Those of us who are constantly watching our carbohydrate intake tend to avoid Mexican food like the plague. Chips and salsa, masa harina tamales, flour tortilla tacos … the list goes on. Consequently, celebrating Cinco de Mayo can be a real challenge. But with a little forethought and pre-planning, you can prepare a Cinco de Mayo feast everyone will love — without all the carbs usually associated with Mexican food. Here’s how.
The first challenge in preparing a low-carb Cinco de Mayo feast is finding or making a good low-carb flour tortilla. There are several on the market today that contain only about three (3) net grams of carbohydrates each. You can simply warm them and use them for tacos, burritos, fajitas, etc., or make your own. This recipe for low carb cilantro tortillas contains less than one (1) gram of carbohydrate per serving and uses fresh cilantro for a decidedly Mexican flavor.
Chips and Salsa
To make a low-carb chip for dipping in your favorite salsa, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your low-carb tortillas into eight (8) wedges. Spray a baking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray, and bake the tortilla wedges in a single layer for about 15 minutes. You can even season them with a sprinkling of cumin or chili powder for a little extra flavor.
To reduce the carbs even further, make some fresh pico de gallo rather than using jarred salsa. This recipe only contains 5.8 net grams of carbohydrates for the entire bowl!
Most of the top brands of taco and fajita seasoning mixes contain ingredients like potato starch and sugar. Those of us on carb alert know these items translate to carbohydrates. So instead of using packaged seasoning mixes, why not create your own? Spices like onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano, dried cilantro leaves and paprika can be blended together in just the right combination to please your specific palate. Here’s a great homemade taco seasoning recipe that contains no starches or sugar.
Let’s face it … alcoholic beverages and low-carb diets don’t usually mix. But if you’re smart, you can reduce your carb consumption by 85 percent compared to the average glass of sangria. Just make up a batch of Micheladas – a Mexican cocktail made from beer, lime juice and various other sauces and spices. Be sure to use a low-carb beer like Michelob Ultra, which only has 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per serving (compared to 22 grams for sangria).
So there you have it – all the tools you need to enjoy a Cinco de Mayo feast without derailing your low-carb eating plan. Enjoy, and happy Cinco de Mayo!