While it has only been a few months since my blog focus went from “healthy global” to “healthyish Latin,” this border girl has always had a passion for Mexican and Mexican-inspired food! There is no shortage of the typical (and delicious) standard Mexican fare in the blogosphere, so I thought it would be fun to bring you some of my more creative and unique Mexican recipes for Cinco de Mayo menu planning.
I have included cocktails (obviously not healthy – LOL), but hey, it’s party time right? Of course the cocktails are based on agave spirits – tequila and its lesser-known sister mezcal. Interested in more on agave spirits, see Beyond Tequila: Alternative Agave Spirits To Know…
My salsas are pretty unique, and I typically serve them with baked chips. If you haven’t tried baking tortilla chips, it’s so easy. Spray corn tortillas (they can even be stale ones!) with cooking spray on both sides, and cut them into wedges. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake them for about 10 minutes in a 375° until they begin to brown and crisp. That’s it!
My healthyish unique main dishes range from Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork to Mexican Arroz con Camarones to Mexican Grilled Chicken Hearts with Citrus Marinade. If tacos are your “thing,” you’ll find Lengua Tacos and Fried Oyster Tacos.
If you’re serving a crowd, try my Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans. Doesn’t your tasty main dish deserve something more than a can of refried beans?
Yes, this healthy eater does occasionally indulge in desserts (it’s a special occasion treat)! I have included a couple of my favorite Unique Mexican Desserts – Coconut Mango Custard with Candied Pepitas and Blood Orange Margarita Sorbet. Both desserts require planning ahead, but they’re definitely worth the extra effort!
Peruse this collection of Unique Mexican Recipes, and you’re sure to find some inspiration for your Cinco de Mayo festivities, but you’ll want to pin them for later too!
For even more Mexican food inspiration, head over to my “Mexican” category. I’m in the process of fine-tuning my recipes index, and I thought it warranted its own category!
Blood Orange Mezcal Negroni
Mezcal, Campari, blood orange cordial, and fresh lime juice shaken with ice and strained into a smoked salt rimmed rocks glass! It's beautifully balanced, and oh-so-smooth!
Salsa Sunset: A Savory Margarita
Farm fresh red bell pepper and jalapeño juice muddled with fresh cilantro then added to añejo tequila, fresh squeezed lime, agave nectar, and sea salt in a fabulously fresh cocktail with savory, sweet, heat, and acidity. If you haven't tried savory cocktails, this one is a great place to start...
Tequila Cocktail with Blood Orange and Pomegranate
Silver reposado tequila, pomegranate liqueur (Pama), and pomegranate molasses get shaken or stirred, and the glass gets topped off with blood orange Italian soda in this easy and oh-so-delicious (not sweet) cocktail recipe!
A tropical margarita made with local, seasonal fresh tropical fruit and good 100% agave tequila is a perfect sipper on its own, or paired with spicy food! Try it with mango, guava, or dragon fruit for a real treat.
Easy Mango Salsa
A freshquick, and easy mango salsa that perfectly complements your favorite tacos, sopes, etc. You'll love this on fish/seafood tacos!
Chipotle Pepita Salsa
A little zippy, a little smoky, and a lot flavorful! We love it on grilled or roasted vegetables, and brushed on pork chops and salmon steaks. This is a versatile and super flavorful salsa!
Roasted Tomatillo and Hatch Green Chile Salsa
A flavorful, bold, earthy salsa of roasted tomatillos, Hatch green chile, onion, and a full bulb of garlic brightened with fresh cilantro! This salsa is perfect on shredded pork tacos.
Red Chile and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salsa
An earthy, flavorful salsa made with toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), red chile sauce, and tomatoes... A tasty new salsa to enjoy with chips or alongside grilled veggies or meats!
Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork
Fork tender pork in a fraction of the time? Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork requires a few minutes of prep, and 60 minutes under pressure... The flavors of Yucatan in this fragrant, tender pork are perfect for tacos, sopes, and over rice!
Latin Braised Turkey Thighs in Pumpkin Seed-Red Chile Sauce
With its bold flavors and healthy ingredients, Latin Braised Turkey Thighs in Pepita-Red Chile Sauce is perfect for weeknight dinners, but will surprise and delight dinner guests as well! Turkey thighs are healthy, affordable, and definitely under-rated.
