Feliz Cinco de Mayo de Brillantemente Creativo

Posted May 5, 2020 by Alyssa Stahr

Living in America has its perks, and one of them is the ability to celebrate almost every holiday on the planet in some way, shape or form. Cinco de Mayo is this author’s favorite holiday of the year (I admit it’s been greatly Americanized and I’m totally OK with that), and I’ve called upon the Brightly Creative team to help me expand on the reasons why it’s so great. 

  1. The food. We may not be able to celebrate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of the Puebla (no, Cinco isn’t Mexican Independence Day or The Day of the Dead as many believe) at the local watering hole, but that doesn’t mean delicious Mexican food can’t be made at home. Jonathan Galbreath and Alison Wuebbels have shared their vegan and Turkey Taco Tuesday recipes, respectively, with a great drink recipe mixed in:

Jonathan’s Vegan Crispy Tofu Burrito Bowl (serves 4)

• 1 package of extra firm tofu (pressed overnight and cubed)

• 1 red leaf lettuce

• 1/2 jicama (julienned)

• 2 hot house tomatoes (cubed)

• 1 yellow onion (diced)

• 1 cup cilantro

• 1 avocado

• 1 cup white or brown rice

• green or red salsa

• 1/2 can of black bean

• 2 tbsp cornstarch

• nutritional yeast

• taco seasoning

Preheat oven to 375˚. Prepare rice. In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a small amount of water to create a paste. Dip handfuls of cubed to tofu into corn starch, then roll in a mix of nutritional yeast and taco seasoning. On a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, flip and back for another 5, or until golden brown (coat with olive oil or avocado oil to prevent stick).

Throw it all in a bowl and top with cilantro and your choice(s) of salsa 🙂

Jonathan’s Drink Recipe

2 oz reposado tequila (I like Espolón Tequila Reposado)

1 oz Cointreau

1/2 lime squeezed

Shake over ice and salt the rim 🙂

Alison’s Turkey Taco Tuesday

“How magical is it that Cinco de Mayo falls on Taco Tuesday? My fiancé and I celebrate Taco Tuesday every week, but with our spin. We do turkey tacos! Just as you would prepare any beef taco meat, we use ground turkey and taco seasoning. We somewhat do our bodies well with adding onion, jalapeño and lettuce before drenching the whole thing in mounds of cheese, red sauce and sour cream. But I guess we try?”

  1. The parties. Parties may be limited to the House Party App and your living room this year, but Jasmyne Harris has a great alternative that won’t leave you crying alone over your tequila. “I am very bummed that my normal festivities will be cancelled, but I have some alternate plans! My friends and I usually will go to where the parties are and start dancing, but I have a plan B. I bought chili pepper pinatas on Amazon and I’m going to fill them with mini Patron bottles, limes and candy! I’ll deliver them to my friends’ houses and then we can celebrate ‘social distance’ style! I might stay and watch them bust it open!”
  2. It’s easy to support local — and some of the best food comes from non-chains. You don’t have to travel to Mexico to join in on the fun. Keith Seiz says, “This Cinco de Mayo, we’ll be ordering take out from a local Mexican restaurant. We usually make our own fiesta at home, but with COVID-19, it feels appropriate to support the local Mexican restaurants and their employees.”
  3. Ironically, you can celebrate it anywhere. Five of my last seven Cincos have been celebrated away from home: at a disco in Xian, China (we had to get a margarita at the hotel lobby bar — a classic improvisation); on a cruise ship in the Greek Islands; on a tour bus heading through Albania/Montenegro; at a Mexican restaurant in Bratislava, Slovakia (of all places); at the bars of Milwaukee, Wis.; and at a patio in Chicago, Ill. Each year has brought its own memories, laughs, food and margaritas. There’s no pressure during Cinco, no gift giving, no obligations. It’s simply a day of friendship and laughter that in my case has made total strangers turn into lifelong friends. While this year will definitely look a little different, I plan on ordering food and FaceTiming, Marco Poloing and texting with everyone from the year’s past to reminisce and make new memories. Ole!

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