8 New Healthy & Delicioso Latino Dish Makeovers

tacos healthy

By Kim Caviness, Founder and Editor in Chief, Familia Kitchen

Familia Kitchen is honored to partner with HealthCentral to create a special Latinx menu showcasingw 8 of our new Healthy & Delicioso recipes for traditional Latino dishes. These healthy food makeovers are authentic, sabrosos and good for you, especially if you are looking for diabetes-friendly.

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Did your abuela or primo or tio or best amiga get a talk from their doctor about eating healthy to better manage or prevent their risk of type 2 diabetes? Yes? Same here. And it’s not a huge surprise—because we Latinos are at higher risk (17%) of having diabetes and diabetes complications than non-Hispanic whites (8%), according to the CDC. And, adds Diabetes.org, Latinos also are more likely to be overweight, which is connected to higher rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

But that doesn’t mean we have to give up food felicidad and say adiós para siempre to our favorite dishes, like arroz con pollo, tacos and flan. We just need to give our comidas favoritas Latinas a good-old healthy makeover (like using brown rice or quinoa for arroz blanco) and go low: as in low-fat, low-salt, low-calories.

Not sure how to start? Familia Kitchen is here to help.

With you and your abuela and primo and tio and best amiga on our minds and in our hearts, Familia Kitchen is launching our Healthy & Delicioso recipes section. We’re reimagining our fave authentic, abuela-cooking dishes to make them good for you inside and out. They will still have the traditional sabor we love, but they’ll be saludable, too.

To help get the word out, Familia Kitchen is tremendamente honored to partner with leading health and wellness website HealthCentral. As you’ll see in these 8 Familia Kitchen recipes, our favorite Latinx comidas tradicionales can be nutritious—and delicious.

Stay close. Here at Familia Kitchen, we’ll be publishing new Healthy & Delicioso recipes and food stories on the regular. You’re all invited to join us. If you have a makeover of your favorite Latino family recetas—maybe using brown rice, beans for meat, or olive or coconut oil for lard?—we’d love to see it and publish it for all to see. That way we can help keep our entire Familia Kitchen comunidad well fed, healthy y happy.

8 Healthy & Delicioso Food Flips

To create our eight Health & Delicioso recipes, we turned to one of our favorite Familia Kitchen cocineras, Naihomy Jerez for her famous food flips. Not only is she a great Dominican homecook, Naihomy is a health and food expert who lost almost 50 pounds five years ago—and has kept it off. Naihomy has since devoted herself to her own food and wellness consultancy, Bagels & Brussels. She advises clients—many of them Latinas like herself who love fried yuca, tacos and arroz con pollo—how to flip their favorite foods, keep the flavor, lessen their chances of getting diabetes, and look and feel great.

Listos? Let’s get started. It’s Healthy & Delicioso time at Familia Kitchen.

Step into our cocina, por favor. Read on for Naihomy’s ocho food flips. Gracias, Naihomy.

Food Flip: Appetizers

yuca fritters healthy
Familia Kitchen Healthy & Delicioso Yuca Fritters

Healthy & Delicioso: Arepitas de Yuca or Yuca Fritters
Serves: 24

Fried yuca is delicious—but not the healthiest food choice, especially if you have or are at risk for diabetes. We got you: Naihomy, our food flipper, is on the case. She switches to coconut oil to fry the yuca and whole wheat, instead of white. Naihomy also uses flax seeds and turmeric, which help prevent spikes in sugar and help fight internal inflammation. These yuca fritters taste so good. And they’re good for us, too.

Get the food flip for Arepitas de Yuca or Yuca Fritters recipe and nutritional information.

Nachos healthy
Healthy & Delicioso Loaded Fiesta Nachos

Healthy & Delicioso Fiesta Nachos With All the Works
Serves: 12

Nachos are another fave food on the diabetes no-go list. They have a ton of calories, thanks to the high-fat carne, queso and crema. Naihomy’s flip made them a yes-food again. She ditches the beef and uses 99% fat-free ground turkey. She loads up the toppings with vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cabbage. The veggies’ fiber content can help prevent sugar spikes. And in her pico de gallo, Naihomy uses raw apple cider vinegar, linked to probiotic healthy goodness.

