Somewhere within the farm-to-table movement, restaurant patrons began trending toward making healthier choices—even in Las Vegas. Border Grill executive chef Mike Minor, who is leading a Cooking Healthy Mexican class at Border Grill at 11 a.m. Jan. 21 ($75, 632-7403), weighs in.
What kinds of dining trends are you seeing?
I’ve been here for 30 years, and until recently I’ve never had someone ask, “Hey, can you cook me something healthy?” It’s kind of exciting to see that people are now starting to do that; they’re starting to ask for healthy things—”No butter on my steak,” or “Can you grill that fish instead of deep-fry it?”
So “healthy Mexican” isn’t an oxymoron. What are some other healthy options?
We’ll get fish from California or Hawaii and grill it with cilantro marinade. I’m really into searing greens, like pea tendrils and fava-bean leaves, because they’re high in iron and really good for you. I’ll serve them on top of the fish mango salsa and habañero.
You’ve also started serving quinoa? In a Mexican restaurant?
It’s one of the highest-protein grains in the world, and, for me, using it in Latin food really makes a ton of sense because it is a Latin grain. People are responding really well. We take avocado, which has great omega-3 fatty acids in it, we roll it in quinoa, and we fry it and make tacos out of it.