Mexican Light: Exciting, Healthy Recipes from the Border and Beyond

Overview

Cilantro and chiles, mole and salsa, succulent sweet shrimp and red snapper, zesty tacos, nachos, and quesadillas—no cuisine in the world is more fun than that of Mexico. In Mexican Light, first published in hardcover in 1996, Martha Rose Shulman takes the fat out of America's favorite good-time food, creating mouthwatering and healthy adaptations of Mexican classics. Mexican Light lets you eat all the irresistible foods from south of the border without any of the guilt.

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Overview

Cilantro and chiles, mole and salsa, succulent sweet shrimp and red snapper, zesty tacos, nachos, and quesadillas—no cuisine in the world is more fun than that of Mexico. In Mexican Light, first published in hardcover in 1996, Martha Rose Shulman takes the fat out of America's favorite good-time food, creating mouthwatering and healthy adaptations of Mexican classics. Mexican Light lets you eat all the irresistible foods from south of the border without any of the guilt.

Savor creamy Chipotle Dip; luscious Refried Black Beans with Plantain Pancakes; delicious Soft Tacos with Chicken, Corn, and Avocado; smoky Pan-Cooked Salmon Fillets with Tomatillo Salsa; and homey Green Hominy Stew with Chicken. Desserts include delectable fruits and ices, and traditional Mexican rice pudding and flan, adapted for lower fat content. Even snacks are healthier versions of our favorite indulgences: crisp nachos and toppings, soft tacos, green enchiladas, and fabulous quesadillas with wild mushrooms and smoked jalapenos.

Each recipe is accompanied by a complete nutritional breakdown, including calories, sodium, and fat. Mexican Light captures the essence of one of the world's greatest cuisines in healthful versions so good you'll never miss the fat!  Cilantro and chiles, mole and salsa, succulent sweet shrimp and red snapper, zesty tacos, nachos, and quesadillas—no cuisine in the world is more fun than that of Mexico.

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Editorial Reviews

Marion Nestle
Martha Rose Shulman proves beyond a doubt that the best food for us is the best food on earth. She has defined for all time the true meaning of the words light, healthy, and delicious.
Health
More than anyone in her field, Shulman has succeeded in pleasing not only the fussiest food lovers but the most solemn medical experts.
Newsweek
This is smart, sophisticated cooking.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rife with lard and cheese, Mexican food (at least as it's often served in the U.S.) has always seemed the least reformable of high-fat cuisines. Shulman (Mediterranean Light) has managed, however, to reconstruct it successfully. With its focus mainly on the food of border towns and from the southern states of Oaxaca and Veracruz, this is not a comprehensive Mexican cookbook, but Shulman has a knack for spotting fresh foods and unique combinations. The chapter on salsas features such variations as Cooked Tomato and Black Bean Salsa and Green Tomatillo Mole with pumpkin seeds and ground toasted corn tortilla that are surely good enough to eat with a spoon. Each recipe includes nutritional information, as well as helpful tips for advance preparation and quick alternatives when appropriate (usually replacing dried beans with canned). There are some clever low-fat alternative methods such as cooking lard-free Refried Beans in a broth reduction and crisping tortilla chips in the microwave rather than frying them. The latter appear often, and the author, or her editor, courteously repeats the instructions in small-type footnotes rather than constantly sending the reader back to an index. An extensive list of suggested menus is offered in a final chapter. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Shulman is the author of Provenal Light (LJ 3/15/94) and Mediterranean Light (LJ 4/15/89), both of which she wrote while living in France. But long before French cooking, Mexican food was her passion (she lived just across the border from Mexico for more than a decade and studied with many Mexican home cooks and chefs), and now she's returned to it. Although she doesn't claim that all these recipes are authentic, Shulman has a gift for lightening her favorite cuisines while staying true to their origins. She starts with an excellent technique section, followed by dozens of recipes, from drinks and salsas to beans and rice to tortilla dishes to desserts. The recipe notes are informative and readable, the instructions are clear, and the recipes delicious. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688174668
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/5/2000
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Scrambled Egg and Green Chile Quesadillas (or Soft Tacos)

Makes 8 quesadillas, serving 4 as a light main dish

I love the contrast of the hot chile—and there is plenty of it—against the smooth, comforting scrambled egg here. This filling or topping is easily thrown together. You can use it as a topping for soft tacos as well as for quesadillas.

