Category Archives: Mexican/Spanish Recipes

Green Chili Riced Turnips side dish

Image: Green chili riced turnips

Several years ago, I adapted my grandmother’s recipe for Spanish rice to a cauliflower version. It tastes great, and I often use it as a rice replacement. However, turnips can also be riced, and they have wonderful flavor in a risotto, so I decided to try a green chili rice using turnips. This came out very well although the color may not be the prettiest. This came from the ranchero beans I added to it. Next time, I might try black beans that don’t have any sauce with them.

For this version, I added the beans, chopped up baby corn, and onions. I used a small can of Herdez Green Chili Salsa, but you can use any green chile salsa or green enchilada sauce

These also reheat well, work as a filling for a burrito, and go well with eggs. Give them a try; you might love them.  Next up, I think I’ll try them with tomatoes in the regular Spanish rice.

Green Chili Riced Turnips

2 medium Turnips (about 2 cups)
1 4 oz. can of  Green Chili Sauce or Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
1/2 Onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/2 cup of black beans, drained
1/3 cup of Baby Corn, drained & chopped
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil

Peel turnips, cut into pieces, and process in food processor until they are the size of rice grains.

In a pan, add 1/3 tablespoon olive oil, chopped onions and 1/2 teaspoon garlic. Sauté until onion and garlic are fragrant. Add the riced turnips and stir together.

Add 1/2 cup hot water with bullion mixed in to the turnips mixture. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the taco seasoning, black beans, and green chiles. Stir in can of green chile sauce.

Cook until thoroughly heated, turnips are tender, and the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce.

Makes six 1/2 cup servings.

Nutrition for Riced Turnips

If you try this recipe, post your thoughts on this page. I’d like to hear from you.

Cinco de Mayo book plug and a new taco recipe

Image: Pork taco with avocado crema

For those who like a reason to celebrate, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. That’s May 5th for anyone who doesn’t read enough Spanish to know. It’s a great celebration day for Mexico, but also just a good reason to raise a margarita in their honor and indulge in Mexican food. Of course, if you’re trying to stick to your low carb lifestyle, this presents some challenges.

One of our Reno Mexican restaurants has a sugar-free orange margarita made with Crystal Light that is not bad at all. If you’re making them at home, you can buy Skinny Syrup sugar-free margarita mixes in syrup form from Amazon. They also have a mojita mix if you prefer that flavor. Or you can find recipes on line for sugar free to make at home, like this one for a Skinny Margarita.

But moving along to the food, it is difficult to eat out and not indulge with more carbs than you want in your meal. Some dishes, like fajitas are not bad in carbs, but the tortillas, beans, and rice will really slam you, so best to avoid going out unless you can say no to the side dishes and just make something at home.

Here’s a plug for my low carb LC15 cookbooklet, Mexican Food for a Low Carb Lifestyle. This booklet has over 15 recipes for tried and true Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes that will satisfy your need for spice. At only 99-cents, this will give you main courses and side dishes with easy to follow instructions. I didn’t go into the desserts but I do have a recipe for flan on this website .

As a reminder, if you’re looking for low carb flour tortillas, most stores carry La Tortilla Factory or Mission flour tortillas in the low carb version. These vary from 3 net carbs to 6 net carbs per tortilla, so be sure to check the package for the carb count. For corn tortillas, I haven’t found a low carb offering, but I do have this recipe that is similar, golden flax meal tortillas.

While a few of my recipes from the book are on this website, most of them are exclusive to the booklet. If you prefer a book you can take to the kitchen and scribble notes in, the booklet is included in the 3-in-1 paperback book with Breakfast Choices and Magic Muffins for just $4.99. You can buy it here.

image: Open pork taco with apricots

Grilled Pork and Apricot Tacos with Avocado Crema

Now, for a new recipe that I tried last week, here’s a very tasty pork taco with an apricot salsa. This can also be made with peaches. I settled on apricot because I had some in my freezer and I couldn’t find a ripe peach at the grocery store. Using fresh is better than a frozen fruit that doesn’t look quite as attractive, but it tasted very good.

1 large  (8 oz) boneless Pork Loin Chop, about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 tsp. Chipotle Powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Oregano
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp. Coriander
1/8 tsp. Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
1 Avocado, diced
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Peach or 2 Apricots, chopped
1/2 Green Onion, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lime, divided
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly chopped Cilantro
1/2 tsp. Sugar Substitute
4 Low-carb Flour Tortillas
Cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, add chopped apricots or peaches, shallots, cilantro, sugar substitute, 1/2 the lime juice, and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Mix together well and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Cover and chill until ready to use.

In a big bowl, add chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, coriander, and allspice and salt and pepper. Mix all together, then add the pork and cover it the seasonings on both sides. Let sit while you mix the avocado crema.

