Culture

21 Delicious And Healthy Takes on Traditional Mexican Foods

Traditional Mexican food is rich with a variety of vegetables and lean proteins, all boasting big flavors! In many ways, it was the Americanization of Mexican food that has made it less healthy. Switching to lean ground poultry, adding beans to ground meat dishes, using less sour cream, or switching to low fat cheese can all add up to make any dish healthier.  Let’s look beyond the tacos and burritos and into the kitchens across the country where it can be easy to find delicious, healthy versions of Mexican favorites…in fact, I bet you won’t have to look too far.

Corn Tortilla

A simple swap, choose the corn tortilla next time you order a taco. This staple food is a whole grain, which packs more fiber and nutrients than its flour counterpart.  At least half our daily grains should be whole grains. This is a tasty way to meet that goal!

Carne Asada

Get your protein grilled, not fried. Grilled steak packs a protein punch with little to no added fat, since it’s cooked on a grill and not sautéed in oil or butter.

Credit: Carne Asada. Pixabay.   9/14/13.

Huitlacoche or Corn Smut

Corn what? This corn fungus, which is very similar to mushroom in flavor,  is considered black gold in some areas of Mexico. When rain droplets fall into the corn husk, the kernels of corn begin to rot and develop a fungus that turns the golden kernels into grey, stone-like blobs. The fungus adds proteins that aren’t found naturally in regular corn kernels. This makes it a great choice in tacos or quesadillas for vegans or vegetarians.

Credit: Quesadilla. Pixabay. 10/23/18.

Fruta

Seemingly so simple but let’s not forget this healthy version of a sweet treat, after all, fruit is twice as sweet in Mexico! Fruit is always a good choice because it is packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Credit: Melon. Pixabay. 6/15/2016.

Arroz rojo

This tasty staple, is simple to make and has all the elements of a comfort food; warm and flavorful. You can make a healthier version by swapping in brown rice for white rice.

Credit: Rice. Pixabay.  10/27/2016.

Mole de olla

This hearty soup is a steaming bowl of comfort (and nutrients!) on a gray day. This soup consists of broth with potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, corn, and other vegetables that suit your taste. Preparing your soup with beef or pork? Trim the visible fat off the meat to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the recipe.

Credit: Chicken stew. Pixabay.  05/16/2016.

Tortilla soup

So much soup! Another bowl of steaming comfort, the chicken is baked, grilled, roasted, or poached making it a lean, low fat choice with a ton of protein! Instead of topping your soup with crumbled fried tortillas try baking your tortillas in the oven until crisp and then crumbling them.

Credit: Chicken soup. Pixabay.  11/27/2013.

Pescado

Another healthy Mexican dish, a whole grilled fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, the kind you get in fish oil supplements ,which are so good for your heart! Grilling the fish means little to no added fat. Using fresh herbs, such as cilantro, and citrus juice, such as lime, make the fish flavorful without any added salt!

Credit: Fish. Pixabay.  11/5/2016.

Pico de gallo

This fresh salsa is a great way to add a healthy boost to any dish. Fresh tomatoes, cilantro, lime, and onions provide flavor, fiber, and antioxidants.  It’s a juicy flavor boost in each bite!

Credit: Pico de gallo. Pixabay. 04/30/2017.

Tomatillo salsa

This vibrant green salsa is rich in vitamin C and vitamin K. It packs a flavorful punch on any fish or taco.

Credit: Salsa. Pixabay. 01/09/2015.

Goat Birria

A tomatillo broth with rich meatiness is another healthy Mexican dish, that will have you asking for seconds. When using goat (or pork) trim the visible fat and use a low sodium broth to make your soup.

Credit: Soup. Pixabay. 04/11/2018.

Carne adobada

Another alternative taco filling, pork or beef is roasted in chilies, garlic, onion, vinegar, and plenty of herbs and spices.  Though packed with flavor, making it at home means it is not packed with sodium.

Credit: Carne. Pixabay. 03/27/2018.

Guacamole

What’s a list without guacamole? This creamy fruit (yes, a fruit!) is a great option when topping a baked chip or taco. Just be mindful – 1/3 of an avocado is the recommended portion.

Credit: Guacamole. Pixabay.  07/08/2014.

Guisada al pollo

Chipotles in adobo are responsible for the flavor punch in this dish. Along with flavor from protein, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, and bell peppers it’s super nutritious without being super salty.

Credit: Chicken stew. Pixabay. 07/10/2012.

Ceviche

Fish is almost always a healthy choice and this is no exception. “Cooked” in citrus fruits and juice, this seafood dish is cured without adding the fat found in fried fish.

Credit: Ceviche. Pixabay. 12/31/2014.

Agua fresca

Homemade agua fresca is going to be a healthier version than store-bought, most of the time. You can add fresh or frozen fruit to your water to add subtle flavor. Try using less  sugar or simple syrup. You can also use agave, Splenda, or another calorie free sweetener to cut down on the amount of added sugars you consume from drinks.

Credit: Agua Fresca. Pixabay. 11/09/2018.

Empanadas

These pocket pies are filled with deliciousness, and when that crust breaks open to reveal a savory sauce or sweet fruit filling, it’s like heaven in your mouth! Baking your empanadas, instead of frying them, will make them a bit more heavenly with a lot less added fat.

Credit: Empanadas. Pixabay.  6/22/2014.

Sopa de poro y papa

This potato leek soup is another delicious dish. When adding the cream or sour cream, try a low fat version or try using plain Greek yogurt. By using plain yogurt, you‘ll be adding protein, calcium, probiotics, and cutting way back on saturated fat!

Credit: Potatoes. Pixabay. 05/26/2018.

Guiso de flor calabaza

This quick stew uses fresh squash blossoms from a summer squash plant.  It’s easy to prepare and quick to devour. Packed with cancer fighting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber this stew is bright, beautiful, and as healthy as it comes.

Credit: Zucchini blossom. Pixabay. 07/25/2014.

Churros

A sweet treat! Traditionally fried then rolled in cinnamon and sugar, this tasty treat has soared in popularity – and for good reason, it’s delicious! It’s also loaded with added sugars and added fat. To make this treat a bit healthier, try piping your dough on a cookie sheet and baking it, to reduce the added fat.

Credit: Churros. Pixabay. 02/22/2015.

Salsa

Salsas are always a healthy topping for any dish or a great dip choice for baked chips. Salsas usually contain fruit and vegetables, such as tomatoes, tomatillos, mangoes, and even grapes! Some may even occasionally contain avocado, a source of healthy fats!

Credit: Salsa. Pixabay. 08/05/2016.

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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