The third greatest holiday of the year is almost upon us, and I’m excited (duh), but also the teensiest bit sad. I can hardly wait to go ham on tacos and tequila this coming Friday, but I am a little disappointed that I won’t be doing it with my roommate and forty of our nearest and dearest at Chateau Logena.
Yours truly had to put the kibosh on Logena’s (no longer) annual Cinco de Mayo extravaganza for the second year in a row, this time for #dudediettour reasons. And while I’m pumped to memorialize the Battle of Puebla with the fine people of Charlotte, NC, I feel oddly guilty robbing Logan of what would have undoubtedly been a truly epic celebration. A Cinco de Mayo party on a Thursday or even a Saturday is great, but on a Friday?!? DIOS MIO. There’s no fiesta quite like a fiesta where people know they have two full days to recover from overzealous tequila consumption, amiright?[On second thought, this tour conflict is probably for the best. I’m not looking to get evicted or be held responsible for adult piñata injuries, fresh tattoos, and donkey-related incidents at the moment. Bad for Selena’s image.]
However, if you’re lucky enough to be hosting a kickass fiesta this Friday, your weird blog lady has you covered on the food and booze front. I’ve rounded up all of my favorite Mexican-themed recipes below, and I’m confident there’s something for everyone on this list. (Even the vegans and spice babies.) Oh, and Dude Dieters, I included a list of Cinco-friendly recipes from the book at the bottom for your feasting pleasure. Olé.
15 Fiesta-Ready Recipes for Cinco de Mayo:
1. Grilled Tuna Tostadas with Black Bean-Mango Salsa. These bad boys bring the heat in the flavor and texture departments, and they also happen to be loaded with health benefits. (Fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s, OH MY!) If you’re entertaining a large crew, try making mini tostadas on round tortilla chips or brown rice crackers. People love tiny food. Fact.
2. Seared Scallop Tacos with Spring Mango Salsa and Avocado Cream. For those who like to be a little extra at their fiesta, scallop tacos are guaranteed to impress your guests this Friday. (p.s. “Extra at the Fiesta” is now on the short list of titles for my future memoir.)
3. Portobello Fajitas with Chipotle Cashew Cream. Veggie lovers and plant-based peeps, I highly recommend taking these flavor- and nutrient-packed fajitas for a spin. FYI, the picante cashew cream can also be used as a topping for vegan nachos and as a dip for your favorite chips and veggies.
4. Chickpotle Mexican Pizza. Tortilla pizzas are the lazy cook’s best amigo. Making pizzas for a crowd? Prep the chicken in advance (major planners may wish to do this the night before) and then simply assemble pizzas come party time. Easy.
5. Fiery Barbecue Flank Steak Tacos with Summer Mess Salsa. Savory, sweet, and spicy, these tacos absolutely crush the warm weather taco game, peeps. For those keeping it tight, serve the steak and salsa in lettuce wraps or over a big old bed of greens for an epic steak salad.
6. Spicy Chicken Quesadillas with Corn, Black Beans, and Caramelized Onions. Not gonna lie, I’d be pretty disappointed if I showed up to a Cinco de Mayo Party and there were no quesadillas. Just saying.
7. Crispy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa and Avocado Salsa Verde. These beauties require a tiny bit of time to pull off, but the process is 100% painless. I promise.
8. Chicken Meatball Fajita Skillet. This isn’t exactly traditional Mexican fare per say, but whateva. Set out warm tortillas or some brown rice and let people serve themselves hot balls straight from the skillet…
9. Shrimp Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle-Avocado Crema. An oldie but a goodie, these foolproof shrimp tacos are always muy bueno. (If you have a seafood-cooking phobia, this recipe is a good way to get your feet wet. You have to start somewhere, friends.)
10. Stuffed Poblano Quinoa Bake. If you thought this crazy quinoa bake lady wasn’t going to capitalize on the opportunity to pimp one of her favorite creations for Cinco de Mayo, you must be new here. (Welcome!) This easy, Dude Diet-friendly casserole is a no-brainer for laid-back fiestas, and leftovers are excellent for breakfast with an egg on top. Especially for those nursing tequila hangovers….
11. Mexican Street Corn Salad. This party-ready side also doubles as a bomb topping for tacos, tostadas, burrito bowls, and almost any grilled meat or fish. It’s also money stuffed inside a quesadilla with some Oaxaca cheese. Trust.
12. Skinny Blood Orange-Basil Margarita. Sweet and tangy with a refreshing, herbal twist, these skinny margs are a personal go-to. And they’re a great batch cocktail for tequila-loving crowd! Mix up the base ahead of time, set up a glass rimming station with salt and limes, and let people top off their drinks with a splash of club soda.
13. Strawberry Mexican Mule. Kicked up with fresh strawberry puree, this tequila-based twist on the Moscow Mule is guaranteed to spice up your Cinco de Drinko.
14. Clementine-Jalapeno Margarita. Bright and spicy, this margarita goes down almost too easily. You’ve been warned. xox, Selena
15. Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita. What can I say? I like my margaritas with fruit and basil. I also like to pretend the health benefits of watermelon juice balance out the tequila in this smoky-sweet c-tail. I recommend you do the same.
Fiesta Recipes from The Dude Diet:
Dude Diet Huevos Rancheros (p. 50)
Loaded Chicken Enchiladas (p. 78)
Chipotle Guacamole (p. 111)
Crispy Fish Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa and Chipotle Crema (p. 119)
Chipotle Chicken Taquitos (p. 130)
Fiesta BBQ Chicken Nachos (p. 135)
Skirt Steak and Avocado Quesadillas (p. 138)
Grilled Flank Steak with Avocado Salsa Verde (p. 157)
Chipotle Street Corn (p. 171)
Vegetable Fajita Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette (p. 192)
Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls (p. 211)
“Taco Bell” Beef Tacos (P. 214)
Grapefruit Beergarita (p. 287)