Cooking light in San Pancho for both the wallet and the waist!

Inexpensive and healthy recipe option in San Pancho, Mexico

I was raised by classic, free love, baby boomer parents who moved up to the mountains in Northern California to eat clean and manage their own resources. Meals in my home were always real, never processed and never included refined sugars. They always included whole grains, whole dairy, fresh vegetables (at times from our garden) and clean proteins (at times from animals we raised). Breakfast, lunch and dinner were always prepared at home as we could not afford to go out to eat or order take out. My mother had grown up on processed foods and vowed never to have this in our kitchen. Of course, as a teenager, I stepped out of the box and splurged on processed and fast food, however, thanks to my mother, I always maintained a foundation and understanding of the value of real, healthy food.

My grandparents were all savers. Thanks to both of my incredible grandmothers, one who immigrated to the US during WWII and the other whom was raised during the great depression in the Bronx, New York, I was taught how to shop and cook on a budget.

I moved out on my own at the age of eighteen and was working three jobs, going to college and interning. Due to my busy schedule, I didn’t have much time, but because of my mother’s teachings, health was never to be left out of the equation. I was already a keen, budget shopper by then and out of necessity, I learned to keep my meals light and simple.

I now am a proud mother and wife to a loving family, who are my number one priority of above all. My husband and I come from similar backgrounds and together share a common appreciation and understanding of health and exercise. I have assumed the role of maintaining the healthy side of our diet and I have my grandmothers within me, keeping an eye on the budget. Managing my home and work life leaves me very little time, so I am still inspired to keep the meals simple.

We are currently lucky enough to be living in San Pancho, which offers the perfect combination for my family’s goals, providing quality, local or less travelled ingredients at incredible prices!

San Pancho is home to many wonderful local mini grocery stores, butchers, fish markets and vegetable and fruit markets! Below are some photos of the groceries purchased, the completed meal and my favorite markets in town, El Indio Mini Super (mini grocery store) and Emiliano’s Fruteria (veggie and fruit market), both located on Calle America Latina and (butcher), located on Calle Mexico.

I decided to take you along one of my shopping adventures and have outlined one of my simple, healthy and affordable staples, Chicken Fajita Bowls, which provide portions for 4 to 6 people at a reasonable cost of $220 MXN, which is approximately equivalent to $12 USD ($2 to $3 USD per person)! I purchased chicken at the local carnicería, La Granja, the bulk of the veggies at the fruteria, Emiliano and the beans and the rest of the veggies at El Indio Mini Super.


Chicken Fajita Bowls – Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken – I chose breasts – dark meat is great!
  • Onion
  • Bell Pepper
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Rice – I used Quinoa, purchased at the Farmer’s Market
  • Beans – ok, I used “canned” black beans – I’m always short on time 😉
  • Tomato
  • Chili Serrano
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado