Why? Because it’s Cinco de Mayo

One of my favorite meals is Mexican food so it’s only fair to say that I will be participating in celebrating this special day!

I will be eating in because I’m headed to New Jersey early on tomorrow morning but for those of you eating out I thought I’d share some tips from Shape Magazine for choosing the healthier meal.

Quesadillas or Nachos?

Quesadilla! Both choices are full of fatty cheese, but the nachos pack a second whammy: a mountain of deep fried chips. Quesadillas are no grease-free zone, but they’re mas bueno because they’re made on the griddle with less oil than the chips. Cut down on the cheese by asking yours to be stuffed with vegetables! 

Margarita or Beer?

Beer! Thanks to sugary mixes, a margarita can set you back 500 PLUS calories (NOT WORTH IT!!) The exception: versions made from scratch with only tequila, triple sec and lime juice. One on the rocks is about 150 calories – same as a Regular Beer.

Burrito or Fajitas?

Fajitas! At 888 calories, a chicken burrito is a belly-buster, not a meal. Fajitas let you customize your feast. Opt for corn tortillas (50 calories apiece vs 300 for a ginormous flour wrap) and pile on the meat and veg. Love guac or sour cream? Pick one, but skip the high calorie beans and rice.

Beef Tacos or Taco Salad?

Beef Tacos! A fried taco bowl with meat, cheese, sour cream and guac is a salad in name only. Ditch the shell and you’re still OD’ing on fat. But two soft tacos, with 346 calories and 17 grams of fat, leave you room for the chips and salsa.

Chiles Rellenos or Enchiladas?

Chicken Enchiladas: Yes, peppers are healthy–before you add cheese and fry them. The chicken enchiladas have about the same amount of protein as the melty dairy in the chiles but without artery-clogging fat. Let’s toast to that!

Dips are deceptively caloric. Try these slim-dunk strategies.

Salsa (15 calories per tbsp) Feel free to pile it on as high as a Mayan temple. Salsa is low-cal, fat free and full of veggies

Guacamole (50 calories per 2 tbsp) Avocado deserves its healthy rep, but think of it as green butter. Each fruit has 322 calories and 30 g fat. Take two spoonfuls and pass the bowl

Chile con Queso (62 calories per tbsp) A single bowl of this dip supplies twice the amount of saturated fat you need per day. Scoop up only if you’re livin la vida loca.

If you’re staying in like me feel free to make these recipes:

Chicken Fajitas 

Chicken & Peach Quesadillas 

Chicken Tortilla Soup  

Pumpkin Enchiladas 

Santa Fe Spaghetti Squash 

and buy some of this – 100 calories for a 4 oz drink (it already has alcohol inside). It uses agave nectar as a sweetener, no dyes and is all natural!

Cinco De Mayo isn’t all about pouring yourself a margarita though.. Here are some fun facts about the history.

Cinco de Mayo Fun Facts:

  • Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on a much larger scale in the United States than in Mexico.
  • Chicanos celebrate this day in appreciation of Mexico’s culture.
  • General Ignacio Zaragosa was born in Texas when it was still part of Mexico and is considered to be a Chicano hero.
  • Cinco de Mayo is often confused with the Mexican Independence Day, which occurred on September 16, 1810, about 50 years earlier.
  • Cinco de Mayo is one of more than 365 festivals celebrated by people of Mexican descent.
  • The holiday was popularized in the U.S. in part by Chicano activists in the 1960’s and 1970’s who identified with the Mexican Indian and mestizo soldiers’ triumph over European conquest attempts.
  • Cities such as Los AngelesChicago and Houston host annual Cinco de Mayo celebrations that draw hundreds of thousands of celebrants.
  • The Festival de Fiesta Broadway in Los Angeles is the world’s largest Cinco de Mayo event. More than 600,000 gather to celebrate with food and music each year.
  • Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.
  • Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city and where the Mexican Hat Dance, sombreros and mariachi music originated.
  • Mexico’s capital, Mexico City (one of the world’s largest cities) is sinking. Some of its buildings are sinking by as much as 4 to 12 inches a year. The city was once an Aztec capital on an island surrounded by a shallow lake. When the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes captured the city, he drained the lake. So Mexico City rests on soft land that continues to sink.

Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone =) Be safe!

QUESTIONS: What is your favorite Mexican dish!? Mine is guacamole. I love avocados! Or maybe enchiladas, or quesadillas. I really like it all.

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32 Comments to “Why? Because it’s Cinco de Mayo”

  1. Great post!! I had no clue on which ones were healthier!! My favorite Mexican dishes are definitely quesadillas and guacamole! Have a great cinco de mayo!

  2. I have actually never heard of Cinco de Mayo– maybe because I live in Canada, or I am living under a rock 😉

    My favourite is coronas 😉 guacamole, chili con queso! YUM!

