In truth, I wouldn’t be a card-carryin’ Texan if I did not adore and “almost” worship Tex Mex food, (a cuisine based on interior Mexican traditional foods, jazzed up and tinkered with by Texan chile heads addicted to spice and addicted to messin’ with other regions’ flavor profiles). Indeed, we Texans as a breed, have “we will jack with your food and assimilate your culture” coded into our DNA. Consequently, most Tex Mex food is heavy with spice and heat and served with a side of gooey sauce and melted cheese. And I’m not ashamed to admit. It lures me like the call from “the mother ship.”
It can’t come as any surprise when I tell you then, that May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, is a celebration enjoyed by all Texans—right alongside our Mexican neighbors and cousins. It’s a food-based holiday…and a drink-based one to boot. Can it get any better? (And yes, I hear you..You’re sayin’, “But SusieT, ALL your holidays are centered on food. No WONDER you’re still fighting the battle-of-the-fluffy.”)
And I say, “Guilty. Hang me!” For me, low carb is about the journey–not the destination. It’s a lifelong marathon at a very slow and sultry pace, just my style speakin’ from the Texan DFSW perspective of course.
Yep, I love food. I suspect you don’t get to “blossom” as we DFSW’s say (DFSW=Delicate Flower of Southern Womanhood), to 314 lbs, without quite a bit of an “unbalanced” relationship with food. But at nearly 80 lbs lighter than that all-time-record-high of 314, I feel healthier and believe those relationships with food are moving closer towards balance. For instance, I know unequivocally how to enjoy holidays and celebrations such as our upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration, viva low carb, with nary a slip-up or cheat! Ole! I doubt, however, that I will ever stop believing that preparing food for those you love is not an act of love—especially when it’s homemade, close to the earth type of cooking.
And that’s what we see in the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Texas and Mexican mamas the world over, spend Cinco de Mayo cookin’ out of love, to prepare a feast of epic proportions for their family’s enjoyment: para mi familia, para ti.
So just what the heck is Cinco de Mayo? It’s a day that celebrates a small Mexican town’s defeat of invading French forces, way back in 1862. That small town? Puebla. Had they not succeeded, the face and language of Mexico and Texas might look quite different. I could even be asking you, “Parrrr-laaay VUUU Fraan-say?” Instead, we Texicans hoot and holler and have festivals and parties on May 5 to celebrate our independence and freedom! Restaurants go all out with decorations and bring us great drink and food specials. In fact, imagine a St. Patrick’s Day celebration – it’s kinda like that, only with gorgeous, sparkly costumes and festive dress, instead of green beer and shamrocks! Imagine mariachis! Ole!
I know as a low carber, the idea that Mexican food or Tex-Mex could be remotely low carb is a paradigm stretcher. It asks you to suspend your sense of disbelief doesn’t it? But with a little advance planning and cunning on our part, low carbers can enjoy low carb Tex-Mex on Cinco de Mayo, and on any other day of the year—no splurging or cheating necessary!
And it doesn’t even matter if you spell Tex-Mex with a hyphen or without one, Tex Mex, or if you run it together like TexMex, or simply spell it in lower case like a whisper—tex mex. Cuz it’s all fan-flamenco-tastico Tex-Mex food, perfectly legal and low carb. No cheatin’ necessary.
So what do you say? Are you up for it?
You wanna know some ideas about how to eat a Tex-Mex low carb meal? Well let’s look at the best way to enjoy Tex-Mex at your local restaurant or watering hole.
It’s Time To Play: The “Instead Of Game”…
- Instead of a Margarita…
Have a shot of tequila, a wedge of lime, and a pinch of salt served with a Mich Ultra or Miller Lite poured over ice with a squeeze of lime. Or tea-total it with a big glass of iced tea and a huge hunk of lime. Yum.
- Instead of Chips and Salsa or Queso and Salsa…
Have pork skins and salsa or queso (BYOPS-bring your own pork skins, I do! And no one even notices!)
- Instead of flour or corn tortillas…
- Instead of any dish with rice and refried beans…
Ask your waiter to bring you grilled veggies or ask for a half an avocado, pico de gallo, and lime wedges
- Instead of enchiladas and tamales…
Order fajitas or carne asada or pollo asada smothered in cheese and bacon, served with grilled onions and peppers. Order grilled seafood or shrimp brochettes!
- Instead of tacos and tostadas…
Enjoy a guacamole salad! Eat it with a fork or BYOPS (see above)
- Instead of Borracho Beans…
Replace with…oh hell, go ahead and indulge in a 1/4 cup of this delightful bean soup. It will NOT hair-lip the pope or cause Mary and the Santos to weep. You will still be low carb afterward and it will only set you back about 12g of net carbs. Sometimes you just have to go for it and say, “Ayyyy carramba!”
