5 healthy ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo* — literally the fifth of May — is at hand, and a lot of Americans will enjoy one too many margaritas and mistakenly celebrate Mexican Independence Day (which is actually Sept. 9). They will also eat a lot of tasty Mexican food.

Here are some recipes that allow you to enjoy the wonderfully rich flavors of Mexican food and not totally blow your wellness efforts.

Chilaquiles Casserole: This easy to make casserole is a meal unto itself with plenty of vegetables, cheese and corn tortillas. Just 234 calories per servicing, 30 grams of carbs (which is a bit high for those who are strict Atkins followers) and 338 mg. of sodium. This seems as though it would be easily translated to a good dish to be made in an Aroma cooker .

Poblano Posole: If you are a fan of hearty stews filled with vegetables, this is the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and not totally make you regret it when next you get on the scale. This recipe by the Food Network’s Rachel Ray has 224 calories per serving. Be sure to use low-sodium vegetable stock. Fair warning: poblano peppers are not nearly the hottest you can find, but they do pack some heat.

Mexican Rice: This recipe is made for use with one of the rice cookers that so many truckers use as the staple of their in-cab kitchens. That means, it is easy and quick. Uses low-sodium chicken broth and has green chilies and some re pepper flakes. You can make it as hot as your taste buds prefer.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers: This is an Atkins dieter’s dream come true. It is rich, flavorful, has that sweet heat of poblano peppers and is made with ground beef and two kinds of cheeses. Serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa. This could become a regular in your menu rotation.

Roast Chick Soft Tacos: It wouldn’t be a Cinco de Mayo without tacos. This recipe includes chicken white meat but you just as easily substitute the more flavorful meat from the thighs. (We’re guessing you could employ a major cheat and use a supermarket prepared rotisserie bird if you wished.) It calls for lots of veggies, but feel free to improvise with your own. Make it as hot as you wish.

* Cinco de Mayo is a largely American celebration of the Battle of Puebla fought on May 5, 1862. That day the Mexican army defeated the French in a critical battle. It is not, however, Mexican Independence Day.