Cinco de Mayo, sans Guilt

Cinco de Mayo- we sure love any day (or excuse) to have some guacamole and knock back a margarita, myself included.  As a general rule, I chose my calories wisely and sneak vegetables into everything I can so this festive day is no exception.  Mexican food is one of my favorite food genres which I eat with reckless abandon giving the ever-present dietitian in me the night off so that bitch can stop judging me.  However, that bitch is relentless in her pursuit to find healthier renditions of my favorite dishes that won’t disappoint my inner foodie so here’s my Cinco de Mayo menu that is almost entirely from the farmer’s market, save the tequila and tortillas.

Margarita

tacosLove the margarita, hate the sugar so I squeeze a bunch of fresh limes and add water to make limeade plus a splash of raw agave nectar. Delish, and so so so many less calories.

Guacamole

Avocadoes are filled with heart healthy monounsaturated fats, however if you are watching calories guacamole can add up quick.  I decided to steam a bunch of asparagus and puree it, then mix it into my guacamole.  It sounds weird but you can’t even tell and it was super delish.  Plus I only needed one avocado so I won’t feel as bad if or when I eat the whole thing. I also used dried chilies, onion, garlic, cilantro from my garden, and cumin instead of salt plus some chopped fresh tomatoes.

Beans

Fat-free refried beans are so good there’s no reason you should buy the ones with lard, seriously.  Save the fat for your guac.  I add a can of diced green chilies to mine and chopped tomato if I have some around.  Black or pinto beans are also fabulous on tacos.

Tacos

Start with fresh corn tortillas, flour ones are typically crappy and offer no nutrients whatsoever so don’t buy them unless you go sprouted grain.  I went old school and cooked up some 99% fat free ground turkey with chili powder, then topped them with sautéed bell peppers, onions, and chopped lettuce for garnish.  I don’t really need cheese on my tacos but if you do Trader Joe’s makes a light shredded Mexican cheese blend so good you won’t miss the fat.  Other toppings:

  • Pico de gallo
  • Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream (stop saying ewww and try it)
  • Chopped cilantro

Chips

I happen to love me some chips, but I do try to be mindful of my propensity to over consume them. Try my recipe for making your own or try a chip made of beans like Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean chips or Beanfields.  I’m going to lay another confession on the table here – store bought baked tortilla chips suck and taste like cardboard so don’t bother.

The moral of this story is, you can have your chip and eat it too just pick what part of your meal you enjoy the most.  If you love sour cream, skip the cheese or vice versa, go easy on the chips, and slow your roll on the margaritas which is win-win: it will save calories and a Seis de Mayo hangover.

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