  3. Have you ever tried Skinny Girl? I really want to!
    And ugh I read this article earlier and it depresses me to hear of guacamole as “green butter”

  4. Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! I really wish you could join me and Katie for dinner tonight! If you change your mind, and feel like doing something spontaneous and crazy, give me a shout out of Twitter! 🙂

    I’m with you on the guacamole. I go through 1-2 containers each week, and pretty much eat it with everything. Cheese enchiladas are near and dear to my heart as well. As are fish tacos and fajitas…Gah, I love everything Mexican!

    Have a fabulous time in New Jersey! xoxo

  5. Tonight I’m making quesadillas..nom! I’m a burrito and enchillada girl for certain. And I’ll pass on the margarita and beer for a glass of vino!

  6. mmmmm you are making my mouth water with all of that Mexican food!
    So sad, but we are not doing anything for Cinco de Mayo. Partly because we have to work Friday..haha!
    I even was going to make Mexican food…but we just had tacos on Sunday…we shall see, I might just have to switch things up 😉

  7. Great tips!! To me, they’re all kind of common sence but I bet a lot of readers found this really helpful! (although I have to say a taco salad can be still really light if you nix the cheese and get sour cream + guac on the side. I usually eat all the guac and have just a few spoonfuls of sourcream and leave feeling happy and healthy! LOVE mexican food though:)

  8. I love a good quesadilla, it’s my favorite! 😀

  9. I love Mexican food! My favorites are fajitas, quesadillas, and guacamole. I’ve always wanted to try Skinny Girl margeritas!

  10. I saw this in Shape!! I love mexican food, so it’s good to know the healthier choices!!

  11. Love this! We’re having Mexican night tonight and I can never get enough guacamole!! 🙂

  12. i love fajitas w/ loads of shrimp & TONS of hot sauce – but i like my own better than restuarants b/c i find that the restaurants use WAY too much grease!

  13. I’m gonna have some sangria and veggie fajitas!!!! I just need to keep the chip basket in check… sometimes I go a little crazy! haha

  14. I don’t eat or drink any of this stuff because I am super lame.
    And I didn’t even know it was Cinco de Mayo until an hour ago.
    I suck, dude.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  15. I really love guac as well, my favorite dish used to be seafood enchilades but haven’t had them in years! I am also planning to stay in tonight and make my own mexican feast! 🙂 CHEERS!

  16. Thanks for posting that! I’d never heard about Cinco de Mayo celebrations until I entered blogworld earlier this evening! you learn something new each day!

  17. This is an excellent post and a fantastic resource. I love guacamole also! I am dangerous around it!

  18. awesome post thanks for sharing, I loveeee margaritas I havent tried the skinny girl yet but I usually make them on the rocks with tequla orange liquor and some lime so I have a feeling I would love them happy cinco de mayo I need some tequila 🙂

  19. I still haven’t got down with the Skinny Girl margaritas but I know I’d love them. And I used to be a chimchanga kind of girl, but I’ve recently become a fish taco convert. But put guac on anything and it’s game one.

  20. You know I’d totally take any excuse I could get to eat mexican food. LOVE it.
    Enchiladas are my favorite- quesadillas with guac are a close second…

  21. So cool – thanks for the facts! I was horrified about the guacamole. I mean I know it’s bad, but seeing those numbers makes me want to cry because I could eat an entire bowl of guac to myself – easily!

  22. Nutrition aside- I’m team beer- maybe a margarita ONCE in a while. Too sweet for very often though. The pumpkin enchiladas sound especially tasty!

  23. Great recap of the healthier choices! I love Mexican food, especially guacamole. Fajitas are my favorite because I can customize them however I want and add as many veggies as I want. I hate when I order a veggie burrito, and they load up on the rice & beans and throw in a few veggies.

  24. Guac is the best thing ever. I attribute the 5 pounds I gain in the summer to guac cause we bring it into work and go to town! Fajitas are great too though-that’s on the menu next week! Thanks for all the healthy alternatives Alyssa!

  25. I’m so in love with guacomole! Tho, let’s be honest, I love all mexican food.
    I think I need to buy some of that skinnygirl wine!

  26. I love love love all mexican food!! Guacamole has to be my fave-I could just eat it and eat it and never stop!

  27. Mexiacn food is my love!!! Salsa and guac are like the best things ever. Im a salsa snob though. It MUST be chunky and NOT too spicy! Im kind of a wimp in that department! haha

  28. Quesadillas are my favorite! I love all Mexican food though 🙂

  29. Awesome post! I LOVE salsa, especially on salads!

  30. What great information! My favorite Mexican dish is chicken in poblano creme sauce. It rivals anything the French put on their tables. This is my first visit here but I’ll be back. You’ve created a lovely spot for your readers to visit and I enjoyed the time I’ve spent here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  31. my faaave drink is a skinny margarita.. but, if you’re not adverse to splenda, my recipe tastes better than skinny girl! …try grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lime juice, tequila and triple sec, plus splenda.

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