tenderloins or chicken with fajita seasoning and two teaspoons oil. Brush onion slices with remaining two teaspoons oil.

Place turkey or chicken and onions on hot grill rack. Cook turkey for 15 to 20 minutes (chicken for 10 to 12 minutes) or until juices run clear when the thickest part is pierced with the tip of a knife (internal temperature of turkey tenderloins should be 170 degrees F on a meat thermometer), turning turkey or chicken over once. Cook onions for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and golden, turning them over once.

While the turkey or chicken is cooking, place several tortillas on the same grill and heat just until lightly browned, removing to a sheet of foil as they brown. Wrap tortillas in foil and keep warm.

Assemble fajitas: Transfer onions to a bowl. Transfer turkey or chicken to a cutting board and thinly slice. Top tortillas with equal amounts of turkey or chicken and onion; spoon some salsa on each and fold over to eat. Serve with any remaining onions and salsa.

Serves 6


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