Fiesta and Mexican-Inspired Coleslaw

It’s not fiesta until your hair is full of confetti from a cascarone.

Viva la Fiesta! The celebration of Old Spanish Days is a huge tradition here in Santa Barbara. Parades, festivals of street food, flamenco dances, and of course, parties, take over town the first week of August.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Fiesta week, Our Lady of Guadalupe church hosts a feast and festival of the most mouth-watering food.

Carnitas, sweet corn, taquitos, tacos, and absurdly delicious potato flautas (a great option for vegetarians)…I’m starving already!

Last year, we got a primo view of the parade from a spot up above the crowd.

Dancers at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Flamenco dancers from all over town compete to be The Spirit of Fiesta

How adorable is this hombrecito?

Dinner at our home: Mexican coleslaw with blackened fish and rajas tacos complete with homemade tortillas

If you’re not in Santa Barbara, or if you’re planning on throwing your own at-home fiesta, this Mexican-inspired coleslaw is a fresh take on the traditional summertime side dish. I love its crunch and tang mixed with a little spice-yum! The coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to refreshing fish tacos, or great just in a bowl on it’s own. It’s virtually foolproof and keeps when made hours in advanced — I even love it the next day. Bonus: no oil or mayo makes it especially bikini-season friendly.

Fiesta and Mexican-Inspired Coleslaw

Mexican Inspired Coleslaw


1 head of Napa cabbage

Juice of 3 limes

3 tablespoons cilantro leafs (leave them whole),

One jalapeno– fine diced with seeds removed

3 chopped avocados

2 carrots sliced

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. pepper


Cut the cabbage in half and then again in quarters lengthwise.  Place the quarters on their sides and remove the heart by slicing it out.    Then, cut each of those pieces into diagonal strips  — a julianne, if you will.  Toss all of the cabbage strips in a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.  If you decide to make this ahead of time, just cover and store it in the fridge and give it a good toss before serving.