I love to throw a themed party, and a Mexican fiesta is always a delicious way to go. So let's get ready for Cinco de Mayo.

The ingredients for Mexican food are usually less expensive, so invite a crowd to enjoy these south-of-the-border flavors. But don't save these recipes just for the May 5 celebration. They are so tasty and easy to prepare, you're going to want to serve them more often.

Meaty and hearty, my Taco Dip from my "Kitchen 101" cookbook can be whipped up in no time. Top it with my all-time favorite ingredient — avocados — for extra creaminess. The Avocado Dip on my thehealthycookingblog.com is another delightfully addicting savory appetizer full of nutrition-rich avocados and edamame.

Holly Clegg's Well Done: Recipes for Taco Dip, Chicken Enchiladas, Margarita Cake

These Easy Chicken Enchiladas are outstanding, absolutely filled with flavor. They're also great when you need a meal on the table fast. To save time, use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken or frozen, cooked chicken.

While you might want to kick back with a pitcher of margaritas, my Margarita Cake is an even sweeter way to end a meal. Don’t skip the lime zest as it infuses that citrusy margarita flavor into this crowd-pleasing cake, and the pretzel crust evokes the salted rim — sweet and salty perfection! 

Terrific Tips

  • If you'd like, add black olives to the Taco Dip. Serve with chips.
  • If serving the Taco Dip party-style, in a slow cooker add cooked meat and remaining ingredients except tomato and avocado; add those just before serving.
  • Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated (good) fats, avocados are high in fiber and, ounce for ounce, top the charts among all fruits for folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium, making them one of the most nutrient-dense foods.
  • Cut down on the risk of heart disease by using lean meats ending in "loin" and "round" to reduce saturated fat in your diet.
  • For enchiladas, use flavored tortillas to add color and kick up the taste.
  • To up the flavor and nutrition of the enchiladas, add a can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • Make a double batch of enchiladas and freeze one — before baking — and you'll be ready when you don't have time to cook. 

Holly Clegg, best-selling national cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC & Eating Well cookbook series, specializes in easy, healthy, everyday recipes. Visit her website, The Healthy Cooking Blog. Follow her on facebook.com/HollyClegginstagram.com/holly_clegg and twitter.com/hollyclegg. Email her at holly@hollyclegg.com.