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Wellness for the Family: Fresh and Healthy Takes on Mexican-American Cuisine on Cinco de Mayo

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo is traditionally celebrated with tacos and margaritas in the United States.

While they are DELISH, they aren’t always the healthiest of options.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan registered dietician Shanthi Appelö joined ‘the four’ LIVE with some fresh and healthy takes on Mexican-American favorites.

Lightly Breaded Baked Tilapia Tacos – Serves 4


  • 8-12 street taco tortillas
  • 2 large or 4 small tilapia filets
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced 
  • Quick pickled onions (found in this )
  • Cilantro-lime yogurt crema (recipe below)
  • 3 limes, wedged for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to degrees 425 F. Prepare a lined baking sheet.
  2. Combine panko breadcrumbs, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pat tilapia filets dry, then brush with olive oil. Dip each side of the filets in the breadcrumb mixture and press in to set. Place on the lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake tilapia for 8-12 minutes or until cooked through. While tilapia is baking, toast or grill tacos.
  4. Serve bits of the tilapia on toasted street tacos with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, pickled onions, a drizzle of cilantro-lime yogurt crema and fresh-squeezed lime.


Cilantro-Lime Yogurt Crema


  • ½ jalapeño, seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Optional step – in a small pan over medium-high heat, add garlic cloves and jalapenos until lightly charred.
  2. In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth. Dress fish tacos with a drizzle of the crema.


Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca – Serves 6-8


  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1 lime
  • ¼ cup mint leaves


  1. In a blender, add watermelon, water and juice from the lime.
  2. In each glass before serving, add 2-3 mint leaves and muddle. Add ice, then pour over the watermelon mixture and stir. Enjoy!


For more wellness tips, tricks, and recipes from Blue Cross Blue Shield dietitian, Shanthi Appelö, .