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Your Healthified Cinco de Mayo Menu

By Sara McGlothlin

I always love an excuse to consume Mexican food, and you can do so in a home-cooked and Healthified way! Here is a menu of options, ranging from starters to sweet treats. At the very least I recommend making the Mexican brownies below! They have quickly become my favorite fudgy post-dinner dessert of late. If you don’t want the cayenne kick (it’s subtle, but it is there) leave it out for pure chocolatey deliciousness.

Starters

When it comes to a Cinco de Mayo starter, maybe all you need is some pre-made guacamole and Siete Foods tortilla chips. But if you want to do something differently, enjoy any of the appetizers below.

Plantain Nachos

Plantains comprise the base of this delicious nacho dish. Grain-free and plant-based, plantains are a gut-friendly food. Feel free to take a short-cut by using corn tortilla chips and real cheese.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Passive Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 50 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack

Ingredients
  

For the Plantains

  • 3 green plantains, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • sea salt to taste

For the Cashew Cheese

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked at least 4 hours or preferably overnight
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • cup water (or more if necessary)

For the Toppings

  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1 cup pulled chicken (I suggest a rotisserie chicken already cooked; also can omit)

Optional Guacamole Topping

  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • juice from ½ a lime
  • garlic salt to taste
  • onion salt to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Place plantain slices in a medium bowl and coat with coconut oil and sea salt. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and cook 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
  • Make guacamole topping. Add avocado, lime juice, garlic salt, onion powder and sea salt to a small bowl. Mash with a fork until desired consistency is reached. Set aside. 
  • Make the cashew cheese. In a high speed blender, add cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic salt, sea salt and black pepper. Add 1/4 cup water and process, slowly pouring in more water until smooth and creamy. 
  • Place plantain chips in an oven-safe skillet or bowl. Add pulled chicken, black beans, and cashew cheese. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through. Top with guacamole and enjoy! 
Keyword Dairy-free optional, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Oil-free, Soy-free, Tree Nut-Free Option, Vegan Option

Avocado Fries

A side dish or salad topper, these grain-free avocado fries are unique and flavorful. With a "breading" made from coconut flour and spices, they are paleo- and keto-friendly, offering a blood sugar balancing addition to any meal, snack, or appetizer spread.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, add egg yolks and avocado oil. In a separate bowl, combine coconut flour, sea salt, spices, and black pepper to taste.
  • Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Slice each half into thirds to form “fries” and gently remove skin.
  • Coat avocado strips in egg yolk first, and coat with flour mixture.
  • Lay flat on baking sheet and cook 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Dip in aioli, mustard, or Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Paleo, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free

Chunky Sweet Corn Guacamole with Pepitas

Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon
Add a little something extra to your guacamole. The corn lends a chunky texture, and the pumpkin seeds offer more plant-based nutrition. For a more paleo-friendly option, omit the corn.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 5 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • Bring a shallow pot with a few cups of water in it to a boil. Add the 2 ears of shucked sweet corn and cover the pot, letting the corn steam and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and remove the corn and slice it off the cob into a large bowl.
  • Juice the lime into the bowl. Begin mincing the jalapeño, dicing the roma tomatoes, chopping the red onion, and mincing cilantro. Add all ingredients to the bowl and stir well.
  • Remove the flesh from the avocado and add it to the bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado slightly – you want some small chunks to remain.
  • Add the pumpkin seeds, salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Enjoy with tortilla chips.

Notes

Cover leftovers tightly (with plastic wrap pressed down into the top of the guacamole) and you can save this in the fridge for up to 2 days.
 
 
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Oil-free, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free

Zucchini Refried “Beans”

For those of you who want a legume-free appetizer or taco bowl topper, enjoy this veggie-based and paleo-friendly option
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • baking sheet
  • Large pot
  • Immersion blender, food processor or blender

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium zucchini peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes about 3 cups
  • 1/2 white onion, diced about 1 cup
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread zucchini evenly and coat with oil and sea salt. Roast 30 minutes until tender and slightly golden brown. 
  • Meanwhile, on the stove top, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 7 minutes.
  • Add roasted zucchini and remaining spices (cumin, chili powder, cayenne, sea salt, black pepper) to pot with onions and cook until heated through (about 3-5 minutes). To puree, use an immersion blender or transfer zucchini-onion mixture to a blender or food processor until the consistency of refried beans. 
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free, Vegan

“Fried” Plantains

Naturally sweet, plantains are a traditional side dish in Mexican, Latin American, and South American cuisine. Full of fiber and resistant starch, they are a great option for curbing any carb craving.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Servings 2 servings

Equipment

  • Large skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the ends off of the plantain and thinly slice lengthwise in 4 or 5 places. Peel.
  • Slice plantain in 1/2-inch rounds.
  • Cook plantains in the skillet for 5 to 7 minutes per side until golden brown and soft. Enjoy warm.
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Paleo, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free, Vegan

Fresh Peach Salsa by Natasha’s Kitchen

Main Meals

Sometimes when it comes to Mexican, the appetizers alone are enough to fill you up, but if you are want an entree, I highly recommend a taco bowl salad, or shrimp tacos using Siete Foods tortillas. Paleo Running Momma also has a great post outlining 20+ recipes for Cinco de Mayo!

