And a very HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO to you, my amigos! Cinco de Mayo is a big holiday south of the border. And, truth is, it's becoming quite the big holiday north of the border here in the good old U.S.A.! Hey, we've got the Mexican restaurants to prove it, too. When I moved to Los Angeles, over 40 years ago, I was amazed at the number of Mexican restaurants there were in this city. But since then, they're not just here, (it seems), on every block in Los Angeles. Today, cities all over America, large and small, boast fine Mexican eateries. And I don't mean just Taco Bell either!
Do you love tacos and quesadillas as much as I do?
Do you love those tacos and quesadillas as much as I do? YUM! But hey, I'll bet you're not as lucky as I am. My dear housekeeper and even more dear friend, Teresa, makes so many delicious Mexican specialties. I'm talking about authentic south-of-the-border dishes, too. But just like with all foods, no matter their ethnic origins, you've still got to be careful with those foods. There are some excellent Mexican dishes you can have that won't bust your calorie budget. One of my favorites is a taco salad, loaded with fresh vegetables and roasted chicken. But once you start with the add-ons, the sour cream, guacamole and oh, how could I forget...the cheeses! Now that's when you start getting into trouble.
Another thing you have to be careful with are those chips. There's a restaurant here in Los Angeles, Pacos Tacos that brings out these delightful, warm chips that are so good, I could eat them non-stop, loaded down with their special salsa. But if you'll notice, I said I could but...I don't! (Back when I was a kid, that would have been a different story! LOL.) See, the same rules apply at a Mexican restaurant as apply at any other. You've not only got to watch the choices you make, you've got to watch those portion sizes, too. If you think you can't handle them, ask your server to place the extras far away from your spot at the table so you're not tempted. Diving into those chips is like diving into that basket of yeast rolls or biscuits the waiter might bring to the table at some other style restaurant.
One of the must-haves at any Mexican restaurant is the salsa.
One of the must-haves at any Mexican restaurant is, of course, the salsa. Oh, I just love it. (Teresa makes her own and there's always some in my fridge. I never have to buy it at the supermarket.) Salsa is one of your Mexican dish's best friends, It's a Limited selection on my FoodMover so you shouldn't go crazy with it, either. I wish you could taste one of Teresa's quesadillas, drizzled with a dash of her salsa. How do you say YUMMY...in Spanish! LOL.
At that Mexican restaurant, beware of any entre that includes words like fried, creamy, filled or "stuffed with." (You're probably asking for trouble!) Instead, you'll want to look for grilled, baked or roasted, clues that your main dish won't be loaded down with extra fat and calories. A beef or chicken taco, perhaps? Ask about any Mexican-inspired vegetables specialties the restaurant features. You may discover something new and low in calories you really like. And finally, since it is Cinco de Mayo, you may be tempted to sip on a refreshing margarita. If you do, skip the salt on the rim, have just one and be sure to count it on your FoodMover.
Cinco de Mayo is like Mexico's own July 4th celebration.
Cinco de Mayo is like Mexico's own July 4th celebration and I'm glad we now get to share it with them here in the United States. Happy Cinco de Mayo to all of my friends from south of the border and to all of YOU. Because even if your roots aren't from one of the countries down Mexico-way, I'm betting your tummy enjoys the foods from that part of the world and, after just one bite, will make you want to shout...