5 Healthy Latino Food Flips—Nachos, Tacos & More!

tacos healthy

It’s time to healthy up our Latino food choices. New year, new tu. Such a cliche, but we overindulged (again) over the holidays—and here we are (again!).

Happens to us every January. We say si to everything in November and December—the fried appetizers, both kinds of tamales, the arroz con gandules (two helpings), the roast-pork pernil, the chocoflan, and many pitchers of creamy-coconuty coquito, our favorite holiday frothy drink.

It was all so much fun. Gozamos muchísimo. But now we can’t fit into even our most forgiving leggings. It’s time to eat Healthy & Delicioso.

How to Eat Healthy & Delicioso

And so we turn to our favorite Latina food and health coach Naihomy Jerez, who runs her own food consultancy helping women make healthy changes to the comida they love and lose weight the sabroso way.

We know she gets it—she’s a Dominicana who loves her rice and beans. Cooking traditional D.R. dishes like fried arepitas de yuca contributed to the fateful day she found herself in a dressing room right after becoming a new mom. She was there to buy a faja—what used to be called a girdle, but we now call body wear, gracias a Dios.

Bottom line: Naihomy did not like what she saw in the mirror. That day, she swore to herself she would ditch the weight and get fit. And she did! She made one healthy food flip at a time in many of the Latino dishes she was brought up eating. Naihomy went on to lose—and more important—keep off 50 pounds, since 2016.

So, how do we get started on our bottom line, Naihomy?

We want to lose unas cuantas libritas and we don’t mind saying no to fried alcapurrias and flan for a while. But we can’t give up making our favorite family-famous recipes.

We don’t have to break up with Latino food, do we?

Nope, says Naihomy. ”Good news: Yes, you can still eat rice and beans. You can still eat arepitas de yuca. Just make a couple healthy tweaks to your favorite recipes—and you’re good to go.” Tweaks like using whole grains instead of white rice. Cooking with avocado or coconut oil instead of lard. Baking instead of frying. Being mindful of portions for crema and the beef. Stocking up on fruits and vegetables and cutting down on processed foods.

To show us how, Naihomy flipped these 5 recipes to what we call Healthy & Delicioso at Familia Kitchen. They include some of our Mexican, Dominican and Puerto Rican favorites.

Ready to Try 5 Healthy & Delicioso Latino Dishes?

A Mexican Healthy & Delicioso Food Flip!
Naihomy’s Healthy Nachos

Nachos are usually made with high-fat ground beef and mega-rich ingredients like sour cream and cheese. In this Healthy & Delicioso flip, Naihomy subs 99% fat-free ground turkey for the carne. She adds roasted brussels sprouts and loads up on tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and cabbage—all nutritious vegetables. And to make things even more saludable, she calls for using raw apple cider vinegar in the pico de gallo sauce that will go on top of the nachos. Apple cider, she explains, has healing and probiotic properties.

healthy tacos
These nachos replace beef with turkey, ditch high-fat cheese, and go big on the vegetables.

A Mexican Healthy & Delicioso Food Flip!
Naihomy’s Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

”I love chicken enchiladas, but they just didn’t love me back—thanks to their being supersized and loaded with cheese, crema and fatty cuts of meat,” says Naihomy. ”My chicken enchilada makeover recipe opts for shredded lean chicken breast (skin off) and lots of non-starchy vegetables. I used raw apple cider vinegar, a powerful antioxidant, and switched out the corn flour tortillas for almond-flour ones, which are low in carbs and naturally gluten free.”

healthy chicken enchiladas
These flipped healthy chicken enchiladas are filled with non-starchy vegetables and lean shredded white meat.

A Mexican Heathy & Delicioso Food Flip!
Low-Fat Pork & Cabbage Tacos

To make these hearty tacos was to make them nutritious and delicious, Naihomy skipped the beef and used lean cuts of pork, like pork tenderloin. She changed up the toppings that usually come with tacos—the extra cheese and sour cream—and use bigger amounts of superfoods like cabbage to make these veggie-rich. She kept the avocado in to boost our diet with healthy monounsaturated fats. The result is a winning recipe we make regularly on Taco Tuesdays in our Familia Kitchen.

pork tacos healthy
These healthy pork tacos use low-fat pork instead of rich beef and load up on the shredded cabbage.

A Dominican Healthy & Delicioso Food Flip!
Naihomy’s Moro de Guandules—Rice with Pigeon Peas

Naihomy flipped her mother’s family-famous Dominican rice and pigeon peas—called moro and guandules in the D.R. ”I blended tradition with mindful food choices to make sure it was still tasty and better for our health. For this recipe, I replaced the white rice with a whole-grain option: brown rice. I also removed the packaged seasoning in Mami’s recipe and seasoned the moro with fresh vegetables, spices and dried herbs. It still has all of the familiar flavors and rarely does anyone notice anything has changed.”

rice and beans moro con guandules
Naihomy’s moro uses brown rice instead of white. ”Rarely does anyone notice the switch,” she says.

A Mexican Healthy & Delicioso Food Flip!
A Vegan Coquito: Less Sugar, All the Happy

For this Healthy & Delicioso recipe flip, Naihomy chose our all-time favorite festive punch—coquito. Often called the Puerto Rican egg nog, it is rich, creamy, loaded with calories and high-fat ingredients. Could she make it lower in sugar, fats and calories—and still taste delicioso?

Naihomy was excited to give this classic cocktail a Healthy & Delicioso makeover. ”I do enjoy a little coquito,” she says. “It’s the drink that marks the start of the holiday season and family gatherings. Usually any home you visit will have their special version of coquito to offer their guests. I love to have some as dessert!”

Naihomy went into her kitchen and pulled out her blender, determined to find a way to veganize it, keep all the authentic sabores, and lose the dairy, unnecessary additives, and sugar. After a week or two of ingredient tinkering, she sent us this delicious recipe, proud to present her ”lighter, chemical- and additive-free, and fiber-filled began coquito. And yes, it is delicioso. Naihomy nailed it.

healthy vegan coquito
Naihomy flipped the celebrated coquito to vegan. It’s lower in fat, sugar and additives. And 100% delicioso!

Check out more Healthy & Delicioso Flips for Favorite Latino Dishes

Got a question or suggestion?

Please rate this recipe and leave any tips, substitutions, or questions you have!

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *