We eat this in our house all the time - it's one of our favorite dishes because it's so versatile, easy & healthy.
This is one of those recipes that, although it has a lot of elements, it’s easy to not only source the ingredients, but also to put it all together. It’s a fun meal to serve to guests (just increase the quantities of ingredients to cater for the number of people you’ll be feeding) because it makes a very colorful layout, and everyone can layer their own Mexican Pile On according to their individual tastes. Why not even make a party of it? If you’ve got a birthday or special occasion to celebrate, decorate your place brightly, put together a playlist of Mexican party music, and there you have it! Just go easy on the tequila ;)
Mexican food can be very healthy with its fresh produce, fiber, protein and nutritious spices, all in all being low in fat and high in nutrients. You’re doing your heart health a big favor, and Mexican food can even be slimming – especially when you make it yourself and you know exactly what’s going into it. You’ll find essential vitamins and minerals, immune boosting properties, fiber, protein and more in this healthy dinner idea that can keep your whole family happy (even the pickiest of eaters). All of these nutrition perks contribute towards improving your energy levels, keeping your muscles and tissues healthy, strengthening your bones, lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, improving your circulation and relieving congestion, among other health benefits.
Good reads: Struggling to lose weight? What might be happening when cutting calories and exercising is not working
Beans, which are a big feature in Mexican food, lower bad cholesterol, nourish your brain, manage your digestion and may have anti-cancer properties. And when you combine them with rice, they form a complete protein. Black beans are your heart’s friend – with their content of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrients (natural chemicals found in plant based foods, which help prevent disease and keep your body working properly) they decrease your risk of heart disease and support overall heart health.
The crispy sweet potato chips are a good source of vitamins B6, C, D, iron, carotenoids, magnesium and potassium. Because of their makeup, these tasty little morsels may help to reduce your risk of degenerative diseases, maintain youthful skin, build healthy bones, support your thyroid gland, metabolize protein, relieve stress, and balance your blood sugar levels. You can cook these so many ways - here's another way to cook a large batch.
Avocado is another heart health advocate thanks to its folate content, and is also chock full of vitamin E which is good for your body’s overall immunity. The oleic acid in avocado also has anti-cancer properties. Suffice it to say that guacamole is good!
I could go on, because every ingredient in this recipe adds to your health in one way or another, while you’re enjoying a fun, colorful and flavorful meal. Try this once, and I’m pretty sure you’ll go back to it again and again, especially for easy summer eating.
Type: Vegetarian (feel free to add your favorite meat to make it omnivore)
Serves: 2 (you can also easily scale this for a large group)
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup cooked black beans (try cooking your own to save money & minimize sodium content)
1 cup fresh portobello mushrooms
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 green onion spring, diced
1/4 cup cheese, grated
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices using a mandolin
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1 lime, juice only
1 small red onion, diced
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 small jalapeño, diced
Pinch sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 120 C/ 250 F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the sweet potato slices.
- Drizzle with coconut oil, season with salt and red chili flakes, and toss to coat evenly.
- Arrange the slices into a single layer and bake for 2 hours, until crispy.
- Remove and set aside to cool.
- Add the avocado into a medium bowl, mash it with a fork, add lime juice and red onion, season with garlic and salt, and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil into a cast-iron skillet and add the onion.
- Cook until translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add the peppers and mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.
- Assemble the Mexican plate – add layers of cooked rice, black beans and cooked vegetables, top with cheese, diced green onion, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño.
- Serve it with guacamole and sweet potato chips.