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Newsletter July 20/01 - Susan Van Dueck

Mexican Recipes (Low Carbohydrate)


Low Carbohydrate Mexican Recipes

For this week's newsletter, I chose some favorite Mexican recipes that are relatively low carbohydrate and put together make a great meal. There are mainly vegetables, cheese and beans in this meal. The chili rellenos are deep fried...something we don't do too often but once in a while is okay. Make sure you don't use canola oil for frying. Peanut oil is very good for higher temperature frying as it has a high smoke point (which means it can handle higher heats without as much damage). See peanut oil in the excerpt on fats from Sally Fallon's book.

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And now for the recipes... 

Mexican Black Beans

  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried savory
  • 2 - 3 tsp. ground cumin or to taste
  • 2 - 3 tsp. chili powder or to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. granulated chicken or vegetable bouillon (without additives available at health food markets)
  • 3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Put beans, 8 cups of water, oregano and savory in a large heavy pot. Simmer over medium low heat 2 to 3 hours or until beans are tender. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat and fry onions until soft. Add onions to beans after beans have been cooking for 1 hour. Puree beans with stick blender leaving some lumps. Alternatively put through blender or food processor. Add bouillon, cumin and chili. Continue to simmer until thickened. Stir occasionally. Season with salt to taste. Stir in cilantro just prior to serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

Carbohydrates: 23 per serving of about 1/2 cup.

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Chilies Rellenos (Chilies stuffed with cheese)

Red Tomato Salsa

  • 2 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups diced, canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large jalapeno chili, stemmed and seeded, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Heat oil in medium skillet over moderate heat. Cook onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Using stick blender, regular blender or food processor, add all remaining ingredients (including onions) except salt and puree in batches until smooth. Pour into saucepan and add salt. bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve with Chilies Rellenos.

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  • 6 poblano* peppers or bell peppers
  • Cheddar, Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, 6-8 oz. cut into 6 sticks (try a combination)
  • Peanut oil for deep frying

Broil chilies or grill, turning, until skin is charred. Place in brown paper bag and let sit 15-20 minutes. Peel off skin being careful to keep intact if possible. Make slit along long side of chilies and remove seeds.

Be careful to leave top of chili (around stem) intact. Rinse chilies and pat dry. Stuff chilies with slices of cheese. You may have to use toothpicks to hold peppers together but remember to remove before serving.

(Note: if you are using bell peppers add some chopped serrano chilies (very hot) or jalapeno ...or use jalapeno jack cheese). Set aside on paper towels while you make batter.

*Where to get poblano peppers - Seacoast Produce in Steveston might, if you ask them to bring in. Weekends at Granville Island Asian Food market (next to the cold beer and wine store). Urban Fare at the foot of Davie in Yaletown.


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. flour

As you start to make batter, heat oil in heavy pan for deep frying. Oil should be 2 to 3 inches deep and heated to 350 F. You want to fry chilies as soon as you've made the batter and coated them.

Beat egg whites until stiff, not dry. Combine salt, egg yolks and flour. Beat until well combined. Fold into egg whites. Pat chilies completely dry and dust lightly with flour. Coat them with batter. Carefully place chilies in hot oil, turning once or twice, until they are an even golden brown. Drain chilies on paper towels. Serve immediately with the sauce above or your favorite salsa. 6 servings (as appetizer).  As main course, serves 3.

Carbohydrates: The only high glycemic carbohydrates are in the flour and the tomato juice so they are very minimal per serving.

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Jicama Salad

  • 1 large jicama, peeled & julienned
  • 3-inch piece of long English cucumber, julienned
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, julienned
  • 1 tomato, julienned
  • 1/4 cup tamari pumpkin seeds as a garnish - recipe to follow

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  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice*
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantr

Combine jicama, cucumber, radishes, carrots, red onion, both peppers and tomato in a medium bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, honey, slowly drizzle olive oil into bowl while continuing to whisk. Add cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cilantro and let sit for 15 minutes.

4 servings

Carbohydrates: very minimal per serving.

*A suggestion for bottled lemon & lime juice - Santa Cruz (organic) brand available at Capers, Choices, and Sea Coast Produce in Steveston.

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Tamari Pumpkin Seeds

This recipe makes enough to use in several salads.

  • 8 oz. raw pumpkin seeds, preferably organic
  • 1/4 tamari soy sauce

Note: Instead of tamari soy sauce, regular soy will do or Bragg's Liquid Amino Seasoning (available in health food stores). 

In a large dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds. Keep moving them around the pan or they will burn or toast unevenly. When lightly browned and fragrant, toss with the sauce. Allow to cool. Store in fridge in airtight container. You can also do this with sunflower seeds.

I got this recipe from Amandah Jensan from Sointula Gardens. Sointula Gardens is an organic farm and retreat near Lytton. I'll talk next time about organic foods and provide a link to Amandah's website for your perusal.

Putting this meal together makes for around 30 grams of high glycemic carbohybradates. Not too bad for Mexican food.

An extremely popular appetizer with our guests....

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Mexican Chili Con Queso Dip

  • 6 Fresh green chiles, roasted, peeled, and cut in lengthwise slices (canned are okay)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Can crushed tomatoes
  • 2-1/2 Cups shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • Salt to taste

In a medium saucepan, sauté chile and onion in oil. Add garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and heat through. Add cheese and heat until cheese melts.

Depending on your tastes you can cut down on the chiles.

No carbohydrates to speak of unless you dip with Taco chips. Try veggies instead. Cauliflower or broccoli raw or parboiled would be yummy!

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