By practicing these few little, common sense tips, you can walk out of that restaurant with your sombrero-head held high this Cinco de Mayo; victorious…having scored a yet another victory for Tex-Mex and for low carbers everywhere.
Now, let’s say you don’t FEEL like celebrating Cinco de Mayo in public and instead, want to throw a party or make a festive dinner at home. What’s a practicing low carber to do? Well, if you wanna try Tex-Mex at home, allow me to give you a list of a few of my favorite low carb blog posts from Fluffy Chix Cook. Fluffy Chix Cook may not be the “absolute authority” on low carb Tex-Mex, but I’m willin’ to bet, we are pretty highly ranked on the subject…just ask us—we’re not biased!!! And after all, we’ve been eatin’ Tex-Mex since before we were born. Seriously. Thanks Mama. Ole!
Fluffy Chix Cook List of Helpful Low Carb Tex-Mex Delights in Honor of Cinco de Mayo 24/7/365! Ole!
- Smart Margarita
- Ole! Corn Tortillas In Time for Cinco de Mayo
- Low Carb Flour Tortillas (Gluten Free, Soy Free)
- Revolutionary Wraps (make great enchilada wrappers)
- Pico de Gallo
- Easy Fresh Salsa
- Simple Chunky Guacamole
- Creamy Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch
- Armadillo Eggs
- Cinco de Mayo BOB (Breakfast on a Bun)
- Tex-Mex Baked Eggs for Breakfast, Brunch, or Brinner
- Low Carb Chili–A Knock Off of James Coney Island Chili
- Green Chili Pulled Chicken
- Four Chili Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Cream Sauce
- Green Chili Stacked Chicken Enchiladas
- Induction Cheese Enchiladas
- Low Carb Enchiladas Verdes – Lazy Leftovers Strike Back
- Tuesday Taco Nights are Low Carb FUN-ctional Food
- Tex-Mex Pulled Pork Street Tacos—More Low Carb Leftover Love
- Low Carb Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes to the Rescue
- A Texan Talks Goin’ Green with Tex-Mex Tomatillo Sauce
- Tex-Mex Pulled Pork Shoulder
- Kitchen Sink Chile Rellenos – Low Carb Tex-Mex Goodness
- Chile Lime Coleslaw
Heck, let’s face it, I could Bubba Gump the heck outta Tex-Mex and go on for days. Pretty much any recipe with a jalapeno in it could be claimed under Tex-Mex laws and under Texan-Rule by Article 109-1 of the Inter-Stellar Texan Supremacy Accord of 1836. In fact, I’ve even been known to Tex-Mex the heck outta peanut butter. That’s right. Peanut Butter. But if you’re “askeered” of aflatoxin ( a bad mamma-jamma found in peanuts), use almond or any nut butter you fancy.
Remember, drink responsibly if imbibing this Cinco de Mayo, dance and sing heartily—especially if Mariachi are involved, and don’t forget to say, “De nada” to our neighbors to the southwest for saving our sorry hides from the French, this May 5. And remember, eat a little Tex-Mex. It’ll make you el guapo or muy linda and strong like el toro!
Stuffed Jalapenos – 2 Ways
Recipe By: Susie T. Gibbs
Serving Size: 1 Serving Yield: 1 serving
Preparation Time: 3 Minutes
Another cheap, quick and convenient snack filled with goodness and a bit of heat in honor of Cinco de Mayo.
Pimiento Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno
- 1 whole jalapeno pepper, canned
- 2 tablespoons pimiento cheese
1. Split pickled jalapeno lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
2. Fill each side with your favorite pimiento cheese.
Per Serving: 59 Calories; 5g Fat (69.3% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 13mg Cholesterol; 569mg Sodium; trace g Net Carbohydrate.
This Susie Snax is cheesy. It’s salty. It’s hot. What’s not to love? It instantly puts the “mean hungries” to bed; an easy and quick snack, especially when you keep pimiento cheese mixed in the fridge.
- 1 whole jalapeno pepper, canned
- 2 tablespoons Laura Scudder’s Organic Peanut Butter
1. Split pickled jalapeno lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
2. Fill each side with one tablespoon of peanut butter or your favorite nut butter.
Per Serving: 206 Calories; 16g Fat (71.9% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 473mg Sodium; 4g Net Carbohydrate.
Mole sauce comprises a big part of authentic Mexican cuisine–made from dozens of ingredients, many of which are nuts. Peanuts have a natural affinity to heat and chile peppers! Try it. It’s unorthodox, but lip smacking delicious! And again, rips the “mean hungries” off the face of the earth!