Using your food processor, add the chopped avocado, sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and the rest of the lime juice. Blend until it is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides with a silicone spatula if necessary. Set aside.

Grill pork chop on an outdoor grill or in your grill pan for three minutes. Turn to grill the back side for another two to three minutes until the pork is done. Let rest a few minutes, then slice thinly.

Heat the tortillas on the grill or in the grill pan until they are hot. You can also do this over an open gas flame allowing them to blister or bubble, then flipping to the other side. Top each tortilla with 1/4 of the avocado crema, then the pork, and top with the salsa.Garnish with cilantro if you wish.

Makes 4 tacos.

My picture at the top shows the taco with a scoop of riced turnips with green chile, corn, and beans. I’ll share that recipe next week.

Low Carb, for real, tortillas

Photo: flax tortillas with filling

Because this recipe for flax meal tortilla wraps seems so incredibly simple, I had to try it. As I’ve been experimenting with various ways to make a suitable substitute for a corn tortilla, which is too high in carbohydrates, I hadn’t found one that worked well for me until now.

This does not taste exactly like a corn tortilla, but it is close enough to satisfy my taste buds. It looks like one, acts like one, and even works in my tortilla press although it did want to stick to the waxed paper. If you want to push it a little more, you could add one tablespoon of corn meal in place of one tablespoon flax meal. This would add 7.7 carbs to the recipe or 1.9 carbs per tortilla.

As of yet, I haven’t tried to fry it after cooking it, but I will get to that soon and update this post on how well this works.

The recipe is a keto one. I found it at ketovale.com. I made an adjustment to suit my seasoning tastes, but it is basically the same.

photo: flat flax tortilla

Flax Meal Tortillas

1 cup golden Flaxseed Meal
1/4 cup boiling Water
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice
1/2 tsp salt

In a bowl, mix flax seed meal, salt, and the spices. Add the boiling water and stir until the flax pulls together into a ball. If it is too dry, add another tablespoon of boiling water. Make sure all the flax is mixed in. It will absorb the water. Form into a ball and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

If you have a tortilla press, place wax paper or parchment paper, sprayed with cooking spray, on the bottom of the press. Divide the dough into four equal-sized balls. Place one in the middle of the tortilla press, place another sheet of waxed paper or oiled parchment over the top of the dough, Lower the press lid and press it down until the dough is flattened.

Heat a flat pan or griddle to medium heat, spray with cooking oil and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. The tortilla should be lightly browned.

If you don’t have a tortilla press or want to make a larger tortilla, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out on a bread board until it is thin. Use a plate to cut the dough to the desired size. Re-roll any excess and repeat until all the dough is gone.

Or you can break the dough into balls, and roll each ball out to the size you want, cut around the plate, and set the excess aside. This way, you aren’t working the dough too much.

Use immediately or wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Makes four 6 to 7-inch tortillas

Nutrition Information per tortilla:
Calories: 122 Fat: 9.0 g Net Carbs: 0.5 g Protein: 6.1 g

Call it a deconstructed Burrito

Photo: Burrito BowlThis recipe came in a Yummly email a couple of weeks ago, and it sounded wonderful and simple to make. Now that it’s getting warmer, cool and easy-to-make salads are great to have. This one combines all the flavors of a chicken burrito minus the tortilla. Best part, if you buy a precooked chicken, you don’t have any real cooking to do to make dinner. While you’re at it, buy a container of Pico de Gallo, which saves you from making it from scratch.

The ingredients include black beans (or red beans) and baby corn. I use Dynasty Baby Corn and cut it into little rounds. Both of these are used sparingly. If you’re in the induction phase of the low carb diet or can’t eat beans or corn in the stage you’re in, then omit them. The recipe is great without them. In fact, the photo doesn’t have either of ingredient in it.

You’ll need to heat the black beans and corn in a little chicken broth with the seasonings to make a light dressing, but you can do this in the microwave in no time. No microwave? Use a small pan and cook until it just comes to a boil.

So pleasant to take your burrito bowl, along with a tall glass of iced tea, to the patio on a balmy summer’s evening.

Low Carb Burrito Bowl

1/4 cup Black Beans (optional)
1/4 cup chopped Baby Corn (optional)
2 teaspoons Chicken Broth
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, ground
Pinch of Salt to taste
2 cups Cabbage, shredded
6 to 8 ounces precooked grilled chicken breast, cubed or sliced
4 tablespoons Sour Cream
2 tablespoons fresh Pico de Gallo
Fresh Cilantro or Parsley for garnish
1/3 cup crumbled Queso Fresco Mexican Cheese

Cooking the cabbage for this is optional. I’ve tried it both ways and it is good either way. The uncooked adds a little crunch to it.

In a small bowl, add the chicken broth, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, baby corn, and black beans (if you are using them). Microwave for 45 seconds.

