Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Do you have plans to go out and drink some margaritas and eat some Mexican food? Start with some chips and salsa. Wash it down with a cerveza (beer) or a margarita. Then you move onto the dinner. Will you choose tacos, taquitos, a burrito, or some enchiladas? Will there be a side of rice and beans? Do you eat the sour cream and guacamole that comes on top? By the end of the meal, you will have consumed 1,000-2,000 calories. Ouch!
How about lightening up that Mexican meal by making it at home?
- Baked tortilla chips, sliced jicama, cucumber, carrots, and bell pepper with salsa (red and green) and guacamole
- Ceviche: cube 6 oz. fresh red snapper (or other fresh white fish) and place in a bowl with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow onion, 1/2 cup chopped peeled and seeded cucumber, and 1/2 cup each chopped yellow and orange bell pepper. Add 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro and let it all marinate for 30-60 minutes.
- Baked taquitos: Buy a rotisserie chicken from the market. Remove the skin and shred the meat. Toss with some ground cumin and chili powder. Soften 1 dozen corn tortillas in the microwave. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup shredded chicken and roll up. Hold closed with a toothpick. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until tortilla is crispy. Served with hot sauce, salsa, and guacamole.
- Taco bar: put out shredded or cubed chicken, cooked shrimp or other whitefish, black beans, pinto beans, shredded lettuce, salsa (try a fire-roasted tomato salsa or a tomatillo salsa), some plain nonfat Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), and guacamole. Offer corn tortillas (see if you can find blue corn tortillas) and small whole wheat tortillas.
- If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s near you, pick up their Pollo Asado and cook it up. Fantastic marinated chicken than cooks up in a flash.
- Sauteed bananas: Coat a nonstick pan with coconut oil cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. When hot, add slices from one banana and sprinkle with cinnamon. Let cook 1-2 minutes (until bottom is golden); flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Fresh sliced mango, pineapple, and papaya. Squeeze some lime juice on top.
- If you’re serving alcohol, choose a light beer or make a Skinny Margarita: 1 oz. tequila + 1 oz. lime juice (freshly squeezed) + 1 oz. orange juice. Shake and pour over ice.
- Agua fresca: blend 2 cups of fruit (your choice) with 2 cups water. Then add 1 cup sparkling water. Serve over ice.