If you’re craving Mexican food, you can satisfy your tastes while still staying on point nutritionally. Massive burritos and platefuls of tacos lean on the indulgence side of the spectrum, but by expanding your horizons, you have plenty of options to walk away satiated and feeling strong about your decision. My recommendation is ordering caldo de camaron.
LA is home to the greatest Mexican food north of Tijuana. You can’t label yourself a connoisseur of Angeleno cuisine unless you can break down a bowl of caldo de camaron. Taco trucks rule, but every now and again it makes sense to venture into a hole in the wall joint and step out of your comfort zone. Traditionally spicy with a tomato base, caldo de camaron is a superior option when attempting to avoid tortillas. You’ll be crushing shrimp, carrots, celery and onions in a ridiculously balanced and flavorful broth made with stewed tomatoes, garlic and chiles. Sea animals and veggies rule.
Shrimp from tufts.edu:
Like most seafood, shrimp is relatively low in calories and high in protein, delivering 12 grams of protein with just 60 calories in three ounces of raw shrimp. A three-ounce serving also contains about 20% of the Daily Value (DV) of phosphorus, more than 15% of the DV of vitamin B12 and small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
Carrots from whfoods.com:
Carrots are perhaps best known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient that was actually named for them: beta-carotene. However, these delicious root vegetables are the source not only of beta-carotene, but also of a wide variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients. The areas of antioxidant benefits, cardiovascular benefits, and anti-cancer benefits are the best-researched areas of health research with respect to dietary intake of carrots.
Celery from organicfacts.com:
There are a wealth of health benefits of celery that many people are not aware of, including the fact that celery is rich in vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, manages pain from arthritis, helps weight loss attempts, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways.
Onions from livescience.com:
Onions are super-healthy,” said Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin. “They are excellent sources of vitamin C, sulphuric compounds, flavonoids and phytochemicals.”
Phytochemicals, or phytonutrients, are naturally occurring compounds in fruits and vegetables that are able to react with the human body to trigger healthy reactions. Flavonoids are responsible for pigments in many fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that they may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Net-net, by choosing this dish and avoiding the tortillas, you sidestep a generally processed food and stick to our basics; animal flesh, veggies and spices. You walk away with an incredible amount of vitamins, antioxidants, protein and other nutrients to keep you at optimal levels of health. You’ll also venture away from your norm, a perpetually encouraged activity around here.