Could it be? I must be dreaming! Tex-Mex made healthy? There’s no way. Wait, yes there is! For everyone out there who thinks tacos are life (including me) and not just for Taco Tuesday, there’s a better, healthier, and just as taco-licious way to prepare them. There’s a new cookbook in town and it’s just what we’ve been waiting for – TEX-MEX DIABETES COOKING: More Than 140 Authentic Southwestern Favorites.
~I received a sample to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~
First off, don’t be fooled by its title. Simply because the Tex-Mex recipes in this cookbook are diabetic-friendly, doesn’t mean everyone can’t enjoy them. Diabetic-friendly recipes simply mean they contain less sugar and carbs. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t make a diet change to include less sugar.
This is not a diet book, this is a classic collection of beloved Southwestern and Mexican recipes that are easy-to-make, delicious, and healthful. Think low-carb, low fat, sugar-conscious favorites made consciously so that everybody can enjoy! — Kelley Coffeen
Did you ever think you could eat tacos (and more authentic Tex-Mex flavors), and still lose or manage your weight? I certainly didn’t. The author, and Southwestern culinary expert, Kelley Coffeen, takes us on a tour of the region with more than 140 recipes that focus on fresh local vegetables, fruits, beans, cheeses rich in protein, lean meats, fish, and poultry—all with calorie, carb, and fat levels dialed in for anyone looking to lose weight, manage their diabetes, and work towards optimal health.
Curious to know more? Check out this Q&A with Kelley, herself!
You say the recipes are “guilt-free”. How so?
In an effort to reduce excess carbs, calories and fat in each recipe, I make sure to use lean meats and protein for taco and burrito, enchilada fillings. I add fiber with a lot of fresh greens, onions, tomatoes and peppers. I have created salsas and sauces that are considered “free” exchanges within the ADA guidelines made from fresh produce, herbs and spices. Finally, I only use low fat dairy products and employ cooking techniques such as baking tortilla chips and taquitos using cooking spray in a high heat oven.
Do you include recipes for every meal of the day and special occasions?
Yes, these recipes are simple enough to be made for everyday meals, but they can be served for special occasions. They are very versatile. For example:
Fajita Tacos, Classic Rolled Tacos, or Seared Sirloin Tacos with Guacamole can be a week night favorite, as they are quick and easy. But they could also be elevated to be served for a special birthday or celebration. Pan Huevos with Avocado is a delicious brunch entrée. I love to serve it with my Spiced Fresh Fruit and Yogurt Parfait for a special occasion.
What are some of the traditional recipes included that you’ve changed to make healthier and accessible, living with diabetes?
Using only a few simple techniques and tricks, even recipes like churros or sopapillas can be healthy! Oftentimes the solution is simply changing the cooking technique from frying to baking, or switching out an ingredient like sugar for a substitute.
What are some of the truly surprising recipes readers will find in the book?
I think readers will be the most shocked by how many fun cocktails and desserts they’ll find in my book! You can have your Frozen Margaritas and Fruity Red Sangrias without any of the guilt, but all of the flavor, by replacing a few sugary ingredients with healthier alternatives.
Being the Tex-Mex lover I am, I couldn’t wait to try some of Kelley’s recipes. I started simple with a nacho dish, Saucy Loaded Nachos. At first I was a skeptical because the ingredients were so basic and when I usually make nachos at home, I load them up with way more stuff. But ya’ll…these nachos were BOMB!
Aside from the ingredients being so simple, my favorite thing about the recipe was that it didn’t require a taco seasoning pack. And with that in mind, you’d think you would need a lot of seasonings mixed together to get the taste – WRONG! With one single seasoning on the ground beef and everything else I put on top of the nachos, including a Classic Queso Sauce, which is also in the book, these are now a personal favorite. Can you guess which seasoning was used on the ground beef?