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Cocina Mexicana Saludable

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Cocina Mexicana Saludable
Velda de la Garza

Get English version here.

Authentic Low-Fat Recipes


This Spanish edition is exactly like its English counterpart ~

~page per page~ 


Velda de la Garza, Registered Dietitian.Nutritionist, knew it could be done. Applying her knowledge to the Hispanic foods she loved cooking, she found a better way to prepare them. "What you eat can be as good as the best medicine", says De la Garza whose extensive experience has included work as a dietitian for  M.D. Anderson Hospital, as a consultant for the Univeristy of Texas Health Science Center, and as the medical nutrition therapist at the cardiovascular specialists clinic in McAllen, TX.

"This Tejana author combines good nutrition and delicious Mexican cuisine, using low-fat ingredients to prepare authentic, sabroso and  healthy traditional recipes."  --Food Editors, Latina Magazine

Follow a healthier lifestyle, by trying more than 160 healthy, authentic and traditional Mexican foods. Recipes have few ingredients, practical preparation times, and moderate to low calories. Each recipe is complete with a full nutrient profile, including diabetic exchanges.

Enjoy recipes such as Pollo con Naranja (Orange Chicken), Bacalao Mejicana (Cod Steaks Mexicana),Salsa Mañana (Morning Sauce), Sopa de Tortillas (Tortilla Soup), Bolillos (Mexican Rolls), Ensalada de Frijol Pinto (Pinto Bean Salad), Masa for Tamales, El Arroz Mas Lindo Mejicano (The Best Mexican Rice), and Pastel de Piña Colada (Pina Colada Pie).

This book brings the rich heritage of Mexican cooking to those interested in preparing healthier Mexican food. Features an in-depth glossary and special mail order section. Separate English and Spanish Editions.

Softcover, 256 pages.

  • Ensalada de Espinacas Mexicana


    This salad is nutrient dense; rich in Vitamins A & K,  calcium, folate, manganese and magnesium. What a delicious way to feed your body and enjoy a tasty, colorful salad ~ a win-win!

    Makes: 6 servings

    6        ounces nonfat plain yogurt
    1/3     cup cilantro, stems removed
    1        clove garlic
    1        Serrano chile
    1/4     teaspoon salt  (optional)

    1       10-ounce package fresh spinach, washed and patted dry
    4        green onions, chopped
    1/2     small jicama, peeled and cut into thin slices
    12      cherry tomatoes, halved

    Add yogurt, cilantro, garlic, chile and salt to blender or food processor.  Blend for 45-60 seconds.  Tear spinach into bite-sized pieces and add to other vegetables in a large bowl.  Toss gently.  Serve with cilantro yogurt dressing on the side.

    Nutrient Analysis: 1 serving:  50 Calories, tr Fat, 3 g Fiber, 250 mg Sodium, 0 g Sat Fat, 1 mg Cholesterol

    Exchange: 1 vegetable

  • Burritos de Pavo

    Makes:  4 servings

    1        cup coarsely shredded carrot
    1/4     teaspoon ground cumin

    1/4     teaspoon chili powder

    1/4     cup plain lowfat yogurt
              Juice of one lime
    2        cups cooked turkey breast, shredded

    1/2     cup tomato, seeded and diced
              Shredded lettuce
    1/4     cup shredded lowfat Cheddar cheese
    8        Corn tortillas

    Combine carrots, cumin, chili powder, yogurt and lime juice in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Add turkey breast and tomato and toss gently.  Warm tortillas on griddle.  Divide turkey mixture into eight equal portions and arrange in warmed tortillas.  Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.

    Nutrient Analysis: 1 serving: 300 calories, 7 g Fat, 3 g Fiber, 155 mg Sodium, 2.5 g Sat Fat, 56 mg Cholesterol

    Exchanges: 1 Vegetable, 6 Meat, 2 Bread, 1 Fat

Author Velda de la Garza is a registered dietitian residing in McAllen, Texas with her husband, who is a cardiologist, and her three lively children.  Being Hispanic, she has first-hand knowledge of typical Mexican food.  Velda is keenly aware of the health problems affecting Hispanics due to the high fat and cholesterol content of typical Mexican meals.  She feels a strong need to promote better health for this population, as well as inspire other individuals to eat nutritious Mexican food.      
Velda received her Bachelor's degree in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin and completed a dietetic internship at St. Mary's Hospital, part of the Mayo Health System in Rochester, Minn.  She earned a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman's University.
Now in private practice, Velda previously was a lecturer/instructor at The University of Texas-Pan American.  She has extensive experience working as a dietitian for numerous hospitals including M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.  Velda has also worked as a consultant for the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and as a Renal Dietitian Specialist.
Even as a young girl, Velda enjoyed cooking for her family and learning about traditional foods from her grandmother, great aunts, mother and father.  Using her knowledge of nutrition in combination with her love of cooking, she has compiled healthy versions of these much loved Mexican foods.  With the current interest in healthier living, many will enjoy this wonderful collection of healthy Mexican foods.

