Southwest inspires Cruces author’s healthy recipes

Southwest inspires Cruces author’s healthy recipes

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By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin

Kelley Coffeen has literally created more than 1,000 recipes in her Las Cruces kitchen. She has published five cookbooks that reflect her love for the southern border and Mexican cultureKC 1.

“I love gifting others with the joy of food,” Coffeen said.

Coffeen has teamed up with the American Diabetic Association (ADA) to release her sixth collection of recipes that feature Tex Mex, Mexican and Southwestern recipes that are low in fat, carbs and sugar, following the dietary guidelines of the ADA.

“Tex Mex Diabetes Cooking: More than 140 Authentic Southwestern Favorites” will be available in June and includes Coffeen’s red chile enchiladas, nachos, queso, tacos and burritos.

As promotion for the upcoming release, Coffeen’s red chile posole dish is featured on the cover of the November/December 2017 holiday issue of “Diabetes Forecast” magazine, which has six million subscribers.

The magazine also includes nine of Coffeen’s low-carb, diabetic-friendly recipes.

“This is good for the state of New Mexico,” Coffeen said, because the new cookbook “features lots of New Mexico flavors and our homegrown chile.”

Her cookbook provides recipes that are low in fat and sugar and smaller portioned, and are colorful, tasty and nutritious, she said. “The thing about having diabetes is, so many think they can’t enjoy many of their Mexican favorites.”

Each recipe includes a calorie count, total fat and carbs, “choices” such as starch, lean protein and fat; serving size, number of servings, preparation time and cooking time.

“I’ve created new recipes that I like,” Coffeen said, including green chile rice (with chopped asparagus) that provides high fiber important to diabetics.

Other recipes include desserts such as tres leches parfaits, appetizers like roasted green chile cheese crisp and favorite cocktails like margaritas and mimosas.

Coffeen moved to Las Cruces in 1991 and has lived along the border most of her life.

She was working on a master’s degree 1994 at NMSU and signed up for a self-publishing class at Doña Ana Community College. “I had no idea you could self-publish anything,” Coffeen said.

With a passion for cooking and a flair for writing, she created “Great College Cookbook of the Southwest.” That cookbook landed Coffeen an appearance on “Good Morning America,” and a weekly segment called Kelley’s Kitchen on KTSM-TV in El Paso that ran from 1995 to 2006.

The TV spots featured the most popular recipes from Coffeen’s cookbooks, which also include “Simply 7,” a collection of “quick Southwest recipes” that require only seven ingredients, as well as “Fiesta Mexicali” (both Northland Publishing).

In recent years, she has written “300 Best Taco Recipes” and “200 Best Mexican Recipes” (Robert Rose Publishing). Her books have sold thousands of copies worldwide and are all available on Amazon.com, where you can also pre-order “Tex-Mex Diabetes Cooking.”

“It’s fun,” Coffeen said. “I love to please people with food,” she said. “That’s my thing.”

Coffeen’s recipes reflect her own version of Mexican flavors drawn regionally and internationally along the border from Texas to California.

As for the heart of her cooking, “it’s really about New Mexico,” Coffeen said, because she uses a lot of chile and traditional techniques. “It’s kind of a regional and cultural thing,” she said. Having a winter stash of red chile in the freezer to cook with, Coffeen said, “happens in New Mexico and rarely anywhere else.”

Coffeen earned a PhD. in educational leadership and administration with a focus on Latino studies and border issues from New Mexico State University in 2014. When she’s not cooking, Coffeen serves as an adjunct professor and raises scholarship funds for NMSU as a director of development.

For more information, visit http://www.diabetesforecast.org/ and click on “IN THIS ISSUE.”

 

Mike Cook may be reached at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

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