Room for Dessert?

Hey guys!

I’m going to be working at a health fair next week and was putting some recipes together to share with people that come by. I put together a kid-friendly spaghetti and marinara recipe and an easy ratatouille recipe. Then I asked my boss what other kinds of recipes she thought I should do. She said everyone always has smoothie recipes at these types of events but she likes to prowl around and scoop up all of the yummy looking dessert recipes she can find.

And hot damn, she’s not the only one!

I, for one, always have room for dessert.

And dessert isn’t a problem. But what and how much you eat can be. It’s okay to eat high calorie desserts as a special treat, but remember that you need to exert portion control.

Many of us are more likely to eat this kind of dessert when we are with friends or family, which makes sharing an obvious strategy. Most restaurants are usually happy to bring extra plates and forks to the table.

If you make your own dessert, experiment with recipes that use reduced fat ingredients or replace some of the fat with applesauce or prunes.

Another option is to opt for low-calorie desserts like sorbet or fruit.

Here are some desserts that I hope to try soon:

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Bourbon-Glazed Peaches With Yogurt Recipe

Bourbon-Glazed Peaches With Yogurt

Autumn Fruit Compote Recipe

Autumn Fruit Compote

Let’s chat: Do you have any desserts on your must try list?

How to Read the Menu at a Mexican Restaurant


Here are a few of the words you might find on the menu at a Mexican restaurant. Preparation methods vary greatly from one restaurant to another but this should give you a good idea of what you’re going to get. If you need more specific information, check with the restaurant or ask a Registered Dietitian.

Mexican Eats Dictionary

  • Adobo: a seasoning paste, usually containing ground chiles, vinegar, garlic and spices
  • Barbacoa: meat cooked in a sealed, underground pit
  • Borracho: cooked with booze
  • Burrito: various fillings wrapped in a large flour tortilla
  • Asado: grilled or broiled
  • Carnitas: pork simmered in lard until tender and crisp
  • Ceviche: pieces of raw fish marinated in lime juice and mixed with other ingredients
  • Chalupas: elongated crisp tortillas with a ridge around the edge topped with various fillings
  • Charro beans: pinto beans stewed with other ingredients such as onion, garlic, and bacon
  • Chiles rellenos: deep fried chili peppers stuffed with cheese or other fillings
  • Chimichanga: deep fried burrito
  • Chorizo: Mexican style sausage
  • Empanada: pastry turnover stuffed with meat or sweet fillings
  • Enchilada: corn tortilla rolled around fillings, covered in sauce and cheese, and baked
  • Fajitas: thin strips of marinated and grilled meat, peppers, and onions usually served sizzling with tortillas and other fillings to assemble yourself
  • Flan: custard made from cream and eggs
  • Flautas: a large deep fried corn tortilla rolled around various fillings
  • Guacamole: dip made from mashed avocado and mixed with onions, chiles, tomato, lime juice and cilantro
  • Mole: traditional stews which are thickened by their own ingredients including chiles, nuts, fruit, and seeds
  • Nachos: toasted tortilla chips topped with melted cheese and a variety of toppings
  • Picadillo: filling made of ground meat
  • Pico de gallo:  uncooked salsa made with diced tomato, onion, and fresh chilies
  • Queso: cheese
  • Quesadilla: tortillas that are folded over cheese and other fillings and cooked on a griddle until the cheese is melted and the tortilla begins to become crisp
  • Refried beans: cooked pinto or black-eyed beans that have been mashed and fried
  • Taco: small crispy or soft tortilla, folded and stuffed with various fillings
  • Tamales: corn tortilla dough and filling wrapped in a fresh corn husk and steamed
  • Taquitos: a small deep fried corn tortilla rolled around various fillings
  • Torta: a Mexican style sandwich usually made by removing most of the crumbs from both sides of a split bun and placing various fillings inside

Here is the printable: Mexican Eats Dictionary


How to Find Healthy Options on the Menu at a Mexican Restaurant

With Cinco de Mayo coming up and Mexican restaurants an ever-growing part of the Austin landscape, I’ve recently found myself dreaming of sizzling shrimp fajitas – really anything that sizzles makes me do a happy dance. But the sad reality is that a meal that starts with bottomless chips and salsa can be a little tough on the waistline. With these tips, you’ll know when to pass and when to say si.

Appetizers, Soups, and Salads

Try asking for fresh corn tortillas in place of the fried chips to eat with salsa. Queso and sour cream are delicious but high calorie dipping options so stick to salsa or pico de gallo and save the higher calorie dips for special occasions. About 85% of avocado is fat but much of it is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat so go for the guacamole but keep your portions small. If you decide on a taco salad, ask for it to be served on a plate instead of in a taco bowl.


Avoid high fat, deep-fried dishes such as nachos, chimichangas, chalupas, taquitos, quesadillas, crunchy tacos, and chile relleno. Instead, why not try burritos, soft tacos, tamales, flautas, or my favorite, fajitas. Beans, grilled fish, veggies, or chicken tend to be healthier fillings than cheese, pork, or beef. Ask for whole-wheat or corn tortillas as they both provide more fiber than flour tortillas and the corn tortillas are usually prepared without added fat.


Mexican meals commonly come with a side of rice and beans. Try asking for brown rice for an extra punch of fiber. Black beans are an excellent choice high in fiber and protein and low in fat. Refried beans tend to be high in unhealthy fats and calories because they are prepared with lard, pork, or Mexican cheeses. Pinto beans offer a flavorful but healthy compromise. You may also be able to substitute a side salad or grilled vegetables for the rice and beans.

Desserts and Drinks

Fried ice cream, flan, and most Mexican desserts tend to be pretty high in added sugar, fat, and calories so save dessert for a special occasion or go for fresh fruit. Margaritas contain a lot of sugar which really bumps up the calorie content. If you decide on a margarita, stick to just one and ask for no salt or half salt. Mexican beers can be fun too so why not try a Dos  Equis or Carona. Of course your best bet is to stick with water, maybe with a splash of lime.

My Favorites in Austin

  • The ceviche taco from Taco Deli – only available on the weekend
  • Portobello fajitas from Trudy’s – share with a friend or save half for the next day
  • What’s your favorite?

Still confused about all of the foreign words on the menu? Well, you are in luck! Check back for the Mexican Eats Dictionary I’ll be posting soon.

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