A Healthy Cinco de Mayo: How to Have Your Margarita and Drink It Too

by Ashley on May 2, 2013

Hi there! Thursday already? Where does the time go? Today has been non-stop studying for me – boy will I be happy when it ends! This weekend, as I’m sure you are aware, is Cinco de Mayo, one of my favorite holidays. To me, Cinco de Mayo kicks off the summer and not only that but my birthday is right around the corner too. Lots of celebrations in early May. Now if the weather would only warm up!

Since it’s crunch time in the studying department, more than likely I won’t be spending too much time in the kitchen these next few nights testing out recipes to share with you for a healthy Cinco de Mayo celebration. To make up for it, I’ll share my tips on eating healthy when dining out, Cinco de Mayo style, because I know many of you, maybe even myself, will be taking your celebrations to the local Mexican restaurant anyways. For those of you that do decide to whip up a healthy celebration at home (good for you!), below I’ve linked to a few of my favorite healthy mexican recipes that are sure to be a hit.

taco bowls

(Photo Source)

How to Have Your Cake Margarita and Eat Drink It Too:  Cinco de Mayo Style

  1. Ditch the chips or set a number limit before you even walk through the door. Why? Consuming only about 22 chips (they add up fast!) adds about 280 calories, 14 grams of fat, and about 300 mg of sodium to the meal you are about to enjoy.
  2. Hold the dairy. Why? Sour cream and cheese, the two expected offenders, add up fast and are both high in calories, saturated fat and sodium. If you simply “can’t eat mexican without them,” ask for them on the side so that you can add a smaller amount to your meal. By skipping these two you will save about 300 calories and 15 grams of fat.
  3. Go for guacamole instead. Why? It’s still high in fat but the good kind of fat that we want in our diets.
  4. Choose soft over hard and corn over flour when it comes to tortillas. Why? Soft tortillas haven’t been deep fried like their hard shelled companions, again shaving calories and unhealthy fat. By choosing corn over flour, you will likely end up with less calories, a smaller ingredient list, more fiber and no gluten (for those with gluten sensitivities).
  5. Give the fajitas a try: veggie, grilled fish or grilled chicken. Why? By ordering the fajitas you will be getting a full serving of vegetables that are low in calories and saturated fat. Add in the black beans (note: not the refried beans cooked in lard) and your getting healthy fiber too!
  6. Read the salad menu well, as all salads are not created equal. For your guiltless Cinco de Mayo, skip the Taco Salad that can contain up to around 900 calories and 55 grams of fat. Holy salad. You’d probably be better off ordering what you actually wanted.
  7. Make your own margarita. No, I don’t mean to go behind the bar and fix your favorite concoction, I mean talk to your server and tell him exactly what you want. Many places have “Skinny Margaritas” on their menu’s these days but still some places don’t. Tell him you want a margarita made with a clear tequila, fresh lime juice and a splash of club soda instead of any margarita mix that they might use – and that’s all! If it comes to the table and taste too tart, then you can add your own dash of sweet, instead of the copious amounts that the mix contains.
  8. Lastly, always remember that you are the paying customer and you CAN have what you want.


(Photo Source)

And now on to some of my favorite mexican recipes. Most are vegan or could be made vegan by swapping the sources/kinds of cheese and sour cream. For all you meat lovers out there, your lean meat of choice could easily be added as well.

  1. Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
  2. Healthy Tortilla Chips
  3. Black Bean Salsa (used with fish in this recipe but could certainly stand alone as a dip)
  4. Layered Vegetable Enchiladas (If I were making these, I would obviously sub the cheese for a vegan cheese, like Daiya or Go Veggie! (the dairy free one, not just lactose free).)
  5. Mexican Pablano Stuffed Peppers (You could easily sub Greek yogurt or the Cashew Sour Cream listed below for the sour cream and again, I’d use a vegan cheese.)
  6. Cashew Sour Cream
  7. Taco Salad
  8. Mexican Rice
  9. Tortilla Soup
  10. Black Beans and Brown Rice Extravaganza 

That should do it! What are your Cinco de Mayo plans? Dining in or out?

I hope you have a great night!

Good health!


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