A SIMPLY STYLED & DELICIOUS CINCO DE MAYO

HOW TO FEED A CINCO DE MAYO (MESCAL-INFUSED) CROWD

Hey All, Happy Cinco De Mayo! While the large majority of Americans probably don't know what this date truly means to Mexico, the number 1862 is the year to remember which was the day Mexico gained victory over the French in Puebla, Mexico. It's rare for celebrations to occur outside of Puebla, however it's likely I'll be handed Mezcal immediately upon waking by my cousin while visiting him in Mexico. In his defense, he's Mexican American so he's learned a thing or two about these binge-worthy celebrations in the US. As I sit here writing this post I have to hand it to him - I was given a peach from his garden instead of Mezcal this time around. I'd say we're making improvements, however Mezcal was our choice for the evening's dance festivities - cumbia & salsa.

To celebrate my cravings for Mexican culture & adventure, I'm visiting my cousin in #CDMX to roam the streets of Coyoacan and climb through the mountains of Mezquital.

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While the majority of my Mexican celebrations have been centered around drinking, we aren't going to start off that way with this nutrient-dense blog post, however we'll get down and dirty with an optional smokey mezcal drink & some boochy mocktail recipes later in the post.

Some of my fondest memories when I was little was being able to spend time with my Aunt, eating (and observing) how she made delicious & authentic Mexican food which she also passed on to my mom. My cousins were born in Mexico with my aunt learning to cook a great deal of the cuisine. I've always had a soft spot for Mexican cuisine and that's why we're celebrating the most Americanized version of someone else's history, aka a reason for American's to get sh*tfaced on tequila and poorly made tacos. Now to the yum-yums:

 

SALÚD YA'LL

Let's talk Agave & Mezcal |Cocoa & Cocaine

They're all from plants. They're all FROM a natural source. They're all pretty shitty for you, but that's life. I'm not saying go ham on any of them (which we may have done last night) but agave IS an ingredient that's likely in your day to day. The use of honey, maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar, or bananas are probably ingredients that grace your presence more often than mezcal or cocaine. It's likely you're not pouring mezcal or cocaine in your morning coffee or to your acai bowl. Let's be real, neither one of them are good for you, but it's likely we dont utilize them nearly as much as something like agave. 

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Yes. You're correct, I have a pure hatred for agave as it provides little nutritional benefits for your body as it is something that is SO concentrated, reduced, and minimally beneficial compared to other go-to sweeteners. However, the same equally-as-bad-for-you, Mezcal (it's often drunk, older brother) goes through a different process to achieve it's smokey, tequilla-esc flavor. I'm not saying it's good for you by any means, but if you're going to break your I'm eating healthy diet for Cinco De Mayo, it better be with Mezcal like a true Mexican. (Hence my mezcal infused dancing last night)

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You see, both mezcal & agave nectar can come from the same plant, the Agave plant depending on the type of Mezcal you are having. The "Pina" portion of the plant is harvested for both of them. The benefits of this plant are pretty BA when utilized in it's raw from, however when heated and greatly fermented or concentrated, those nutritional benefits go out the door, just like when cocaine is made from the cocoa plant (the same source as the antioxidant-rich CHOCOLATE!) In a nutshell, my point of this Agave-bash is that I want you to understand the process your food goes through to get to the point of consumption. We don't see syrup dripping from the sky, but we do see dates fall from a palm, bananas grow tucked behind palm leaves, and maple syrup pour from maple trees during it's harvest. When something is in it's raw form, especially sugars they provide us with more benefits nutritionally, but when in Roam, Dalé because you know, YOLO.

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MANGORITA:

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 oz honey or maple syrup 
  • 1/2 bottle of Kevita Kombucha - Lime Flavor
  • Food-grade Lavender Droplets (optional)
  • Mezcal (Optional)

Method of Prep:

  1. Combine all ingredients except basil in a blender with ice cubes. Blend until well combined and pour into glasses. 
  2. Garnish with fresh basil and lime wedges.

***If you would like to add decoration on the rim, dip rim in honey and dip again in lime zests or shredded coconut.

 

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AVOJITO:

  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 2-4 sprigs organic mint
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup coconut water or filtered water
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1-2 shots mezcal  (if you must)

 

WATERMELON HIBISCUS AQUA FRESCA:

  • 5 cups watermelon
  • 2 cups hibiscus tea (I prefer steeping the petals instead of buying packaged tea bags)
  • 1 bottle lime, lemon or roselle kombucha
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 3-4 drops LIQUID Stevia
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (optional - however this is a common ingredient in drinks in Mexico City.)

 

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SALSA VERDE:

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 4 green tomatillos
  • 1 half white onion (cooked)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 tbsp blackened poblano pepper (optional / seeds & skin removed)
  1. Wash all of your ingredients.
  2. Dice your tomatillos & onions and cook onions and tomatillos until translucent.
  3. Add water if necessary and pulse immediately with other ingredients until well combined. Sugar may be necessary to offset kick. I like using maple syrup if needed.

 

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POBLANO LIME CREMA

  • 2 blackened/roasted Poblano Peppers (skin & seeds removed)
  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 1-1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 3 green onions 
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Wash all ingredients.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 and roast the Poblano pepper until blackened. Let cool and remove the skin & seeds. Reserve in the blender and blend until smooth. Adjust ingredients if you need more of one specific flavor.
  3. Combine sauce with ceviche ingredients and top with fresh cilantro or sprouts.

 

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CROCKPOT ONIONS & PEPPERS

  • 2 large yellow or red onions
  • 4-6 bell peppers (any color)
  • 1/2 cup veggie or beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Start off by adding 2 large onions (red or white) to a bowl, along with 4-6 washed bell peppers of any color. Slice all of the ingredients while removing the seeds of the peppers and add to your crock pot. Season and combine with your liquid and let cook until softened. I like to put this on in the morning on low to be eaten by dinner time. This is a great topping to your tacos. Pairs well with Poblano Lime Crema.

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STEWED BLACK BEANS

• 1 can black beans
• 1 can kidney beans
• 1 medium/large onion
• 1 tbsp avocado oil
• 1 tsp worcestershire sauce • 1/4-1 tsp cumin
• 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
• Salt & Pepper as needed 

  1. Add the avocado oil to your pan and let heat.
  2. Dice your onion and add to the pan until onions are cooked thoroughly (approx 15-20 minutes.) Add in the FULL can of both beans and let cook with the cumin & smoked paprika as well as worcestershire sauce. Cook until beans become incorporated and not as (sauce- like.)
  3. Push down on the beans with a spatula and mash the beans to create somewhat of a paste.
  4. Remove and let cool.

 

PINEAPPLE OR MANGO PICO DE GALLO

  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 english cucumber (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 Jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 2 tomatoes (seeds removed)
  • Juice of 1-3 limes
  1. Dice all of the ingredients except the limes into small dice-sized pieces after washing and add to a bowl to combine.

  2. Add the lime juice and mix. Reserve & use for tacos or for a dip!

ENJOY!