Enjoy a healthy Mexican feast
Timothy Hennessy, RHN, RNCP
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with our healthy Mexican recipes.
On May 5, 1862, an outnumbered militia from the young Republic of Mexico defeated France’s invading armies in a battle near the Mexican city of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo celebrations commemorate this victory. Join in the celebration with these healthy Mexican dishes.
Most North Americans are more familiar with northern Mexican cuisine, including burritos and tacos in the Tex-Mex style. Fast-food chains and Tex-Mex are only the tip of Mexico’s culinary iceberg.
Mexico, like any cuisine-rich country with a historically varied ethnic and agricultural map, brings a wealth of flavours and ingredients to the table. These historical influences, including Mayan, Aztec, Spanish, Caribbean, and French, have brought forth a glorious mix of regional cuisines.
Overall, authentic Mexican cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world, a nutritionally sound mix of fresh whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, meat, and seafood.
Tomatoes; legumes; sweet and hot peppers such as jalapenos, poblanos, and serranos; and fragrant fresh herbs such as cilantro are indispensable ingredients. Flavour boosters, such as salsas and mole, add an intoxicating blend of ingredients with a chili pepper base. So popular is mole in Mexican cooking that several regions, including Puebla and Oaxaca, vie for bragging rights as the originators of the recipe.
Whether your diet is vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous, there is a wealth of ingredients at your disposal if you choose to explore this wonderfully delicious cuisine. On this May 5th gather together with family and friends, turn up the dance music, and celebrate Mexican culture in style with a great menu. Viva Mexico and viva La Cinco de Mayo!
Dips are great party food. Here’s a trio to get your celebration going.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16. Celebrations in Mexico are limited mostly to the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla. It’s also a popular holiday in the United States with its large Mexican population.