by | May 2, 2014 | 24 comments

I grew up eating “Mexican food” in Texas, and got used to the “queso,” enchiladas, and anything covered in sour cream.  The first time I went to Mexico, I remember thinking that they were doing it “wrong” … I know.  I later learned that the Tex-Mex I had been used to eating was a different variety of food all together.  “Texas Food Authority” (how do you get that title?!?) Robb Walsh said, “if it isn’t really Mexican food, what is Tex-Mex?  The answer has to be regional cuisine.senior spring break(college senior Spring Break in Cancun…haha!)

Well, Tex-Mex is not the only Americanized thing I’m going to talk about today.  Most Americans realize that Cinco de Mayo is not actually Mexican Independence Day, but did you know that the holiday itself is far more celebrated in the US than it actually is in Mexico?  The Director of Centro Civico Mexican said, “It’s really a US day, not a Mexico thing, and that’s fine with us.

I guess Americans will use anything as an excuse to get in a good celebration, and I don’t want to stop you from doing that.  After all, you’re talking to the person who randomly had a giant margarita glass show up at her wedding reception in Puerto Vallarta…giant margarita 2(let’s just say our friends wanted to make sure we were having a good time!)

Anyway, back to the recipe.  The truth is, I made this as a “healthy seven layer dip.”  I actually had six layers in mind … and then I got the “Cinco-de-Layer Dip” idea, and got really excited (I even told Kevin, and I think he rolled his eyes).  I ended up with a five-layer version that saves you 175 calories and 13g fat from the traditional version.  Once I made the dip, though, I tried to serve it with veggie sticks (like I do with most dips) … and it wasn’t quite “dippy” enough.  Truth be told, I ended up eating it as a mini salad, and it’s so healthy that you can do this completely guilt-free!

Cinco De Layer Dip from The Lyons Share

Kevin still enjoyed his portion as a dip with tortilla chips, so it certainly works that way as well. I don’t know if this dish is Tex-Mex, Mexican, or just plain delicious, but I do know that it would be a great addition to your Cinco de Mayo table this Monday!  It’s pretty darn delicious either way, so do what works for you!

kevin dip


Cinco de Layer Dip from The Lyons' Share

Healthy Cinco-de-Layer Dip (or Mini Salad!)

by Megan Lyons

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: salad side snack dip gluten-free low-carb nut-free vegetarian avocado beans peppers yogurt Cinco de Mayo

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 4 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp. salsa
  • 4 Tbsp. black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (you could likely use Parmesan instead)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 4 Tbsp. cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 medium-sized avocado
  • 1 small tomato, or 1/2 large tomato
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro


Layer chopped lettuce on the bottom of individual dishes (each dish needs to hold at least 1 cup). This was home-grown organic lettuce from my rooftop garden!

In a separate bowl, mix together yogurt and salsa. Layer mixture gently on top of lettuce.

Layer quinoa on top of yogurt and salsa mixture.

In another separate bowl, mix together black beans, nutritional yeast, and cumin. Layer mixture on top of quinoa.

In a third separate bowl, gently mix diced avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro. Layer this on top of beans.


Each serving contains 4g fat, 19g carbs, 9g protein.

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So tell me in the comments … Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  Have you ever had a giant margarita glass show up at your wedding?  Favorite Mexican food (or “Mexican food”)?


  1. Lisa @ Running out of Wine

    I love seeing the picture of you guys from your spring break and your wedding! I am not really into Mexican food (I’ll have really basic tacos or fajitas on occasion, but that’s about it) but I do enjoy margaritas! Unfortunately, there were no giant margaritas at my wedding:)

    • Megan Lyons

      Sounds like my style, Lisa. When I’m at a Mexican restaurant, I almost always get a salad and tortilla soup, or some basic fajitas or tacos!

  2. Arman @ thebigmansworld

    You’re going to think I’m a twat but when I first heard of Cinco De Mayo I thought it was some fancy mayonnaise…. yep.

    That looks so delicious though and I’d totally eat it like salad! I had a giant margarita at a Mexican restaurant…although they skimped on the alcohol 😉

    • Megan Lyons

      Eww, no, you will NEVER see mayonnaise on The Lyons’ Share. Not because of nutrition, just because it absolutely and completely grosses me out. I have not been able to eat mayonnaise for at least 15 years … it just makes me shudder! Ha!

