I always make a special Cinco de Mayo dinner for my family, especially if it will be a crazy weekday night and it is not convenient for us to make it to our favorite Mexican restaurant! Normally, a lot of the dishes that we traditionally associate with this fiesta are not that healthy. So here are a few makeover ideas to get you thinking about nutrition without sacrificing all those yummy flavors we love!
1. Start With the Chips~ It is so easy to make your own tortilla chips, plus this is a fun and easy recipe to do with your kids! Here is my go-to homemade recipe- take whole wheat tortillas and cut into triangles. Simply place them on a baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking oil. Then season however you like and bake for 5-6 minutes in a 350°F oven.
2. Choose Your Dip Wisely~ Load up on salsa, it is full of veggies. But make sure to check the ingredients if you are not making it yourself because some brands can be really high in sodium. Also, limit your guacamole to one serving (about 2 tablespoons) and stay away from queso.
3. Lighten Up Your Tacos~ Always choose lean ground beef or even better, use ground turkey or fish. Add mushrooms or lentils to your meat mix to get additional nutrition and stretch your dinner budget. Leave off the cheese and sour cream and these tacos will actually be good for you!
4. Swap Your Burrito For a Burrito Bowl~ A lot of the calories from this favorite come for the super large tortillas used to wrap up this goodness. Instead, put your burrito filling over brown rice or a fresh salad.
5. Pile on the Spices~ Probably the most delicious part of Mexican cooking is the wide array of spices they use. Peppers (adobo, chili, jalapeño), cilantro, and cumin are all known to have positive health benefits while adding tons of flavor and hardly any calories!
6. Skinny Margaritas~ Any fiesta would be incomplete without a margarita! There are lots of great tasting, low calorie options at your grocery store so this is definitely an area you can save calories. And stick with just one drink- Cinco de Mayo is on a Thursday this year after all!