Happy (belated) Cinco de Mayo! It’s a great reason to party, but have you ever stopped to wonder what you’re actually celebrating?
- Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. That’s celebrated on September 16th.
- Cinco de Mayo actually marks the 1892 victory of a small, rag-tag Mexican army of about 4,500 soldiers over an 8,000 man French force led by Napoleon III. It’s called the Battle of Puebla. While Mexico won this particular battle, they still lost the war
- If the French had won the Battle of Puebla, they would have sided with the South in the American Civil War and could have drastically influenced the results of the war.
- Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday in Mexico. Puebla de Zaragoza, where the battle took place, is where the real celebrating happens.
- Cinco de Mayo is the busiest day of the year for Mexican restaurants in the United States.
That concludes your nerdy fact lecture for the day. I studied Spanish in high school and college, forming a huge love of history and culture in Spanish-speaking countries. Any excuse I have share a little of that love, I’ll take it. 🙂
The celebration in our house was pretty tame. Peanut and I listened to some Mexican tunes in the morning while I got ready and…that’s about it. Until dinner, of course. This dish was sort of a happy accident. My husband spotted it and said it looked good. I wanted something Mexican for the occasion and it fit. Looking at the recipe I didn’t expect it to be anything extraordinary. However, it turned out much more delicious than I’d expected. (I love when that happens!) Another bonus was it being super quick and easy to throw together.
(makes 4 servings)
- 4 (8-inch) tortillas (I used whole grain.)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 bell pepper, diced (green will make it prettier)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup chunky salsa, divided
- 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
- 1 cup fat-free canned refried beans
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- sour cream (optional; I used reduced-fat.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Bake 3 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add the bell pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 4 minutes.
3. Add the chicken, garlic, chili powder, cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
4. Add 1/4 cup of the salsa and the green onions. Cook and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Combine refried beans and remaining 1/4 cup of salsa in a microwave-safe container. Heat on HIGH for 1 minute, stir and heat an additional 1 minute on HIGH or until beans are heated through.
6. Spread the bean mixture evenly over each tortilla. Spoon the chicken mixture over the bean mixture. Top with tomato and sour cream, if desired.
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My evening was supposed to conclude with a special Cinco de Mayo Zumba class followed by margaritas at a friend’s house. Unfortunately, my husband ended up having to work pretty late. Peanut has been a bit under the weather so I decided to stay home with her instead of scrambling for a last-minute sitter. It was a bummer to miss because I’ve been excited about the class for weeks, but priorities decided otherwise. Besides, baby snuggles and rocking out to Raffi on the iTouch more than made up for missing out on the party. 🙂