  3. Tina Muir

    Megan this looks wonderful!!!! Yummy! Pinning for later! I love the giant margarita at your wedding, that looks like fun….although if you are like most brides and barely eat on their wedding day….probably went right to your head! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thank you, Tina! Haha yes, you are right about being a bride – I ate a bit through the day even though I was nervous, because I knew I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to eat much at dinner! I didn’t, but made sure to find time for a few bites of wedding cake :). And here’s a secret – I don’t think I actually drank that green drink, because by the time it got to me, probably 30 people’s lips had been on the straw!!! But I had a few glasses of wine throughout the evening!

  4. Kim

    This looks awesome!!!
    And, you are gorgeous in your wedding picture – love the giant margarita!!!

    • Megan Lyons

      Aww, thank you, Kim!! My wedding day was truly the best day of my life 🙂

  5. lindsay

    forget the chips, i’ll grab s a cup!! YUM!

    • Megan Lyons

      Yes! I definitely enjoyed a few portions straight up 🙂

  6. Davida @ The Healthy Maven

    Canadians don’t really celebrate cinco de mayo unfortunately. We are FINALLY getting some good mexican restaurants up here so I am thrilled!

    this looks so yum!!!

    • Megan Lyons

      Ooh fun! I wonder if they’ll be “real” Mexican, Tex-Mex style, or some new combination … Canaxican? Mexadian? I think I should go to bed 🙂

  7. Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit

    Oh my gosh, I love Mexican food and this looks right up my alley and you should be super proud of that name – so cute, haha!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thanks, Lauren! Hope you enjoy it!

  8. Michael Anderson

    Love the recipes and the pictures – your wedding dress looks gorgeous!

    I was never one to celebrate made-up holidays, but at the same time never one to need an excuse to have a fun themed night at home with friends, Lisa and/or the kids!

    I could totally see making this as a fun dinner-salad for all of us to enjoy … well, more the boys and I in terms of the avocado.

    Question – what is the purpose of the nutritional yeast? It is something I’ve never bought so was wondering … ?

    • Megan Lyons

      Thank you, Michael! It’s coming up on our 4th wedding anniversary, so I’ll share some more pictures of the dress, mostly because I love re-looking through wedding pictures :). Yes – make it as a dinner salad!! As for nutritional yeast, it gives a cheesy taste when mixed with things. I love it in soups, dips, on salads, etc. – now especially since I’m avoiding dairy and most non-dairy cheese substitutes like almonds and rice, but also when I’m on my “regular” eating schedule due to the health benefits. It’s a great source of B12 and protein, without sodium or cholesterol, and with very few calories! I either buy it in bulk from health food stores or buy the Bragg’s brand online. Try it out!

  9. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    I love this idea! It’s a lot different that the Mexican layered dips I see – it looks a LOT more fresh and delicious (those canned refried beans KILL me).

    Also, I wish I’d been at that reception. 😉

    • Megan Lyons

      Ugh yes, those canned refried beans are pretty nasty-looking! I wish you had been at the reception, too! It was truly everything I could have asked for – 65 of our closest friends and family at a gorgeous resort on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, partying until the sun rose (OK, Kevin and I actually didn’t make it that long – oops!) and absolutely having the best time of our lives. There were lots of fun memories like the giant margarita glass. So much fun!

  10. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun

    Looks delicious! Love Mexican so a healthier version of anything Mexican is always exciting!

    • Megan Lyons

      I hope you try it, Sara! It’s super easy, too, which is always a plus in my book 🙂

  11. Becky@TheSavedRunner

    Yum this looks delicious!! I love seeing you sub things out for dairy because I am avoiding most dairy now too, so you help me have good ideas. 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      Oh good, Becky! How is eliminating dairy working for you?

  12. Amy @ The Little Honey Bee

    Oh my gosh you guys are adorable! And this looks delicious – loving the photos!!! I “celebrated” in college but now, not really 🙂 happy Friday friend!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thank you, Amy!!! I had fun looking back through old photos for this one :). I think I’ll be celebrating your-style this year. No crazy times for me tomorrow! HAPPY (late) BIRTHDAY and CONGRATS on your race!! 🙂


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Megan Lyons Headshot

Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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