Healthy Mexican Cooking introduces a new twist to Mexican recipes: healthy low-fat ingredients and cooking methods to replace the high fat, cholesterol and caloric reputation of Mexican food.

Author Velda de la Garza combines her professional training as a registered dietitian with her first-hand knowledge of Mexican foods and authentic recipes to create zesty recipes that promote good health.  When combined with a healthy diet, they help reduce risk factors of diet-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Along with over 160 recipes, Healthy Mexican Cooking features: a Glossary, Chile Pepper list, Mail-order Food and Tool Supplier list, Bilingual Food Label Examples with Explanations and a Guide to Essential Tools and Ingredients.

Healthy Mexican Cooking , or its Spanish-language edition, Cocina Mexicana Saludable:

  • Enables readers to prepare authentic, traditional Mexican foods with few ingredients, practical times and moderate to low calories.
  • Explains the risk factors of heart disease and their relationships to food and exercise for Hispanic and Anglo-Americans.
  • Demonstrates how to choose and prepare healthier Mexican foods.

"Most of this book's recipes are the type I enjoy preparing- not too many ingredients, nor too long a preparation period and not too high in calories." states author, Velda de la Garza.


Food is an important part of Hispanic culture. It is used to celebrate the important stages of life such as baptisms, weddings and wakes and is what binds families and friends together.  However, the downside to this is Mexican food is often high in calories, cholesterol and saturated fats, which can lead to diet-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart attacks occur when arteries become completely blocked or a blood clot forms in a clogged artery and stops the flow of blood to the heart.

Atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries," is due partially to a high level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.  Atherosclerosis is the leading contributor to many heart attack and stroke deaths.

A healthy diet will lessen the risk of heart disease in three ways:

  • Reduce high blood cholesterol.
  • Control high blood pressure.
  • Take off extra pounds.

Velda de la Garza, MS, RD, author of Healthy Mexican Cooking has combined her experience as a registered dietitian and her first-hand knowledge of typical Mexican food to create a healthier version of Mexican eating. She suggests while walking down the aisle at the grocery store:

Instead of...


Flour tortillas, rich breads and rollsCorn Tortillas, whole-wheat Tortillas made with oil, pita bread, low calorie bread, bolillos
Organ meats, high-fat meats such as brisket, porkLean beef, chicken breast, fish
HamTurkey ham, lean cold cuts
Ground beefGround round or lean ground chuck, ground turkey breast
EggsEgg substitute, egg whites

"De la Garza has turned a treasure trove of family and friends' recipes into a collection of easy-to-prepare, heart-healthy dishes."

-Susan Salmon Trotman, Aspire Magazine

"There are dozens of good books out there now with low-fat Mexican recipes. One of the best books to look for is Healthy Mexican Cooking."

-Texas Monthly Magazine

"Most of the author's desserts involve fruits, but she also has several variations of empanadas and flan. Looking through this book made my mouth water."

-Anne Thompson, Rocky Ford Daily Gazette

"Ole!  Everyone loves a good Mexican food dish and there are plenty of them in Healthy Mexican Cooking."

-Bob Jacob, The Chronicle-Telegram

"Healthy Mexican Cooking offers entries with a Texas flair and plenty of essential salsas for Tex-Mex palates."

-Darragh Doiron, Port Arthur News

"The author has included thorough ingredient and technique explanations as well as a list of mail-order suppliers."

-Heather McPherson, The Orlando Sentinel

"The author gives concise overviews of some diseases and addresses obstacles to good health and how eating habits assist in prevention."

-Joy Ault, Valley Morning Star

"Healthy Mexican Cooking may hold the answers for those of us who are salsa and chip addicts.  If someone you love craves Mexican, pick up a copy of Healthy Mexican Cooking to give as a gift."

-Wendy Green, The Logan Daily News

"This Tejana author combines good nutrition and delicious Mexican cuisine, using low-fat ingredients to prepare authentic, sabroso and healthy traditional recipes."

-Food Editors, Latina Magazine

"Here's an excellent collection of authentic low-fat Mexican recipes... easy to follow and so delicious your family won't even notice the reduction of fat!"

Baldwin Bookworm/Ledger, Book Review