(Almost) gone are the days of fried taco shells stuffed with MSG-laden ground beef offcuts, browning barely-there guac, under-cheesed and over-refried-beaned nachos, and soggy taquitos.
They were all pretty awesome in 2004 when we didn’t know any better (and let’s be honest we were probably all high on the blue colour dye in the fishbowls anyway), but since the welcomed rise of modern Mexican cuisine, Tes-Mex joints from the 90s just ain’t cutting it anymore. Unless you’re miserably hungover.
Of course, if you have food sensitivities, going out for Mexican can be a bit of a nightmare due to its heavy reliance on onion and garlic. I used to avoid it at all costs. It just wasn’t worth having to resort to a three-ingredient meal of corn tortilla, plain chicken, and lettuce. Yep, you heard me correctly Mr waiter – hold every single topping, please :*(
Luckily, the enormous demand for adaptable menus over the past decade has made eating out with food sensitivities increasingly easier.
The below list comprises some of my favourite modern Mexican eateries in and around Melbourne (as at Jan. 2016), all from which I’ve been able to find FODMAP friendly or easily modifiable menu items. ARRIBA! 💃🏼🌮🥑
FODMAP-friendly Mexican Restaurants in Melbourne
Mamasita – CBD
Touché Hombre – CBD (a personal favourite and home of the BEST corn on the cob you’ll ever sink your teeth into)
Fonda – various locations
The Black Toro – Windsor & Glen Waverly
So here’s my take on an old favourite: Sweet Potato Nachos. This fresher and more nutritious spin is vegan, grain-free and paleo. It calls on baked sweet potato ‘chips’ to replace traditional fried corn chips, fragrant quinoa instead of high-fructan refried beans, sautéed capsicum to add some bulk, a zesty guac, and all infused with my super simple Low FODMAP Mexican Spice Mix.
Keeping with tradition, these nachos are designed to be shared – pile all the components on a serving board and dig in, being sure to grab a little bit of everything.
I’m finallllllly able to eat legumes again, so I’ll often add chipotle beans to this dish which really elevates it. To make your own, simply place the desired amount of canned beans (pinto, kidney or black) in a pan with a generous splash of water (avoid using the canned liquid if you have IBS as the fructans leach into it), and a few dollops of good-quality natural chipotle sauce. Stir, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to simmer until the liquid has reduced slightly. Please note that this option isn’t advised for people with IBS who are actively managing their symptoms. For further FODMAP info on this recipe, please see the recipe notes.
And the best thing about this recipe? No one fighting over the cheesiest corn chips!Print
Low FODMAP Mexican Seasoning
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- ½ tsp ground chilli
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 large sweet potatoes (approx. 500g each), peeled and sliced into 3mm-thick rounds
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups all-natural stock of choice (salted water is also fine but less flavoursome)
- 1 large red capsicum, deseeded and chopped
- 5 spring onions (green part only), chopped
- 1 small handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
- ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes, to serve (optional)
- Lime wedges, to serve
- 2 large avocados
- Juice of ½ lime
- Handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- 5 spring onions (green part only), chopped
- Preheat oven to 220*C and line two large trays with baking paper.
- To make the Low FODMAP Mexican Seasoning, place all ingredients in a small jar, pop the lid on, and shake vigorously to combine.
- To make the chips, arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking trays, ensuring they are not touching one another or they won’t crisp up. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a quarter of the spice mix. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and use tongs to turn the sweet potato over. Add another sprinkle of spice mix, then return to the oven for a further 15-20 mins or until the sweet potato is fully cooked and crispy around the edges. Remove from oven and set aside. You may also wish to swap the tray positions half way through to ensure even baking.
- In the meantime, rinse the quinoa under cold running water. Transfer to a saucepan, add the stock/salted water and half of the remaining seasoning, and bring to the boil over medium/high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed, roughly 8-10 mins. The quinoa is ready as soon as the germ (the little white ring around the seed) becomes exposed. It should be al dente – not crunchy, nor mushy. If there is slightly too much liquid, simply drain it. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Heat a little coconut oil in a frypan over medium heat. Sauté the capsicum and half of the spring onions until the capsicum is slightly tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To make the guac, place the avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork. then mix through the lime juice, spring onion, and coriander. Season with a generous sprinkle of Mexican seasoning and a little extra sea salt. Set aside.
- Assemble the nachos on a serving board by arranging the sweet potato chips on the bottom, then piling on the quinoa, sautéed capsicum, and guac. Garnish with coriander leaves, spring onions, lime wedges, chilli flakes if using, and a light sprinkle of the spice mix. If you’ve got any good-quality chipotle sauce on hand, feel free to drizzle some over. Serve immediately while the sweet potato chips are crispy around the edges and the quinoa and capsicum are still warm. Buen Provecho!
REGARDING FODMAPS: If you’re currently super sensitive to polyols (the ‘P’ in FODMAP), the sweet potato and avocado in this recipe may not be suitable for you. I’ve always been able to tolerate large amounts of them, but everyone is different. For those with aggressive IBS, ⅛ avocado or 20g is considered low in sorbitol and thus safe; ¼ or 40g is considered moderate and should be limited. 70g sweet potato is considered low in mannitol and thus safe; 107g is considered moderate and should be limited.