Take two bowls and fill each one with the ingredients in this order. On the bottom of each bowl, put 1 cup shredded cabbage and spread to cover the bottom. Spoon the beans and sauce over the top of the cabbage in each bowl. Layer the chicken over the top, then spread sour cream over it. Top with Pico de Gallo and crumble the Queso Fresco over the top. Add cilantro or parsley for garnish.

Makes two delicious servings.

Nutrition Information per serving- fully loaded:
Calories: 337 Fat: 14.4 Net Carbs: 7.8 g Protein: 36.0 g

Nutrition Information per serving-without optional:
Calories: 298.6 Fat: 14.3 g Net Carbs: 4.1 g Protein: 34.1 g

Tip: This works equally as well with grilled shrimp replacing the chicken.

Dessert Nachos Top Off a Spicy Meal

Photo: Cocoa Cream Cheese Nachos

While looking for a different Mexican-style dessert to end up a tasty Cinco de Mayo meal, I ran across a recipe for dessert nachos. It sounded intriguing, but I had to add my own spin on it. First, I made the tortillas and added a little sweetener and cinnamon to the dough. Then I made a cocoa cream cheese filling to add an extra layer of goodness to it and added chocolate chips. Yum. Bottom line? By the time I finished, it was my recipe. Very little remains of the original.

For the record, I used Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Flour, which has a slightly sweet taste. I don’t think this would work well with almond flour or coconut flour as they don’t hold together well enough to cook over a griddle. However, you could make almond flour pancakes and do pretty much the same thing.  I’ll put the recipe after the Nacho recipe if you want to try it.  I use Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup and Caramel Syrup, which are both 0 calories and 0 carbs. If you can find something else that comes close, then feel free to use it. You can also melt a sugar-free chocolate bar and sugar-free caramel candies to get the syrups. They will add about 1 net carb to the serving. (In fact, I found I was out of chocolate syrup and used chocolate chips melted in the microwave for my chocolate blobs of topping. I should have used a little coconut oil to thin them.)

Cocoa Cream Cheese Nachos

For the Tortillas:
1/2 cup Low Carb Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute
1/2 tablespoon ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Shortening or Lard
1/2 tablespoon or more Water

For the filling:
2 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 tablespoon Sugar Substitute
1/2 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 tablespoon Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Chocolate Chips
1 tablespoon chopped Pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Chocolate Syrup
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Caramel Syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Allspice
1/2 tablespoon granulated Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoon Butter, melted

For the Tortillas:
In a bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, and sugar together. Cut in the shortening and mix until crumbs form.  Add the water and mix until all the flour is absorbed. If 1/2 tablespoon isn’t enough, add a little more until you have a pliable dough.

Separate the dough into two balls. Roll each into a circle about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle until hot. Brush with a little oil, then cook the tortillas, one at a time. The tortilla takes about two minutes for the first side and will lighten as the dough dries out. flip and cook about another minute until done. This time varies with the thickness of the tortilla.

Photo: almond flour pancakes and cinnamon tortillas
Cinnamon tortillas on the left and almond flour pancakes on the right.

For the topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Mix the Cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon sugar substitute, and allspice together.

Spread butter over the tortillas on both sides, then sprinkle half the seasonings onto each tortilla and cut them into quarters. Place on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes.

While the tortillas are cooking, prepare the topping. Mix cream cheese, cocoa powder, sugar substitute, and heavy cream together until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and spread evenly over each tortilla chip. Top with a little whipped cream and drizzle caramel and chocolate sauce over the tops.

Makes two servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories:395 Fat:32.2 g Net Carbs:5.0 g Protein: 15.7 g

To make Cinnamon Almond Flour Pancakes:
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Ricotta Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Oil

In a bowl, add the egg, oil, cinnamon and sugar and beat together. Stir in the ricotta cheese until blended. Add the baking powder and almond flour and sit until mixed. Add enough water to make a pourable batter.

Heat skillet or griddle until it is hot and a drop of water skitters across it. Reduce heat to medium high, then spoon in enough batter to make a 5 or 6 inch thin pancake–about half the batter. Cook the pancake until bubbles form and it begins to look dry, then flip and cook the other side. Set aside and cook the second pancake. Let them cool for a few minutes, then cut into quarters to make four wedges.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Mix the Cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon sugar substitute, and allspice together.

Spread butter over the tortillas on both sides, then sprinkle half the seasonings onto each tortilla and cut them into quarters. Place on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes.

While the tortillas are cooking, prepare the topping. Mix cream cheese, cocoa powder, sugar substitute, and heavy cream together until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate chips and spread evenly over each tortilla wedge. Top with a little whipped cream and drizzle caramel and chocolate sauce over the tops.

Makes two servings.

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories:395 Fat:32.2 g Net Carbs:5.0 g Protein: 15.7 g

To make Almond Flour Pancakes: