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Driving Cross-Country For a Tiwa Taco

Photo of Burt Wilson

Chef Burt Wilson at the Pueblo
Harvest Cafe
(Photo courtesy of Indian Pueblo
Cultural Center)

The big news at the cultural center is the low-carb menu, with the most delicious red and green chile dishes transformed with Wilson’s low carbohydrate wizardry. "The only thing we do is make a few changes."

The savory chile stews are prepared with slight variations. Red chile is prepared by omitting flour as the thickener and instead, preparing a condensed-version of red chile. Omitting cornstarch as the thickener creates low carb green chile.

"We have people saying, 'We don't want any low-carb chile - we don't want anyone messing with our chile; but you can't really taste the difference."

Green chile chicken enchiladas made with low carb tortillas have only 3.4 carbs and 233 calories. There's also low carb carne adovada, that's pork marinated in red chile, and turkey wraps and fajita wraps.

Taz’s tortilla burger is named after the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center's marketing director Tazbah McCullah, former general manager of the Navajo Nation's KTNN radio. A low-carb tortilla replaces the high-carb bun.

Jemez enchilada on the low carb menu has only 7.8 carbs and 392 calories. Wilson begins with low carb tortillas dipped in red chile, and then bakes the enchiladas with sautéed onions and cheddar cheese.

An amazing low-carb note is included on the new menu, which came out in February, there's 0 carbs in a 2-ounce serving of green or red chile, New Mexico favorites that grow throughout the state.

"These are extremely flavorful, we have a lot of people excited about it," Wilson said of the red and green chile dishes. Along with blue corn enchiladas, corn fries are in demand. Corn fries are like French fries, but made with the Pueblo and Navajo favorite: corn.

Wilson, 31, grew up in Gallup. "We ate a lot of commodity cheese and peanut butter, a lot of bologna, hot dogs and beans." Still, there were trips home to his grandfather's home on Zuni Pueblo for traditional food. "Our family always butchered."

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