Cinco de Mayo for 800 calories. For real.

So, yesterday was Cinco de Mayo. I love Cinco de Mayo. Actually, I love any occassion that celebrates the customes (read: FOOD) of a particular culture. I make Irish stew on St. Patrick’s Day every year, for example. And tomorrow, I’m making a southern style pecan pie and mint juleps for the 137th Running of the Roses, like I do every year.

But this year on Cinco de Mayo, I am in the middle of a big-time two-week crack down on calories. Like living on 1,740 a day kinda crack down. It SUCKS. We’re getting a Jones family portrait taken next weekend, and I’m not sure if it’s finalized, but we might all be wearing khakis for the picture. Well, I own a pair of khakis and a khaki skirt–both of which I look like a sausage in, so hence the crack down. But that’s another story.

So what’s a guacamole-obsessed girl to do while staying within 1,740 calories?

Answer: Healthy Chicken Nachos

Serves 2

39 Baked Tostitos scoops (that’s how many covered the pizza pan I made them on)
1/2 grilled skinless breast of chicken, shredded
1 cup canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup shredded taco cheese
lettuce
4 Tb. regular sour cream
1/2 cup salsa

Spread chips on a pizza pan. Put a little chicken on each chip. Top with a little of the beans on each chip (it came out to about a half a tsp on each chip). Sprinkle cheese on top and broil about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and cover with chopped lettuce. Serve with sour cream and salsa on the side.
495 calories per serving

Jeremy and I actually agreed that these nachos were better than the usual way I make them with refried beans and venison. They were tastier. So, if I have chicken handy, I’ll definitely opt for this recipe when I make nachos from now on.

I also made quite possible the best batch of guacamole I’ve ever made. Here’s my tried and true recipe, adapted from Tyler Florence’s Eat This Book.

Better Than Store-bought Guac

5 ripe avocados
juice of 2 limes
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (or tsp minced garlic)
1 big handful of chopped cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt

Halve and pit the avocados and scoop the flesh into a big mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and mash together until mixed and a chunky consistency. Taste and adjust salt or lime juice as needed. If not serving immediately, place a piece of plastic wrap right onto the mixture to keep air from touching it. (avocados will brown quickly like apples do, once cut).

I’ve found the best thing to use to mash the ingredients together is a pastry blender. Don’t have one? Try a potato masher, or a even a dinner fork.

1/2 cup of guacamole has 228 calories (it’s also really high in fat, but it’s healthy fat–omega 3’s, just eat it in moderation) + 10 Tostitos Baked Scoops with 80 calories = 308 calories.

The guac, chips and nachos come in at 803 calories total. Not too shabby compared to standard Mexican fare with all the cheese/grease/meat. And, it was a pretty hearty-sized dinner. The hardest part is passing up the obligatory margarita… 170 calories, if you’re wondering. I checked.

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