Cinco de Mayo, which many Americans know as an excuse to drink Coronas and eat guacamole, is a day that has a great deal of significance in Mexican history. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unexpected victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
In Mexico, the day calls for great celebration, and Americans have adopted Cinco de Mayo as a celebration of Mexican culture that often centers itself around food and beverage. We all know that it can be difficult to stick to a diet or healthy lifestyle on holidays that revolve around salty snacks, cheese-drenched main dishes and caloric alcoholic beverages, so we put together a round-up of our favorite Mexican-style recipes for your own celebrations that won’t break your calorie bank.
This year, you can celebrate Cinco de Mayo without forsaking any of your cravings – or expanding your waistline.
Perfect Guacamole: With less than 50 calories per serving, this guacamole is full of healthy ingredients like avocados and Greek yogurt, so you can enjoy a classic Cinco de Mayo snack – guilt free.
Seven Layer Dip: This party favorite is typically a calorie bomb – with layers of cheese, sour cream and guacamole contributing to its nutritional content. Luckily, Biggest Loser’s Ada Wong put a healthy twist on this appetizer and uses lean ground turkey, high-fiber beans, salsa and low-fat cheese to make sure her party sizzles.
Toasted Quinoa, Chicken and Corn Salad: If you’re craving Mexican inspired flavors this year but want to keep your diet gluten-free, opt for this salad from the New Sonoma Diet. It’s full of flavor and monounsaturate fats.
Cumin Crusted Pork Tacos: A lot of people stick with chicken or fish when they want to lose weight but pork is an alternate option – a lean meat with a ton of flavor. Think of the “other white meat” next time you want to dazzle your friends and families with your soon-to-be famous taco skills.
Mexican Turkey Burgers: As the weather finally warms up, you probably can’t wait to break out your grill. Get started with a turkey burger recipe that channels the flavors of Mexico – and won’t weigh you down.
Chicken & Red Chile Tamales: Think Mexican street food at its finest with the most delicious tamales you can make with only 120 calories per serving. Just be sure to wear gloves when handling spicy red chilies – what they lack in calories they make up for in heat!
Skinny Margarita: It would be tragic to endure a Cinco de Mayo without a margarita and if you’re on a diet, you don’t have to. Think pure when it comes to margaritas. If you stick with lime juice, tequila and agave nectar, you’ll keep countless calories, fat grams and sugar from your diet.
Raspberry Margarita: Instead of sticky sweet syrup or artificial colors and dyes, give your favorite tequila drink a twist this year and add fresh raspberries to flavor your cocktail. A little lemon-lime seltzer will add the citrus flavor that you love – and you’ll never miss the fake stuff.
May 2nd, 2011