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Healthy Hispanic-inspired Recipe Favorites

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15. The celebration honors the rich cultural contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans, including their diverse and delicious cuisine. From the spicy dishes of Mexico to the aromatic stews of Cuba, there’s a lot of diversity across Hispanic nations’ cuisine. However, they all share an emphasis on fresh, whole ingredients.

Vegetables play a central role in many Hispanic dishes, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. From fajita-style onions and peppers to tomato-rich salsas, vegetables add a burst of flavor and nutrition to many dishes. These vegetables are low in calories and rich in antioxidants, promoting overall health.

Beans are a staple in Hispanic cuisine, featured prominently in dishes like frijoles refritos, arroz con frijoles, and more. These legumes provide plant-based protein and a good dose of fiber, which supports digestive health and helps control blood sugar levels. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including folate and iron, essential for overall well-being.

The creative use of spices and herbs is one of the reasons Hispanic cuisine is so flavorful. Check out this recipe featuring staple ingredients like garlic, cumin, oregano and cilantro:

Mexican-inspired Shrimp Bowl 

Serves 2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

This balanced bowl is full of protein, whole grains, fiber-rich vegetables, and flavor to help keep you full and satisfied. The shrimp are tossed in olive oil and a variety of spices then broiled to promote a crisp exterior and a juicy interior. The cilantro lime dressing adds a zesty element and freshness to the dish.


For the bowl

  • 16 large shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder 
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • ½ cup fresh or canned corn
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup, cilantro lime dressing (recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp. chipotle ranch or similar sauce, store-bought
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese, optional


  1. Preheat the oven by turning on the broiler.
  2. Rinse the shrimp, pat to dry, then add to a bowl. 
  3. Add olive oil and spices, then mix gently until shrimp are evenly coated.
  4. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil them until cooked through. Depending on their size, this should take between 5-7 minutes. For small or medium shrimp, cooking time may be as short as 3 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, add brown rice, veggies, and broiled shrimp. Drizzle over chipotle ranch and cilantro lime dressing and sprinkle cotija cheese if desired.

Cilantro Lime Dressing


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.

Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health, and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art, and spending time with family. For more recipes and health information, visit

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