Cinco de Mayo has become enormously popular in the United States, often serving as a reason to throw a “gran fiesta.” Yet despite its ubiquity, the holiday remains widely misunderstood. Most people associate Cinco De Mayo as the Mexican Independence Day, similar to the 4th of July for America…rather than a celebration of the undermanned Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. In fact, the Mexican Independence Day is not until September 16th.
This day has evolved into a celebration in the U.S. to commemorate the Mexican heritage and culture. Many celebrate this day by enjoying margaritas, good authentic Mexican food, and perhaps even attend festivals with parades and mariachi bands – maybe even rock a sombrero for the day
While all holidays are a celebration and a time to have fun, relax, attend parties, it doesn’t mean your diet or health plan should be derailed several weeks from one night. So, today I’m going to share 10 healthier recipes for Cinco de Mayo! With help of some of our amazing clients, we have put together some authentic, healthy recipes for you and your family to try! This can be a fun way to get the family involved in the kitchen and teach them ethnic traditions.
Skinny Piña Colada
- 2 oz Barcardi Rock Coconut Rum
- 5 oz COCO5 Coconut water (recommend original or pineapple flavor)
- 2 oz pineapple juice
Instructions: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and/or a Maraschino cherry (optional).
Drink and enjoy!
Strawberry Basil Margarita
- 2 oz Tequila
- 5 oz COCO5 (original or pineapple)
- 2 oz Lime Juice
- 3-4 Strawberries, muddled
- 1-2 basil leaves, muddled
Instructions: Combine strawberries, lime juice and basil leaves in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add tequila and COCO5, and ice. Shake and strain into a glass filled with ice.Garnish with a Strawberry and basil leaves (optional).
Drink and enjoy!
Tostadas de Pollo
Guest Post: Jackie Garcia
- 3-4 shredded chicken breast (Jackie likes to buy a rotisserie chicken. I shred the whole chicken and use leftovers for salads or other meals)
- 1 bag shredded purple cabbage (regular cabbage is fine too)
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 package Tostadas (you can fry your own corn tortillas but who has time for that.)
- 1 package Queso fresco-any brand (this Mexican cheese crumbles nicely and has a mild taste so it doesn’t take away from the tostadas. Found at most supermarkets.)
- Sliced Avocado
- 1-2 tomatoes
- ½ white onions
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small can of chipotle chiles (Add whole can if you want a kick in your tostadas or just 1-2 chiles for flavor)
- Add a little salt, oregano and water.
Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree. It should not be watery. The tinga sauce should be creamy in order to coat the chicken.
Pico de Gallo
- 1-2 tomatoes
- ½ white onion
- 1 jalapeño (remove vein and seeds)
- Handful of Cilantro
- 1 lime
Chop all of the above ingredients and place in a small bowl. Add salt and lime juice.
Instructions: Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and Tinga sauce and mix well. Heat for a few minutes, just until warm to absorb the flavor. Warm the refried beans.Now, it’s time to build your tostada!Spread the beans evenly on top of the tostada, then add the chicken. Finally, top the tostadas with cabbage, cheese, avocado and pico de gallo.
Can be made chunky or smooth!
- 5-6 avocado, mashed for smooth or cubed for chunky
- 1-2 limes, juiced
- 2 Tomatoes, seeded and cubed
- ½ bunch cilantro, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeño, chopped (or habanero)
- Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin
Cut and dice vegetables and set aside. Combine avocado and lime juice in bowl and mash as smooth as you like. Fold in vegetables and season to taste. If you really want to take it to the next level – add in some crumbled Goat Cheese!
Enjoy! * Serve with sliced cucumbers, carrots, or sliced bell peppers for a low carb option to chips *
Tropical Mango Salsa
- ½ cup mango, chopped
- ⅓ cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped
- ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (leave the seeds for a spicier salsa)
- 1 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ black pepper
- ⅛ ground cumin
In a medium-large sealable container, combine all ingredients. Mix until uniform. Seal, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Shrimp Pico de Gallo- Serves 4-6
Guest Post: Yadira Enriquez
- 1 bag of shrimp (either peeled and deveined, or cooked)
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1-2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, diced
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped (more to your liking)
- 4 limes, juiced
If you have chosen the cooked shrimp, thaw according to instructions and then take the tails off. If you have chosen to cook your own shrimp or use the peeled and deveined frozen type, thaw and cook in boiling water until the tail is nice and curled in a “C” shape. Remove from water and place in a bowl with iced water to stop the cooking process, remove the tails once cooked. Dice the shrimp, tomatoes, red onion, peppers, avocados and cilantro leaves into small pieces – no bigger than ½ or ¾ inch.
