We love Mexican fare all year long, but on Cinco de Mayo there’s even more incentive to celebrate with a delicious spread full of traditional dishes. While the cuisine can be high in sodium and calories when dining out, preparing Mexican food at home allows you to cut back on unhealthy ingredients, while keeping all of the fresh flavor you crave. Get the party started with a traditional Mexican street corn salad (esquites), try a new take on tacos with a fresh tuna or vegetarian version, and finish with a refreshing cocktail that you can customize a dozen ways . Whether you’re hosting a feast with family and friends or looking for ideas for taco night, add a touch of Mexican inspiration to the menu with these mouthwatering recipes with a healthy twist!
Mexican-Style Avocado Toasts Make breakfast a fiesta with this fun spin on avocado toast. The popular dish is not only super easy to whip up, but it’s a delicious way to pack in a dose of healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help keep cholesterol levels in check and reduce the risk of heart disease. For Cinco de Mayo, give your toast a Mexican makeover by adding lime juice, fresh salsa, and cumin, like The Vegetarian Food Lab does in this recipe.
Pineapple Portobello Tacos If you’re going meatless, these sweet and tangy tacos from The Vegan Chickpea make for a flavorful meal perfect for dining al fresco. The pineapple chunks are an excellent source of vitamin C, while portobello mushrooms offer a dose of vitamin D, an important nutrient that many Americans are deficient in. Pile on extra veggies like bell peppers, carrots, and green onions, and top the tacos off with creamy avocado and salsa.
Spicy Tuna Tacos Another healthy spin on a Mexican staple, these tuna tacos from Orale Mexican Kitchen are a great way to cut back on red meat, while providing a hefty dose of lean protein. Using fresh romaine lettuce wraps in place of corn or flour tortillas helps keep calories in check, and a hot salsa verde sauce made gives the meal a kick while providing a dose of potassium, fiber, niacin, and vitamins C and E.
The Cleanse Cocktail Avoid the sugar- and calorie-bomb that is the margarita, and shake up your own thirst-quenching cocktail with Owl Brew’s tea-based mixer. The super-simple Cleanse Cocktail is delicious with or without alcohol: simply shake up the classic mix with jalapeño peppers (and a shot of tequila if you choose), and top with club soda. For a do-it-yourself version of their delicious, all-natural Classic mixer, brew a black tea (like English Breakfast) and add lemon and lime juice and a bit of agave for sweetness.
Mexican Street Corn Sweet Potatoes Transform sweet potatoes – which are high in iron and vitamin C – into a noodle dish that has all of the flavor of Mexican street corn with this recipe from Inspiralized. The flavor-packed dish gets a spicy boost from chili powder, paprika, chipotle pepper, and jalapeño, which pairs perfectly with mild Cotija cheese (or queso blanco) and creamy avocado.
Mexican Roasted Corn Salad (Esquites) Another delicious way to incorporate corn into your menu, this vegan recipe from Salad Samurai balances savory, spicy, and tangy flavors for a satisfying appetizer or side dish. Fiber-rich corn is topped with a creamy lime dressing – a healthier alternative to mayonnaise made with heart-healthy olive oil and cashews. Bonus tip: Shuck fresh corn with this stress-free trick!
Chicken Fajitas and Peppers Give your fajitas a heart-healthy makeover by substituting lean chicken for flank steak, a healthier protein source than red meat, which has been linked to an increased risk of stroke. You won’t miss the sour cream in The Lean Clean Eating Machine’s version, made with a flavorful mix of spices including oregano, cumin, garlic, and chili powder. You can swap in romaine lettuce leaves or collard greens in place of traditional tortillas to cut calories and add an extra veggie boost.