Tomorrow is one of my favorite food holidays – Cinco De Mayo! Being a registered dietitian does not mean I can’t enjoy Mexican food and a good margarita! Mexican flavors can be used in a very healthful way, you just need to know how. Plus, it is not always easy to go out for a meal on a Tuesday night! Below are a few recipes originally posted on my blog at I have guacamole, black bean tacos, homemade taco seasoning, and a margarita to share. All are gluten free, dairy free, vegan and delicious!

The first recipe to share is obviously everyone’s favorite – guacamole. It is so easy to make fresh guac with a few simple ingredients. If you can’t find fresh cilantro, it can still taste great! Also, I find many people just confused about using avocados on their own. Preparing food with avocados for the first time can be intimidating if you don’t know what to look for and when to use them. The California Avocado Board has pages on how to select a ripe avocado  and on how to use them!

Simple Homemade Guacamole 

Ingredients :

guac nutrition blog

2 avocados
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion (I use red usually), minced
2 jalapenos, minced (only use 1 if you aren’t a huge fan of heat!)
1/4-1/2 medium tomato, diced very small (about 1/4 cup)
1-2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp cumin & garlic powder
Fresh ground black pepper & sea salt to taste
Juice of 1 lime wedge


-Cut & peel the avocados and add to a medium sized bowl or molcajete. When not using the molcajete I generally make the guac in a large pyrex so I don’t have to transfer it for storage. Also via California Avocado, here are directions and even a video on how to cut & peel your avocado.
-Add the jalapeno, garlic, onion and tomato (once minced/diced) to the same bowl. Mash with a fork or even a muddler until the avocado is mashed and the ingredients are well distributed.

-Add the dried spices, cilantro and lime juice, and stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until all are well incorporated.

Trader Joe’s “reduced guilt” tortilla chips are a great alternative that taste good and have much less fat than your classic tortilla without added chemicals. You can also dip chopped peppers or sliced jicama.

Next I have a black bean taco recipe. Included in this is a separate recipe for homemade taco seasoning that you can use in a beef, ground turkey or lentil taco recipe too!

guac finished

Black Bean Veggie Tacos 



1 cup organic dried black beans* (comes out to the 2 cups for this recipe + extra)
or 1.5 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon avocado oil
3 cloves garlic, minced***
1-2 jalapeno, diced(depending on size)
2 green onions, diced fine (can omit)
1 medium-large onion, diced***
2 large whole carrots, shredded***
1 15 ounce can organic diced tomatoes (I used the trader joe’s ones w/ green chiles)
or 15 oz can diced tomatoes + 2 oz canned green chili’s
1 Cup packed fresh chopped kale or 1 Cup frozen spinach
*Prepare with water & a dash of salt as indicated on package. They definitely come out the most tender if you cook a full 1 1/2 hours but I recommend at least 45 min simmer and let sit an hour covered. 1 Cup dried gave me about 3 1/2 cups cooked. I only needed 2 cups for this recipe so I froze the rest for next time I need them. You can use canned beans but 1 can only gives about 1 1/2 cups actual beans and usually has lots of sodium. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the chemical BPA. Muir glen, trader joe’s, whole foods 365 and eden are all brands that do not line their cans with BPA
***Purchasing Tips: bagged organic onions are very economical from Trader Joe’s as are bagged organic carrots. Both can also be found for a good deal at BJ’s Wholesale, along with organic garlic.

Taco Seasoning
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

taco seasoning

-Wash the peppers and carrots and prep all of your ingredients as listed above.
-Make your taco seasoning by mixing all the spices together. It’s super easy, doesn’t have the processed preservatives and additives, and will cost you less in the long run.

-Place a large saucepan or stockpot over low-medium heat and add the oil. Spread w/ rubber spatula so that it coats the bottom of the pan.
-Add the garlic and hot peppers and stir for 1-2 minutes (do not let garlic turn brown).
-Add the onions and shredded carrots, stir and cover for 3-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
-Next add the beans and tomatoes and stir. Add all of the taco seasoning and stir well. Cover and let simmer about 5 minutes.
-Add the kale and stir until wilted or thawed. Turn off the heat and you’re done!
Finished Product should look like this picture:

Serve in Food For Life brand sprouted corn tortillas (can be found at Organnon’s) or in romaine lettuce!

Clean Skinny Margarita

Finally, what is Cinco without a good Margarita? Most “skinny” margarita’s are filled with artificially sweetened syrups, processed “lime” juice or they just aren’t skinny at all with all the sour mix added! When I make a marg on the rocks here is how it’s done!

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix 1.5 ounces silver tequila with .5 ounces grand marnier. Add juice of ½ lime, a splash of OJ and top with club soda (or lime LaCroix) instead of sour mix. Skip the salt so you aren’t bloated the day after! Tip: ask for your margarita at Escape with soda instead of sour mix and a splash of OJ!


-Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Check out more on NAC nutrition and the schedule for classes included in your membership here.