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cinco de may recipes

Cajun Shrimp Tacos With Cilantro Crème and Guacamole

These tacos are not only packed with bold flavors, but they are also easy to prepare, making them perfect for a weeknight dinner or a festive gathering.

Cajun Shrimp Tacos With Cilantro Crème and Guacamole

Yield 6 servings  Prep time 30 minutes  Cook time 25 minutes

For the tacos:

  • 2 lbs. (32–40 shrimp) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbs. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeds removed and diced
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 head romaine, chopped
  • 12 corn tortillas

Optional toppings:

  • Jalapeño slices
  • Radish slices
  • Diced onion
  • Fresh cilantro, minced
  • Scallions, diced
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice

For the cilantro crème:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbs. garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup scallions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the guacamole:

  • 5 avocados
  • 1 tbs. garlic, minced
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 3 oz. red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and minced


  1. Season the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning. Set aside.
  2. Make the cilantro crème and guacamole, mixing together the respective ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Cut the corn off the cob. Sautéing each ingredient individually, lightly sauté the corn, poblano, and onion. Less is more here: You want to heat and activate the flavor profile, but still maintain the original texture. Once cooked, transfer to a single bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Turn on the grill, placing the seasoned shrimp on it once heated. Cook until done, about two to three minutes on each side. Dice the cooked shrimp and add to the corn poblano mix.
  5. Set out all of the fixings and assemble your tacos using ingredients and amounts to fit your taste.

Pork Carnitas

Carnitas — braised or roasted pork that is shredded — is a staple of Mexican cuisine and great to have on hand for eating in tacos and tamales or with rice and beans.


Makes  4 to 6 servings


  • 4 pounds pork shoulder roast
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, mashed with the side of a knife
  • 1 tbs. smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 tbs. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Cut slits into the pork shoulder every 2 inches.
  2. Mix together the onion, garlic, spices, and salt, and rub over the pork and into the slits. Drizzle the roast with the vinegar. Wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least several hours.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat, and sear the roast on all sides.
  4. Add water to cover the roast, cover the pressure cooker, and bring to high pressure. Turn the heat down and cook for 50 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat off and allow the pressure cooker to come down to normal pressure naturally, about 10 minutes, and uncover. If the pork is not falling off the bone, return to high pressure for another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the pork shoulder from the cooking liquid. Skim off as much fat as you can, and then simmer the cooking liquid in the pressure cooker, uncovered, until the volume is reduced by half.
  7. Shred the pork using two forks, and serve with the reduced cooking liquid poured over it.

This recipe originally appeared in “Cooking With Pressure Cookers“. Photo: Terry Brennan. Recipe developer: Betsy Nelson.

Tropical Tacos With Jicama Slaw

These ground pork tacos are livened up with a crisp slaw, diced mango, and island spices.

Tropical Tacos With Jicama Slaw

Makes 2 to 4 servings Prep time 20 minutes Cook time 15 minutes


  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 small jicama, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 medium jalapeño, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbs. coconut aminos
  • 4 scallions, sliced, dark-green parts only
  • 1 head butter or Boston lettuce, leaves separated


  • For the slaw, place the grated carrot and jicama, minced cilantro, and lime juice and zest in a medium bowl. Toss to mix.
  • For the meat, warm the coconut oil in a large, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeño to the skillet with a pinch of salt, toss to coat in oil, and cook until soft, five to seven minutes. Crumble the pork into the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it’s no longer pink.
  • Crush the garlic in a small bowl and add the ginger, salt, pepper, and allspice. Add the mixture to the meat and combine.
  • Add diced mango and coconut aminos to the pan and stir again. Let the flavors meld, about five minutes.
  • Garnish the pork with the sliced scallions. Serve the meat and slaw family-style in large bowls, letting your dining companions make their own tacos with the lettuce leaves.

Tip: Jicama is a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber.

This recipe originally appeared in “Kitchen Adventures With Well Fed‘s Melissa Joulwan.” Reprinted with permission from Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less by Melissa Joulwan, photography by David Humphreys, published on November 1, 2016, by Greenleaf Book Group Press. Copyright © 2016 by Melissa Joulwan.

