Over the Salt

Mindful choices for healthy and low sodium cooking

Healthy Mexican burritos

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My sweetie was telling me how he’s been reading restaurant sites to find the nutrition information. He was looking for Mexican food, something that he’s not been able to eat lately, due to the high salt. Can you hear the quest music in the background? I could. I was on a mission for the weekend to find low salt alternatives so we could make our own Mexican food.

making a skinny burrito - photos by Ria Loader

Skinny burrito – photos and collage by Ria Loader


The key elements were soft tortillas, fajita mix – peppers and onions, salsa with cilantro, refried black beans with low everything (fat, salt, additives), and fresh avacado. How hard could it be? I found most of the ingredients at Central Market, a great local place near our house. They make their own tortillas there, and I found an alternate that was pre-packaged. Some salt (about 180 per tortilla), but acceptable. Father’s day was coming up, so their kitchen had made fresh salsa. Don’t worry, we also came up with a no salt recipe. The beans came from a can, low fat, and only 300mg for a half-cup of beans. As we’d be using much less than that for a serving – more like 2 tablespoons, we’re looking at 100mg there. The whole meal came to 400mg of salt, well within the once-a-day-with-salt-meal-allowance. I will write a separate post on how much is too much salt. For now, let’s go with the daily amount of up to 1500-2000mg (or less than a teaspoon) of salt.

Tortillas
Your local market may have a low-salt variety.
Most have up to 200mg
Think about using corn ones if you are gluten sensitive

Fajita Mix
Sliced red onions
Sliced mixed red, yellow, green peppers
Fry in a skillet with olive oil until cooked and a little blackened

Black Beans
Easy to heat in a microwave or small saucepan
No additions unless you like extra spice

Salsa
Fresh tomatoes (1 cup chopped)
Fine chop fresh sweet onions (1 cup)
Cilantro to taste
Variation: Add mango, peaches or pineapple for some zing

Avacado or Guacamole
Use fresh slices of avacado (half an avacado per burrito)
Variation: Your favorite guacamole recipe
(we’ll have one later)

Making the skinny burrito
Cook the beans and the fajita mix, set aside
Heat the tortillas in a skillet, or microwave (dampen paper towel over the plate, heat for 10 seconds)
Assemble the contents in the center of the tortilla
Add shredded cheese
Roll the tortilla up and enjoy!

Variations
You can add rice, chicken, cooked meat, shrimp to the mix to make it a regular burrito

This experiment tasted amazing! I made up an extra one, put it in a gallon baggy, and nuked it for 30 seconds at work the next day. It was just as delicious a day later, and much more convenient than the mystery food at the cafeteria. Let me know if you try it out, and what you think.

Author: Ria Loader

Artist, designer, web developer and writer. I work as a Senior Interaction Designer at Microsoft. My passionate hobbies include illustration, cooking, making and writing. I also like to tell stories about my fictional friends - my latest urban fantasy includes Library of Time and Child of Time in both kindle and paperback. I love the alchemy of cooking and the art of making.

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