Get the food flip for Nachos With All the Works recipe and nutritional information.

Drinks—!Salud!

margarita healthy
Healthy & Delicioso Lite Margarita

Healthy & Delicioso Lite Margarita
Serves: 1

We love tequila here at Familia Kitchen: sipped by itself or in a margarita like this Easy and Amazing Margarita our favorite tequilera MariCarmen sent us. But Triple Sec and simple sugar aren’t muy diabetes-friendly. So Naihomy flipped it to lower the sugar and make it saludable and sabrosa. Among her tricks are using fresh orange and lime juice with pulp—to make it rich in fiber, which can help prevent sugar spikes.

Get the food flip Lite Margarita recipe and nutritional information.

Mains

arroz con pollo healthy
Healthy & Delicioso Arroz con Pollo

Healthy & Delicioso Arroz con Pollo
Serves: 8 to 10

We could write canciones and poesias about arroz con pollo, that’s how much we love this classic Latin comfort food. Naihomy did her flip thing—and now it’s hearty and healthy. Adios white rice and hola brown rice and quinoa. She also keeps it low salt and ups the veggies to replace the super-salty sofrito and sazón. And she starts with a whole chicken, adding more low-fat white meat to the final plato. ¡Que rico!

Get the food flip Arroz con Pollo recipe and nutritional information.

tacos healthy
Healthy & Delicioso Simple Taco Bar

Healthy & Delicioso Simple Taco Bar
Serves: 40

Tacos are vida to many Latinos and non-negotiable. Naihomy flipped this staple to make it Healthy & Delicioso. She offsets calories from the tortilla by introducing Bibb lettuce to cradle your fave taco fixings and uses low-fat pork instead of high-fat beef. Avocado is a keeper, as are cabbage and pico de gallo.

Get the food flip Simple Taco Bar recipe and nutritional information.

healthy lentil soup
Healthy & Delicioso Vegan Lentil Soup

Healthy & Delicioso Vegan Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is filling, savory and delish. Whether you are vegetarian or doing without carne during Lent, many Latinx families reach for lentejas. Naihomy brings in Latinx flavorings to this plant-based protein wonder rich in fiber. She taps vegetables low on the GI scale and therefore diabetes-friendly, like: kabocha pumpkin, as well as spices like turmeric and cumin, that linked to anti-inflammatory properties. Her flips make double sure this sopa is as good for us as it tastes. 

Get the food flip Vegan Lentil Soup recipe and nutritional information.

Desserts

healthy chocolate cake
Healthy & Delicioso Vegan Chocolate Lover’s Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Healthy & Delicioso Vegan Chocolate Lover’s Healthy Cake with Chocolate Glaze

You’d think chocolate cake would be prohibido—forbidden—to Latinos at risk for diabetes complications, but Naihomy’s flip saves the day for chocolate lovers. She uses monk fruit sweetener, a natural sweetener that has no calories and does not raise blood sugar, instead of brown sugar. And she replaces milk, which has lactose sugar, with almond milk: unsweetened vanilla-flavored. Chocolate cake: si, se puede.

Get the food flip Chocolate Lover’s Healthy Cake recipe and nutritional information.

pumpkin flan
Healthy & Delicioso Pumpkin Flan

Healthy & Delicioso Pumpkin Flan

Flan is one of the favorite and most traditional postres served at Latinx tables, no matter where you come from. But it’s not so good for us and is basically a sugar bomb. For her food flip, Naihomy switches out raw brown sugar for monk fruit sweetener, and dairy for unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk to ditch the sugar from lactose. She adds vegetables by using kabocha squash, naturally low on the GI scale and high in fiber, which may helps manage sugar spikes. 

Get the food flip Pumpkin Flan recipe and nutritional information.

Keep an eye out for muchos más Healthy & Delicioso recipes at Familia Kitchen.

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