2 teaspoons canola oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
6large eggs, or 3 whole eggs and 5 egg whites, beaten salt to taste
4 medium poblano chiles, roasted and cut into thin slices about 1 inch long
8corn tortillas
any green or red salsa for serving

To roast chiles: Roast the chile either directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning often until uniformly charred. When the chile is blackened on all sides, transfer to a plastic bag or bowl, seal or cover, and cool. Remove the charred skin, rinse, and pat dry. Remove the seeds and veins (wear rubber gloves for hot chiles).

Heat the oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat together the eggs and salt. Stir in the beaten eggs and the sliced chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, until just about set. Taste and adjust salt and continue to scramble until firm. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

For quesadillas: Heat the tortillas one at a time, turning in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until flexible. Top with 2 tablespoons of the filling and fold over. Fill all of the tortillas in this way, then heat through in a skillet or microwave. If using the skillet, heat, turning the tortilla several times, for 3 to 5minutes, until the tortilla begins to brown in spots. If using the microwave, wrap 4 tortillas in microwave-safe plastic wrap, a dampened towel, or wax paper and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave, until flexible. Spread 2 tablespoons of the filling over each tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge, and fold the tortilla over. Place on a plate or plates and cover with plastic or wax paper. Repeat with the next 4 tortillas. Heat through in the microwave for 1 minute, uncover, and serve hot, passing salsa to spoon over the top.

For soft tacos: Top hot corn tortillas with the egg mixture, fold over, and serve with salsa.

Advance Preparation: The filling will hold for several hours, in or out of the refrigerator. The roasted peppers will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Per Portion (Whole Eggs)

Calories:272
Protein: 14 g
Fat: 11 g
Carbohydrate: 31 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Fiber: 2 g
Cholesterol: 319 mg
Sodium: 180 mg

Per Portion (Eggs And Egg Whites)

Calories: 237
Protein: 13 g
Fat: 7 g
Carbohydrate: 31 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Fiber: 2 g
Cholesterol: 159 mg
Sodium: 201 mg


Grilled Tuna with Tomato and Corn Salsa

Makes 6 servings

Grilled rare tuna is a perfect match for the salsa. Since precut tuna steaks are always larger than 4 or 5 ounces, you will have to ask your fishmonger to cut the slices into 4- or 5-ounce pieces. They may look small, but remember how thick they are. You can use a grill pan for cooking the steaks on top of the stove. Swordfish also works well here.

2 pounds (8 medium or 4 large) tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small red onion, minced and rinsed
2 to 3 jalapeno or serrano chiles to taste, seeded for a milder salsa and minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or more to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or lime juice, optional
1 ear white corn, steamed for 4 minutes and kernels removed
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
64- to 5-ounce tuna or swordfish steaks, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix together the tomatoes, red onion, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, and corn. Add salt and pepper. If you're not serving within the hour, refrigerate, but remove the salsa from the refrigerator at least a half hour before serving so that it isn't too cold.

Rinse the tuna steaks and pat dry. Salt and pepper lightly and brush with olive oil.

Prepare your grill or heat a nonstick grill pan over high heat. Grill the tuna steaks for 3 minutes on each side. The fish should remain pink in the middle. Transfer to a serving platter or plates and serve with the salsa.

Note: When corn is not in season, make the tomato salsa without it and pep up the tomatoes with the vinegar or lime juice. Advance Preparation: The salsa will hold for several hours in the refrigerator.

Per Portion

Calories: 253
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 48 mg
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrate: 11 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 67 mg

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2002

    Delicious

    The recipes are close to authentic. They are delicious. This is now my favorite cookbook.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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