Pork Loin With Mole Verde

Serve this traditional piquant dish over brown rice or with sprouted tortillas.

pork loin mole
 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 tsp. plus 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 tomatillos, husked, halved, and cored
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, halved
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds, plus 1/4 cup for garnish
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 pound pork loin roast, cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and lightly oil a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Arrange onion, tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeños on the baking sheet and roast until softened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Toast the pumpkin and cumin seeds in a dry skillet for three to five minutes.
  4. Blend together with the roasted veggies, oregano, cilantro, and salt. (For a more rustic approach, skip the blender and simply mix the mole ingredients together.)
  5. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan, and sear the pork on all sides.
  6. Add the tomatillo sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat until the pork is cooked through (145 degrees F), stirring occasionally.
  7. Garnish with reserved pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

This recipe originally appeared in “How to Eat More Seeds: Recipes, Techniques, and More“. Photo: Terry Brennan. Recipe developer: Betsy Nelson.

Chicken Mole

Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce that has many variations and usually takes hours to cook. This adaptation is quicker but still silky and flavorful.

chicken mole

Makes 4 to 6 servingsPrep time 20 minutesCook time 1 hour


  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 chicken (about 3 to 4 pounds), cut up into pieces
  • 2 1/4 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 tbs. ground ancho chilies or paprika
  • 1 tbs. ground coriander
  • 2 tbs. almond butter
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 oz. Mexican chocolate (80 to 85 percent cocoa), coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

This recipe originally appeared in “7 Dark Chocolate Recipes“. Photo: Terry Brennan. Recipe developer: Betsy Nelson.

Socca Chips and Guacamole

Make your own chickpea-flour “tortilla chips” to dip in guacamole.
A dish of socca chips and guacamole
Makes 4 servings Prep time 20 minutes Cook time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup avocado or coconut oil


  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1 tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Hot sauce (optional)


  1. For the socca chips, combine the chickpea flour and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the water until no lumps remain. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Place a 6-inch nonstick skillet on a burner over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Drizzle with enough oil to coat the pan, then pour in 1/4 cup of the chickpea batter, tilting the pan to spread it evenly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 90 seconds, then use a heat-safe spatula to flip. Cook the other side for 90 seconds. When the socca is firm to the touch, transfer to a cutting board. Continue until all the batter is used. Let the socca cool to room temperature, then cut each into wedges.
  3. Place a large pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle with enough oil to coat the pan. Add a few socca wedges to the pan, taking care not to overcrowd them. Cook in batches for about a minute per side, until sizzling and golden.
  4. In a medium bowl, mash the avocados into a paste. Add the lime juice and garlic and mix, mashing until almost smooth. Stir in the onion, jalapeño, tomato, and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve with socca chips and hot sauce alongside.

This recipe first appeared in “5 Game-Day Snacks.” Photo by: Photography: Andrea D’Agosto. Recipe developer: Robin Asbell.

Mexican Fruit “Gazpacho” Salad

Recipe from Jeanne Kelley’s Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes.

fruit gazbacho

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds Mexican papaya
  • 3/4 pounds jicama
  • 1 large mango
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 orange
  • 3 tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ground chili (such as New Mexican or other medium-hot chili)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbs. finely chopped cilantro


  1. Peel and dice (and seed, if necessary) the papaya, jicama, mango, cucumber and orange.
  2. Combine the diced fruit in a shallow serving dish or bowl.
  3. Mix the lime juice, chili and salt in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the fruit, add the cilantro, and toss gently but well.
  4. Serve.

This recipe originally appeared in “The Kitchen Garden“. Photo: John Mowers.

Yucatan Avocado Salsa

This salsa makes a great tortilla chip dip all on its own, or you can use it to dress any grilled or roasted meat, poultry or seafood. Serve with tortillas and plenty of sangria.

a bowl of avocado salsa

Makes 2 generous cups Prep time 5 minutes


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 small onion minced very fine
  • 2 Serrano chiles, minced very fine
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tbs. fresh chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbs. fresh lime juice


  1. Combine the chiles, onion, salt, garlic, tomatillos and cilantro in a food processor and pulse to puree. Do not over puree. Reserve.
  2. Halve the avocado, remove and discard pit and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin.
  3. Using a fork, mash the avocado into the pureed sauce with the lime juice.
  4. Season and serve quickly.

