Two Mexican-inspired recipes from The Healthy Cook

The recipes in this post were developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at healthycook@cspinet.org.

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The New Wedge Salad

Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

In this salad, the distinctive flavors of Mexican street corn play out against a backdrop of crisp, cold wedges of lettuce. For a no-hot-stuff version, replace the chili with a pinch of coriander or cumin plus ¼ tsp. sweet or smoked paprika.

1 tsp. + 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 Tbs. low-fat sour cream
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 large (or 2 small) romaine hearts, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
¼ tsp. mild chili flakes or chili powder
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
a few sprigs cilantro

  1. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tsp. oil until shimmering. Sauté the corn until browned in spots, 2–3 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool.
  2. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 Tbs. oil with the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, and salt.
  3. Divide the lettuce wedges onto 4 plates. Spoon the dressing over the wedges. Sprinkle with the chili flakes, and top with the corn, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Per serving (2 dressed wedges):

  • Calories: 220
  • Total fat: 17 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 240 mg

Chicken Mole

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

I’ve pared down this mole to ingredients you’re likely to have in your pantry. While that means it’s less complex than traditional Mexican moles, it still packs a ton of flavor.

I like to make tacos, enchiladas, or mole with the meat from a rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken. (Bonus: the carcass makes great stock.) Starting with raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs? A gentle poach will yield tender chicken to shred.

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 tsp. mild chili flakes or chili powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice or ground cloves
2 cloves garlic, smashed
½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes or 1/3 cup canned no-salt-added tomatoes
4 prunes or 2 Tbs. raisins
½ cup water
2 Tbs. + 2 Tbs. salted dry-roasted peanuts
3 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
8 small warm corn tortillas
Optional extras: shredded romaine lettuce and/or cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, lime wedges

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Sauté the onion, stirring often, until it starts to brown, 5–7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cocoa, spices, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, prunes, water, 2 Tbs. peanuts, and soy sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, 15–20 minutes.
  4. Purée with a hand blender into a smooth sauce. (No hand blender? Let cool slightly, carefully transfer to a blender, and blend until smooth.)
  5. Stir the chicken into the sauce and heat through, 1–2 minutes. Chop the remaining 2 Tbs. peanuts and sprinkle on top of the chicken. Serve with the tortillas and any extras.

Per serving (1/3 cup chicken in mole sauce with 2 corn tortillas):

  • Calories: 380
  • Total fat: 16 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 35 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 7 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Sodium: 580 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

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