If you’re looking for something new this Christmas holiday, plan a feisty Mexican feast to spoil your loved ones with something tasty and spicy. Homemade Mexican food is not only satisfying but it uses some of the healthiest ingredients around like pomegranate, hot chilies, nuts and seeds.
Pomegranate is a top superfood since it contains very high levels of several polyphenols and terpenoids, or natural plant chemicals that protect the plant (and us) from cell damage. Some studies show that these compounds can neutralize substances that trigger a wide variety of cancers. Other studies have shown that they improve heart health by increasing circulation and keeping plaque in the arteries moving. The best and easiest ways to enjoy pomegranates? Shop for the seeds or pomegranate arils in the produce isle of your local grocer. I love the ease of these these Bloom Fresh pomegranate arils that are already peeled and picked for you, ready to serve.
Chilies are one of my favorite superfoods because they add a blast of flavor while they deliver a wide range of healing compounds from vitamins to antioxidants and more. Chili peppers are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E. They are rich in folate and potassium, low in sodium, and are low in carbohydrates, and happen to be high in minerals. Because they contain capsaicin, they have recently been studied for their potential to fight fat, but already are used to stimulate circulation in arthritis medications.
Nuts and Seeds
Looking for tasty weight loss foods that fill you up while delivering healing minerals for your heart? Nuts and seeds are the ticket! It might seem counterintuitive, but high fat nuts and seeds are one of the best weight loss food since they fill you up with healthy fats that help you to feel full longer (so you don’t fill up on empty calories), while they detox with antioxidants and minerals.
Here’s why: Getting the right amount (between 30-50 grams) good quality fats can trigger “leptin”, the hormone that tells your brain that you’re full — so you eat less throughout the day. But the key here is to eat whole foods that contain the “good quality fats” (like mono- and polyunsaturated ones), along with other important nutritients that packaged foods lack.
Christmas Eve Menu
- Healthy Jalapeño Poppers
- Refried Beans with Bacon
- Classic Guacamole
- Stuffed Green Chilis with Pomegranate Walnut Salsa (recipe below)
Stuffed Green Chilis with Pomegranate Walnut Salsa
Tired of the same old dinner time recipes? Then try these warm lightly batter-fried chilis served with cool crisp ruby red pomegranate arils, ready right from your fridge. Poblano chilies are a dark green Mexican chili that you can find in most grocery stores, but if they are not available, you can easily use green bell or red bell peppers.
1 cup pomegranate arils
2 tablespoons toasted walnuts chopped
½ cup chopped, cilantro,
¼ red onion, chopped
2 limes, juiced
4 green bell peppers or poblano chilies
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
Prepare the salsa. Place the pomegranate arils, walnuts, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Stir well and set aside.
Place the chilies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them under the broiler and cook 3 to 4 minutes, turning continuously until the skins start to scorch and they soften. Transfer the chilis or green peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Rest 5 minutes to allow the chilis to cool slightly and “steam” their skins off. Peel the scorched skins off and discards. Cut the tops of the chilis off and discard the seeds, while keeping the chili intact. Fill each chili with ¼ cup of the cheese.
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until firm and fluffy about 1 minute. Stir in the yolks. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip the stuffed chili in the egg mixture and add to the skillet. Use a spatula to coat the tops of the chilis with the remaining egg batter before turning them. Cook 2 to 3 minutes turning once or twice until all sides of the coated chilies are brown. Transfer each chili to a place and top with salsa.
(Serving 1 stuffed chili with salsas) 290 calories, 13 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 11 g sugars, 18 g fat (5 g saturated), 85 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 407 mg sodium