This recipe originally appeared in “Avocados: Nutrition, Kitchen Tricks, and More.” Recipe developer: Andrew Zimmern.

Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche

To host your perfect fun-in-the-sun fiesta all you need are finesse and a few fabulous details, Latin-style.

shrimp ceviche

Makes 8 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (26 to 30 shrimp)
  • Salt
  • 2 large garlic gloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 1 bunch scallions (about 6), white parts only, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, canned or fresh, peeled
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Popcorn: natural, microwave or stovetop (optional)


  1. Peel and devein the shrimp. In a small pot, boil enough water to cover the shrimp. When the water is boiling, add a small palmful of salt, and then the shrimp, garlic and bay leaves. When the shrimp turn pink, in about a minute, remove them and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the shrimp stock to use in the marinade.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp stock and all the marinade ingredients, except for the cilantro. Toss in the shrimp, add salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate, covered, for at least two hours.
  3. When ready to serve, sprinkle the fresh cilantro over the ceviche. If desired, make popcorn to serve on the side.

This recipe originally appeared in “Latin Inspiration“.

Mexican Chocolate Chia Pudding

Enjoy this chocolate-rich dessert alternative with the option to add a kick of spice. 

Mexican chocolate chia pudding
Yield 2 servings ⋅ Prep time 10 minutes Cook time 4 hours
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 serving chocolate Life Time vegan protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour evenly into two glass Ball jars.
  2. Let sit overnight, or for at least four hours, in the refrigerator.
  3. When ready to eat, add any desired toppings, such as fruit, nuts, or nut butter.

Sober Sangria

Sangria is a colorful and festive punch that’s traditionally made with red wine and brandy. This alcohol-free version is just as flavorful and perfect for people of all ages. Blood oranges are a great substitute for regular oranges.
a glass of sober sangria
Makes 10 servings


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup loose hibiscus tea or dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups 100 percent pomegranate juice
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 green apple, cored and diced
  • 1 red apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup red or green grapes, cut in half
  • 1 tsp. alcohol-free bitters (get recipe here)
  • Crushed ice
  • 4 cups carbonated water


  1. Boil the water, and steep the hibiscus flowers and honey for 10 minutes. Strain and chill the tea.
  2. Mix the chilled tea, juice, fruits, and bitters together in a large pitcher, and allow the flavors to blend for at least an hour before serving.
  3. Pour sangria into glasses with crushed ice, leaving room to top off with the carbonated water.

(Alcohol options: Wine and brandy)

This recipe first appeared in “Summer Mocktails.” Photo by: Andrea D’Agosto. Recipe developer: Betsy Nelson.

Lapsang Souchong–Infused Margarita

Enjoy this sophisticated take on the classic Margarita cocktail.


margarita in glass
Makes 1 serving


  • 1 tsp. flaky sea salt or kosher salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. sumac (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 1/2 oz. lapsang souchong–infused tequila (see below)
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau (options: Grand Marnier or triple sec)
  • 1/2 oz. maple syrup


  1. If desired, mix salt with sumac and smoked paprika, and place mixture in a shallow saucer. Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, and dip the rim into the saucer to coat thinly with the salt mixture.
  2. Place remaining ingredients into a shaker with plenty of ice. Shake for about 12 seconds and strain into rocks glass with ice. Serve.

Lapsang Souchong–Infused Tequila


  • 1 tsp. lapsang souchong tea (or 1 teabag of lapsang souchong)
  • 1/2 cup reposado tequila


  1. Put tea into a tea filter. Pour tequila into a mug, add tea, and cover.
  2. Steep for 20 minutes, then remove the tea.

This recipe first appeared in “How to Enjoy Tea.”  Photo by: Terry Brennan. Recipe developer: Robert Hanson.

Looking for more ideas? Try these recipes:

Lead Photo by: Terry Brennan; Food Styling by: Betsy Nelson
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