Who doesn't love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Tacos, margaritas, guacamole, etc. What's not to love?
Luckily, Mexican food is some of the most flavourful cuisines out there, even in it's healthiest forms–no deep frying, or covering in condiments necessary... except may fresh guac. and salsa.
No matter what you're eating for Cinco de Mayo–tacos, enchiladas, quesadilla, tortilla soup... maybe just a bowl full of guac (we won't judge)–here are a few easy tips to keep it aligned with your diet and weight loss goals:
- Reduce how much cheese you use, or choose stronger tasting cheeses
- Trade out white rice for extra beans
- Try out a burrito bowl (just a burrito without the wrap!)
- Swap taco shells for lettuce or collard green wraps
- Make sure the salsa doesn't have hidden sugars (sorry, Tostitos)
- Choose grilled meat rather than pulled or slow-cooked
Even better: create your own healthy taco spread!
Here are our 3 favourite healthy Cinco de Mayo taco recipes:
Ultimate Green Taco Wraps
Recipe courtesy of Oh She Glows
Photo courtesy of Oh She Glows
Lentil-walnut taco meat (makes 2 1/2 cups):
- 1 cup uncooked French green lentils (you will use 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils)*
- 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 to 2 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 to 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- Cashew Sour Cream
- Diced tomatoes or salsa
- Green onion
- Fresh lime juice
- Lettuce wraps (large romaine, iceberg, or butter lettuce leaves)
- Other topping options: sliced avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, etc.
- Cook the lentils: Rinse lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Add to a medium pot along with a few cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until tender (cook time will vary depending on the type of lentils you use—see package). Drain off excess water.
- Toast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 300°F. Add walnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 to 13 minutes, watching closely, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Sauté the pepper and onion filling: Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of oil into a large skillet or wok. Cook the onion and peppers over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat if necessary and stirring frequently, until translucent.
- Prepare the taco meat: Add 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils (you'll have some leftover) and all the toasted walnuts into a food processor and pulse until chopped (make sure to leave texture). Stir or pulse in the oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir in the oil and the water until combined.
- Prepare the rest of your vegetable toppings and wash and dry the lettuce wraps.
- Assemble: Add a large lettuce leaf onto a plate, top with taco meat, sautéed peppers and onion, and the rest of your desired toppings.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in sealed containers to be enjoyed the next couple days. The cashew cream will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Use sour cream leftovers on sandwiches, wraps, stirred into salad dressings, on vegan nachos, or with chili or soup.
Fish Tacos with Apple Cilantro Slaw
Recipe courtesy of Fraiche Nutrition
Photo courtesy of Fraiche Nutrition
- 4 c. finely shredded red cabbage
- 1 c. grated BC apple, skin on (Gala or Ambrosia are best)
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
- 1/3 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 orange pepper, seeded & diced into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded & diced into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 lb. good white fish (i.e.: cod, sole or tilapia)
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded & finely sliced
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Chipotle Crème Fraîche:
- 3/4 c. full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
- 12 small corn tortillas
- 1/2 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- 3/4 c. roughly chopped cilantro
- Combine all of the coleslaw ingredients together in a large bowl, toss together, and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine all of the fish ingredients together and set aside.
- Combine the sour cream or yogurt together with the Chipotle Tabasco Sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and cook the fish mixture gently until the fish is cooked through, tossing half way through. Make sure that the pan isn’t crowded, you may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your pan.
- Meanwhile, heat another medium frying pan over low-medium heat to warm up your tortillas. Run each tortilla under water and place on the pan for about 30 seconds a side until the tortilla is warm.
- To assemble the tacos, place a spoonful of the fish mixture, a serving of the coleslaw, a dollop of Chipotle Crème Fraîche, and if desired, a squeeze of lime, a couple of jalapeño slices and extra cilantro.
Chicken Pomegranate Guac Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Health
Photo courtesy of Health
- 4 (4-ounce) boneless and skinless chicken breast halves
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon salt-free Mexican seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 avocado, peeled
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 lime
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 8 tablespoons sliced red onion
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 8 tablespoons crumbled low-fat queso fresco
- Preheat grill pan over high heat.
- Coat chicken with olive oil spray; season with Mexican seasoning and salt.
- Grill 4–5 minutes per side; cut into bite-size cubes.
- In bowl, mash avocado with fork; stir in pomegranate seeds, juice from 1 lime, and minced garlic.
- On each of 4 plates, divide chicken and guacamole among 2 (6-inch) corn tortillas; top with 2 tablespoons sliced red onion, 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage, and 2 tablespoons crumbled low-fat queso fresco.