I LOVE Mexican food. All that beany, cheesy, spicy goodness is the definition of perfection, and I will take any excuse available to gorge myself. But here’s the problem: all that beany, cheesy, spicy goodness can really fill you up with some not-so-good stuff, like fat, cholesterol, and lots of calories. So with Cinco de Mayo – the ultimate Mexican-munching day – upon us, let’s rethink our gorging game plan. Why not enjoy some great food that also gives you a healthy boost with superfood ingredients?
1. Cuban Fish Tacos with Citrus Mango Slaw and Chipotle Lime Crema
The Superfood: Salmon
While the recipe calls for mahi mahi or salmon, salmon is the better choice. It may have more fat, but it’s also packed with more healthy omega fatty acids, which support a healthy brain, heart and much more. Plus, salmon is a great source of lean protein and is among the best options for choosing fish that’s not only harvested in an environmentally friendly way, but is also less likely to be contaminated with dangerous chemicals like mercury and other heavy metals. For more information on selecting salmon, click here.
As an added bonus, you’ll get a great dose of vitamins from the Citrus Mango Slaw, which contains red cabbage in addition to grapefruit, orange and mango.
Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.
2. Loaded Veggie Nachos with Portabella Mushroom Meat
Nachos are a great Mexican-inspired snack or appetizer, but with some healthy changes, this dish becomes a full meal.
The Superfood: Mushrooms
Powerhouses of B vitamins and essential minerals, mushrooms make a great, healthy swap for fatty beef. And with no fat, sugar or salt, they add flavor and filling to a meal without unwanted calories. But what may be most remarkable about mushrooms is their antioxidant power and ability to support the immune system.
A great thing about the recipe is how flexible you can be. Choose whatever veggies and toppings you’d like! Check out Oh My Veggies for the recipe.
3. Easy Cheesy Chipotle Kale Chips
The Superfood: Kale
This leafy green is packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients and a variety of compounds that act as antioxidants. It can support a number of organs and systems within your body, and even help keep your skin young and radiant. Read more here.
For that Mexican flavor, these chips are seasoned with hot sauce, lime and cumin. And for a touch of cheesiness (and extra nutrition), they also get dusted with nutritional yeast. (Not sure what nutritional yeast is? It’s not what makes bread rise. Read more here.)
Get the recipe from Allyson Kramer.
4. Mexican Chocolate Avocado Mousse
The Superfood: Avocado
Avocados are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as a variety of nutrients. They can support brain, heart and eye health, and more.
It may sound strange to make mousse from something green we’re used to scooping up with tortilla chips, but I can speak from personal experience that it really does work. Avocados have a great, creamy texture for that pudding-like experience without the dairy. With a good helping of cocoa powder and a little added sweetness from honey, this dessert won’t even taste like an avocado. Add a little cinnamon and ground chile, and you’ve got a great treat with a kick!
Go to Cook Eat Paleo for the full recipe.
5. Coconut Milk and Chia Pudding
The Superfood: Chia seeds
Chia seeds have only recently begun to gain popularity in the U.S., but they’ve been a part of Mexican cuisine for centuries. These tiny seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and even some protein.
Absorbing a lot of moisture, chia seeds take on a gelatinous quality, which gives this dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly pudding a texture similar to classic tapioca.
Check out The Other Side of the Tortilla for the recipe, plus a lot more inspiration from Mexico.
6. Pomegranate Margaritas
The Superfood: Pomegranate
Pomegranates are full of polyphenols – natural antioxidants that may be particularly beneficial for your heart and could even maintain healthy cells for a decreased chance of certain cancers. In addition,Â they may also support a healthy inflammatory response.
When mixing up your margaritas, be sure you have 100 percent pomegranate juice so you get the most benefit. Read the label carefully to check for added sugars or other juice concentrates like you would with other juices.
And don’t forget to garnish your glass with a sugar rim and a lime for full Cinco-de-Mayo effect!
Head on over to Tide and Thyme for the full recipe.
Get your party on and give your health something to celebrate, too! Try out some of these recipes and let us know if they’re muy bueno!