For the peppers, if you want to cut down on the spice factor, cut in half-length wise and remove the seeds prior to dicing. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Then add lime juice, salt and pepper, stir once more and take a bite to rectify flavor.
You can eat immediately but I recommend you chill it for about an hour in the refrigerator to enhance the flavor (cover before refrigerating). Enjoy by itself, in lettuce wraps, with tostadas, unsalted or salted rice cakes (Lundberg Thin Stackers are great for this) or tortilla chips.
Coconut Lime Black Beans
- 2 cups dried black beans, rinsed
- 2 cups coconut water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 green onions (greens only)
Instructions: Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover.Drain the beans and transfer them to a large saucepan. Cover with 3 cups cold water, coconut water and 2 teaspoons salt. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then reduce to low heat, cover and cook until tender; depending upon the age of the beans, this will take 30-45 minutes (older beans take longer). When tender, add coconut oil and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onions and serve!
The Main Thing
Cilantro Lime Arrachera (Inner Skirt Steak)
Guest recipe: Sasha Diaz I find cooking to be about having fun with flavors. I spend time looking at a recipe and identifying if I need to add or subtract ingredients and spices or creating new ones altogether. We know our likes and tolerances so I really enjoy tailoring my cooking to my tastes. Please feel free to do the same.I have a weakness for tacos (being half Mexican probably doesn’t help matters hehe). However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing unhealthy carbs and unwanted additives is my general goal. So, I do my best to steer clear of tortillas and use lettuce instead with this dish.I purchase my arrachera (inner skirt steak) at a carnicería (Hispanic grocery and butcher store) by my house. If you have one you like great, if not simply Google and you can find one near by if you don’t frequent one already. Reviews are also helpful in deciding on a carnicería. Otherwise, you should be able to get inner steak at your favorite place to purchase steak or Mariano’s. The bonus of a butcher is to get your steak cleaned and put through the machine for tenderizing. So much easier than doing it yourself!
- 3 pounds of inner skirt steak – once it’s cleaned it will reduce in weight by almost half.
- 2-4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 10 medium limes squeezed for fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1 large yellow onion quartered
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic minced
- 3 jalapeños chopped (optional)
- Cayenne powder, to taste (optional)
- Ancho powder, to taste (optional)
Instructions: To prepare arrachera, combine all ingredients in a large bowl minus salt & pepper. Toss and let sit for an hour to 24 depending on taste preference. The longer it sits the more intense the flavor of the lime becomes. If you’re a fan of lime or spice these things will intensify the longer it sits. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle steak evenly with salt & pepper.
Heat grill over medium-high heat. Add steak to grill; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.Extra heat to the meat!!! I like to rub cayenne and Ancho into the steak (my meat) thoroughly coating and let sit for 10 min then drop into marinade. Grill should be cleaned well to reduce risk of flare up.
Mexican Quinoa Bake
Guest Post: Marcela Gutierrez
- 175g quinoa
- 500ml vegetable stock (plus extra water if needed)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- 100g sweetcorn kernels
- 250g Cooked black beans
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- Red enchilada sauce
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp hot chilli powder
- Black pepper
- 100g grated cheese (I used a mozzarella and cheddar mix)
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Boil the quinoa in the vegetable stock for around 15 minutes. If the liquid begins to dry up before the quinoa is ready, just add a dash more water and mix well. When the liquid is nearly gone, you will need to turn the heat down fairly low to prevent the quinoa from sticking to the bottom of the pan. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the garlic, onion and red pepper.
Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are almost soft. Remove from the heat, and add the spring onions, sweetcorn, cooked black beans and fresh coriander. Stir in the enchilada sauce and the cooked quinoa, and then add the spices as necessary. Season to taste, and mix well to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish, and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crispy, and the quinoa mixture is piping hot.
Liz RomanThese are one of my favorites and SUPER easy!
- 2-3 lb pork butt (bone in)
- Taco seasoning
- Corn tortillas
- Cheese, optional
Instructions:Place pork but in crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours, no water or seasoning necessary in the crock pot. Once tender, meat should fall off the bone, remove bone and add seasoning. Place shredded meat in skillet and crisp a bit (optional). Serve in corn tortilla with toppings of choice.
Topping recommendations: pickled onions, radishes, red onion, cilantro, white onion, salsa, limes.
We hope you enjoy these authentic recipes and have a safe celebration of Cinco de Mayo! Remember portion control is still important on holidays so enjoy trying a new recipe or two, but remember your goals are more important than over indulging. Also, I would love to hear your feedback! If you try any of these, let me know below!
You can also leave a comment and ask a question regarding any of the recipes! We’re happy to help give further instructions or guidance. Continue to follow me for more juicy bites and healthy recipes! Cheers!