Mexican Fish in Creamy Tomatillo Sauce
A flavorful, creamy, spicy tangy sauce to dress up fish (any way you like it)! We love this sauce on sea bass, barramundi, salmon, and tilapia. Try it on your favorite!
Mexican Arroz con Camarones (Rice and Shrimp)
A fiesta in bowl, Mexican Arroz con Camarones combines Mexican flavors - cilantro, cumin, and garlic - with shrimp, rice, black beans, and veggies. Garnished with avocado, jalapeño, more cilantro, and lime wedges, it's quick, healthy, and flavorful... Ready in 30 minutes!
Low Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowls
A very customizable low carb Mexican-inspired dish loaded with healthy ingredients and zesty flavor! The cauliflower "rice" is first roasted for maximum flavor and texture... We like it with chicken chorizo, black beans, corn, and nopalitos!
Mexican Grilled Chicken Hearts With Citrus Marinade
A simple and delicious way to serve meaty, iron-rich chicken hearts... Mexican Grilled Chicken Hearts With Citrus Marinade soaks in Mexican spices and orange, lime, and lemon juices, and spends only a few minutes on the grill! The skewers make a great appetizer, or serve with cilantro rice and a salad for a healthy main dish!
Fried Oyster Tacos With Citrus Salsa ~ For 2
Crunchy cornmeal breaded and fried oysters are adorned with a bright and colorful citrus salsa, avocado slices, radishes, and shredded cabbage... This is probably my favorite taco recipe, and one I often crave.
Lengua Tacos With Salsa Verde and Caramelized Onions
Savory, crispy lengua (tongue) in a fresh corn tortilla topped with caramelized onions, vibrant salsa verde, crumbled cheese, cilantro, and radish. Hit one "out of the park" with this slightly non-standard but delicious taco!
Vegetarian Tostadas with Black Beans and Nopalitos
Oven-baked tortillas topped with creamy refried black beans, spicy nopalitos and caramelized onions, salsa verde, sliced avocado, and crumbled cotija... Vegetarian Black Bean and Nopalitos Tostadas are a favorite easy and nutritious meal any time of day!
Mango Avocado and Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas
Shrimp "cook" in lime juice and optional hot sauce, then get rough chopped with avocado and mango and piled high on a baked tortilla.
Quick Nopalitos (Cactus) Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
A tangy Mexican salad with lots of color and texture, Quick Nopalitos (Cactus) Salad with Citrus Pomegranate Vinaigrette is loaded with flavor and nutrients, and promises to be an interesting addition to your salad repertoire…
Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans
Borracho beans (drunken beans) without pork fat but with all the flavor of the traditional! Make a pot of these delicious and healthy beans to serve alongside your Mexican mains!
Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
A creamy, yogurt and mayonnaise-based sauce with ancho, garlic, lime, cotija, and cilantro coats fresh, grilled sweet corn... A great side dish with a cumin-rubbed and grilled chicken breast or pork chop!
Mexican Cilantro Rice
A simple, flavorful Mexican cilantro rice to pair with your favorite Mexican mains! An entire bunch of cilantro is pulsed with water and added to the rice cooking liquid in this tasty Mexican rice recipe.
Mexican Fried Green Tomatoes
Crispy, crunchy on the outside, tender and full of fresh, tangy flavor on the inside... Mexican Fried Green Tomatoes are a twist on the classic, and a perfect side dish for your healthy Mexican mains!
Red White and Green Salad with Citrus-Strawberry Vinaigrette
This colorful Red White and Green Salad features strawberries and sweet red pepper (red), feta cheese and slivered almonds (white), and nutrient-rich baby spinach tossed with a citrus-strawberry vinaigrette... The colors of the Mexican flag!
Coconut Mango Custard with Candied Pepitas
A tropical-inspired custard gets topped with crunchy spicy-sweet-salty candied pepitas... It's gluten and dairy free, creamy, and delicious!
Blood Orange Margarita Sorbet
The vermillion hue of fresh-squeezed blood oranges combined with fresh lime juice, tequila, and citrus simple syrup makes a gorgeous and refreshing not-too-sweet finale to a beautiful meal!