Taco Bowl Salad

This taco bowl "recipe" offers a roadmap to build your own. It starts with a base of romaine lettuce, and from there you can choose your own adventure. Include the flavorful chicken below, use rotisserie chicken for a short cut or omit to make it vegan. Salsa and guacamole or avocado are enough – you don't even need a dressing!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Servings 2 servings

Equipment

  • Baking sheets
  • Oven-safe large skillet

Ingredients
  

For the chicken

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • dash of cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 tablespoons oil for cooking

Other toppings

  • 3 cups romaine lettuce
  • zucchini refried beans or refried beans in a can, slightly warmed
  • "fried" plantains
  • 1/3 cup salsa of choice
  • 1/3 cup guacamole or 1/2 sliced avocado

Instructions
 

Make the chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine spices for chicken. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season to coat on both sides.
  • Heat cooking oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken 5 minutes per side until browned. Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking, about 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Set aside to slightly cool.

Build your salad bowl

  • Divide romaine lettuce between two bowls.
  • Add sliced chicken breast and other toppings of choice.
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Paleo, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free, Vegan Option

Siete Shrimp Tacos with Guacamole

This is an easy, grain-free taco recipe for any weeknight dinner or quick lunch. Substitute the shrimp for your protein of choice, or use beans for a vegan option.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Servings 2 servings

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • medium bowl

Ingredients
  

For the shrimp

  • 1/2 pound deveined shrimp, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee
  • 4 Siete Foods grain-free tortillas or tortillas of choice
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage or carrots optional
  • 1/2 cup store-bought salsa

For the guacamole

  • 3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • dash of cayenne optional

Instructions
 

Make the shrimp

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until no longer translucent and fully cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
  • If desired, heat tortillas on same skillet until warm, about 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, make guacamole. Scoop out flesh from avocado and place in a medium mixing
    bowl. Add lime juice and mash with a fork or potato masher. Fold in the onion, garlic, tomato and season with salt and cayenne (if using). Stir to combine.
  • Spread guacamole evenly among tortillas. Top with shrimp, shredded veggies, and salsa
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo, Soy-free, Vegan Option

Desserts

As I mentioned in this recipe post, I have always been skeptical of black beans in brownies, but not anymore! They lend themselves to a dense and fudgy texture, and I promise you can’t taste them. The cacao powder and chocolate chips combine to create a decadence on par with traditional brownies, while being good for you to boot! And if chocolate isn’t your thing, try the Mexican Wedding Cookies!

Flourless Mexican Brownies {Grain-Free, Vegan}

The delicious chocolate taste is followed by a subtle – although present – kick of cayenne at the end of each bite. Grain-free, and fully plant-based.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 9 brownies

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • 8×8 baking dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 15oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup almond butter or nut butter of choice
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips I love Hu Kitchen brand

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until a smooth batter is formed.
  • Transfer the batter to the baking dish. It will be sticky! If needed, use a wetted spatula to spread the batter evenly to all sides of the baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges have started to slightly "pull away" from the sides and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool inthe baking dish (about 1 hour) before transferring to a cutting board to slice into squares.

Notes

Storage: Keep brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, and in the fridge for 2 weeks. 
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Oil-free, Soy-free, Tree Nut-Free Option, Vegan

Mexican Wedding Cookies

A gluten-free, plant-based, and lower glycemic recipe to traditional Mexican Wedding cookies. Powdered monk fruit offers the most blood sugar friendly option, but you can substitute with regular powdered sugar if needed.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Passive Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 45 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 cookies

Equipment

  • Two baking sheets
  • Hand-mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter, grass-fed butter, or ghee
  • 1/4 cup powdered monk fruit sugar plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place pecans on one of the baking sheets, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until toasted. Set aside to slightly cool. You can turn the oven off.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the vegan butter, coconut oil, or ghee, the powdered monk fruit sugar, and the coconut sugar together, about two minutes. Mixture should become light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. 
  • Fold in the almond flour, brown rice flour, and sea salt until combined. Roughly chop the pecans and fold them into the mixture as well. 
  • Gather two tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, and then roll in the powdered monk fruit sugar. Do this until all of the dough is used up, placing the balls on the baking sheet about two inches apart.Freeze until the dough is completely frozen through, at least 4 to 6 hours, or ideally overnight. 
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies start to turn golden brown. Dust with more powdered sugar after baking.
     
Keyword Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Vegan

Cocktails

Hankering for a skinny margarita? Here is a great recipe. I also love the smokey flavor of mezcal, and will mix with mostly Waterloo or La Croix soda water and a splash of grapefruit juice. If you want to take a cocktail short-cut, try Ranch Water, or skip the booze altogether with a kombucha cocktail instead – simply mix with soda water and lime juice.

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