It’s kind of funny that every year on Cinco de Mayo masses of Americans—who are unfamiliar with the history of May 5, 1862—rush to eat Mexican food and down margaritas. We are ready to celebrate a holiday we know little about. Why? Because Mexican food is delicious and eating it inspires a party! Who isn’t down for that?
So how do we eat Mexican food and indulge in margaritas without our bellies feeling like pinatas ready to bust open? Make it yourself. Here are a few easy recipes that you can use all year round…for a quick vegetarian meal, a family night dinner, a pool party and even to impress a date.
No need for fancy ingredients or expert cooking skills. Stop by the market and get ready to fiesta in style.
Tequila (Jose Cuervo or nicer, in terms of quality)
Lemon juice (1/2 lemon per serving)
Pour 1 shot tequila into ice shaker. Pour ½ shot Cointreau into ice shaker. Pour lemon juice into ice shaker. Put about 5 cubes of ice in there. Shake vigorously in long “strokes” so that the whole thing chills quickly…you don’t want ice to melt. Pour the margarita into a martini glass or a tumbler with the ice if you prefer.
2Crispy Tlayudas with Un-Fried Coconut Black Beans and Elana’s Simple Guacamole
1 bag of Tostadas Caseras (round crisped tortillas found in Mexican markets and some supermarkets) or small fresh corn tortillas
1 recipe Un-Fried Coconut Black Beans (recipe follows)
1 recipe Elana’s Simple Guacamole (recipe follows) or store bought guacamole
½ pint fresh tomato salsa, to your spiciness liking
2 ounces queso fresco or farmer’s cheese, crumbled, optional
1 head romaine lettuce, sliced thin across stems into strips, optional
Cilantro leaves roughly chopped or left whole, optional
If you are using Tostadas Caseras, you can skip the next step. To crisp tostadas/tortillas, heat oven to 375 F and lay them in a single layer directly on oven rack. Bake for about 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove. Spread warmed Un-Fried Coconut Black Beans thinly on tostada/tortilla.* Gently add a small dollop of guacamole. Sprinkle some salsa on top, followed by some romaine, cheese to your liking, some cilantro if you wish, and eat!
*If you want your tlayudas to be extra warm, after putting on black beans place on baking sheet in oven at 400 F for 5 minutes or so. Then continue with assembly.
3Un-Fried Coconut Black Beans
1 small red onion or ½ large red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
â…› teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can black beans, with liquid
1 tablespoon virgin unrefined coconut oil
Cilantro, chopped, to top
Coat the bottom of a small cooking pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute. Add beans and their liquid and let cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to thicken. In a food processor or blender, pulse until beans are in an imperfect purée and still chunky. Place back into pot, reheat to your liking and stir in coconut oil.
Note: For use in tlayudas, purée more. As a side to rice, purée less and leave more chunky.
4Elana’s Simple Guacamole
Serving size: 2-4 people. Double or triple to your liking.
2 very ripe avocados
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ – ½ teaspoon salt
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
Slice avocados in half and open up. Remove the pit. Squeeze avocado “meat” into a bowl. Add lemon juice and salt. Use garlic masher to pulp garlic and add it to bowl. Use a fork to mash it all together. Taste. Add salt, lemon or garlic as desired.