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Dos CaminosHola, Charred Jalapeño and Spring Onion Guacamole.

Dos Caminos chef (and marathon runner) Ivy Stark made serious progress towards proving Mexican food is more than just cheesy-meat-and-carbs last week with the launch of a new “Healthy Mexican Menu.”

The lineup, which debuted March 9 at the restaurant’s four New York City locations, was developed in conjunction with nutrition-standards group SPE Certified and launched in recognition of “National Nutrition Month.” (During March, a portion of the restaurant’s sales will be donated to Wellness In The Schools, and in April, the items will be incorporated into the regular menu.)

Stark says her personal passion for health and fitness and dedication to honoring the fresh, dynamic flavors Mexican cuisine (before the addition of the cheese and sour cream) inspired the menu. “I’ve traveled extensively throughout all of Mexico, and have developed a great understanding of the culture’s use of simple and wonderfully fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices that distinguish their authentic dishes,” she says.

So what can you order? The menu, which was developed with Kristy Del Coro, the senior culinary nutritionist for SPE Certified, includes the aforementioned guacamole served with cucumber “chips,” a spring vegetable taco with grilled avocado, asparagus, white beans, and cucumber pico de gallo, a watercress salad with pink grapefruit and jicama, salmon served with lemon-herb quinoa, and more.

If that’s not enough to impress you, many of the items are vegetarian and gluten-free, too. “Before implementing these items, my menu was already 99-percent gluten-free by nature, and contains very little dairy,” Stark says. “With these new SPE Certified options, I’m hoping to start changing the perception of Mexican food and plan on continuing to give my diners delicious, healthy options.” With an agave margarita on the side, no doubt. —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information, visit www.doscaminos.com

(Photo: Spring Vegetal Tacos via Dos Caminos)

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