Healthy Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Pubela on May 5, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War. The Mexican army’s victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla was very unlikely. The success at Puebla represented a symbolic victory for the Mexican government. In the United States Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with a celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day, which is September 16.

Today, celebration of Cinco de Mayo includes festive food and drink, music, and dancing. Like celebrations of all holidays you can incorporate healthy components. One easy way is to incorporate fruit into dishes. Incorporating fruit into salsa recipes is a great way to do this for Cinco de Mayo. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Popular recipes for fruit salsas include adding: pineapple, mango, strawberries, blueberries, and even kiwi. You can even try variations of combinations of fruit in salsa. Fruit provides essential vitamins and minerals, important to overall health. The more colors the better. Remember to shoot for five servings of fruit a day!

Choosing lean meat options is another way to incorporate healthy components into the holiday celebration. Lean meats include: poultry, fish, and seafood. You can swop out a high fat meat for a lean meat in any recipe. The spicy shrimp Cinco de Mayo bowls are a great way to enjoy a lean protein.

Whole grains are always an option, as well. Instead of choosing refined grains such as white rice and white bread choose whole grains. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, wheat bread, couscous, and quinoa. Whole grains are full of fiber, iron, B vitamins and other essential nutrients. Try to make half of your grains whole!

Spicy Shrimp with Sweet and Zesty Mango Salsa Cinco De Mayo Bowls




  • 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 mango, peeled, pit removed, chopped or small dice
  • 2/3 cup chopped or small dice tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup cucumbers, small dice
  • 1/4 cup small dice red onions
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, seeded, minced
  • salt

For the shrimp

  • 10 ounces raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails off (thaw if using frozen)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil

For the bowls

  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups cooked couscous


Make the salsa

  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime and lemon juices, agave syrup, ginger, and a big pinch of salt. Stir well and set aside. Add the remaining salsa ingredients to a medium bowl and toss with the lime dressing and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Marinate and cook the shrimp

  1. Toss the shrimp with some olive oil and the spices and salt to thoroughly coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil a large saute pan over medium. Add the shrimp to the pan when the oil beings to shimmer. Sear the shrimp on both sides until pink and plump.


  1. Line two pasta bowls with equal amounts of the romaine and red cabbage. Spoon couscous over each, followed by a layer of salsa. Divide the shrimp between the two bowls and layer over the salsa. Finally, top both bowls with a generous helping of salsa.

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