Right about now, everyone is looking at their Mexican food recipes in anticipation of the coming celebration of Cinco de Mayo (5th of May for those who don’t know). Originally a celebration of the Mexican-Americans in the west to celebrate freedom and democracy during the Civil War, the Mexican state of Puebla now celebrates the same day commemorating the Battle of Puebla. However, there are other parts of the world where it is also celebrated because all you need is a small excuse to have a great party, right?
And really, you need no excuse in order to enjoy the great flavors of Mexican and Spanish food. So here are my offerings for Cinco de Mayo, but feel free to enjoy them any time you have a craving for something with a bit of bite or a sweet that’s a little out of the ordinary.
If these don’t appeal, here are some more great recipes on my site:
Pollo Pequitos – Game Day Tostados – Cornmeal Pancakes and Eggs – Spicy Breakfast Eggs – Eggs with Asparagus – Green Chile Turkey Enchilada Casserole – Spaghetti Squash Tamale Pie – Mexican Style Asparagus Salad – Enchiladas with Chicken and Butternet Squash – Chicken Chile Rellano Casserole – Tasty Pork Carnitas – Tex-Mex Cauli-Rice – Orange Almond Cake
Red Chile Beef Enchiladas
1 pound Ground Beef
10 oz. Enchilada sauce (about 3 net carbs per 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 taco size Low Carb FlourTortillas (3 Net carbs each)
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup canned Green Chili Peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon Red Chile Powder
1 cup Zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
In a skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until onion is just tender. Remove to a bowl. Add ground beef and cook, breaking into small pieces, until it is lightly browned. Drain any liquid off. Add 1/8 cup enchilada sauce and stir to mix. Add onions back to the pan and add green chiles.
To make as a casserole:
Assemble the layers in a deep 9 inch round casserole dish beginning with 1/8 cup of enchilada sauce. Place a tortilla on top, then spread another 1/4 cup of sauce on top, then 1/3 of the meat mixture over the top of that. Arrange zucchini slices in a circle then top with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Place another tortilla on top of that, then top with 1/4 cup sauce, then meat mixture, remaining zucchini slices distributed evenly around the outer circle and top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Place another tortilla on top and repeat with 1/4 cup sauce, the remaining meat and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with tortilla, spread remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle cheese over it.
To make as individual enchiladas, as pictured:
Warm a low carb flour tortilla and place on a plate. Spread two tablespoons of red enchilada sauce over the tortilla. Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture on top, 1/4 of the zuchinni slices on top of that and sprinkle a tablespoon of cheddar cheese on top. Roll the tortilla into a flute and placed into a lightly sprayed baking pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining three tortillas. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top with the rest of the cheese.
Bake in 350 degree (F) oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Cut into six slices. Top each serving with a fried egg if you would like. Serve with Mexican Style Cauli-Rice as a side dish or a nice green salad.
Nutrition Info: Per enchilada – 4 servings
Calories: 516 Fat: 39.8 g Net Carbs: 8 g Protein: 31.3
When made in a casserole, this can make 6 servings with each servings being:
Calories: 333 Fat: 20.5 g Net Carbs: 7 g Protein: 20.8 g
Light and Refreshing Orange Flan
Flan is a light custard dessert that is very popular in Mexican restaurants. It is also very easy to make. The trickiest part in converting this to low carb is the caramel sauce that is made from burnt sugar. Sugar substitutes don’t really melt the same way and I hesitated to get them too brown. But with the light sugary sauce, this is a delicious orange flan (Flan de Naranjas). It was inspired by a recipe that used orange zest in the custard and I thought the best orange flavor is in the pulp, so this one uses the orange pulp in it.
1/3 cup sugar substitute
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar substitute
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F.)
If using Splenda or Equal, these sugar substitutes don’t melt well, so add 1 tablespoon water to a small sauce pan or skillet with the 1/3 cup of Splenda or Equal. Sugar alcohol will melt without water added. It gets gummy, then melts. Be sure to do this over low heat. Bring the melted sugar sauce to a light golden brown rather than a dark caramel. Remove from heat and stir butter into the sauce.
Divide into five1/2 cup ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish large enough to allow 1 inch of water up the sides. You can also make this as a large flan in a 2 1/2 cup flan dish or casserole dish.
Separate the orange segments in 1/4 of a large orange, remove any membrane and chop the orange into small pieces or process in a food processor to get a nicely chopped pulp. Should make about 1/4 cup of orange bits.
Stir cream, coconut milk, water, eggs, sugar substitute, orange extract and chopped oranges together and measure 1/2 cup into each ramekin. Or pour all of it into a flan mold. If you use a mold, stir to make sure the orange pieces are distributed in the dish.
Carefully, to avoid getting water in the dishes, add warm water to the pan to come up to 1 inch.
Bake for about 1 hour until a thin knife (I use a citrus knife) inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the ramekins or mold from the pan and cover the top with plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to touch the surface of the flan. Chill 3 1/2 to 4 hours before serving.
To un-mold, loosen the edges with a thin bladed knife and lift up the bottom a little. Put the serving plate on top of the ramekin or mold and flip. The flan should drop right out. If it doesn’t, put hot water in a bowl and set the ramekin or mold in it for about 10 seconds and try again to un-mold it.
Spoon any melted caramel over the top of the flan. Serve with dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip on top, if you wish, and top with an orange segment or pieces of orange.
Makes 5 servings
Nutrition Info per serving:
Calories: 196.6 Fat: 10 g Net Carbs: 2.5 g. Protein: 5.6 g