It’s TACO TUESDAY!! I’ve been hungry for tacos, but tortillas don’t really fit in with my eating plan goals right now, and since its summer (at least it feels like it here in the south), a taco salad seemed like the perfect game plan for tonight’s dinner – and it was!! This is super easy to assemble, and you can add whatever toppings you’d usually add to your favorite tacos!
This was a dinner salad for me, so it filled my plate (and stomach!). I used 2 cups of chopped lettuce for each salad (I used butter lettuce because it’s what I had in my fridge, but it would be even better with a crunchier lettuce, such as romaine.) I added 1/2 cup of black beans (rinsed and drained), 1/4 cup of sweet corn, 1/4 cup of brown and wild rice, some fresh cilantro, a pinch of shredded cheese, and topped it off with Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado Yogurt Dressing. By the way, I’m fairly convinced they slip a little crack or something into that dressing because I eat it on everything. It is hella good. It’s also wayyyyy lower in calories (40), fat (3.5g), carbs (1g), and sodium (210g) than the majority of salad dressings out there. It packs a ton of flavor, so you don’t need more than the serving size of 2 tablespoons, even on a big salad like this! There are only two dressings that I will buy, and this is one.
Taco Salad Meat
- 1 lb. 99%-Lean Ground Chicken (or whatever ground meat you prefer)
- 1/2 cup Onions, diced
- 1 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced (I used red and orange bells today)
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (if desired)
- 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1/2 Tbsp. Cumin
- 1/2 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Coriander
- 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp. Ground Pepper
- Salt, to taste
Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and brown the ground chicken over medium-high heat. I sprinkle half the spices over the meat while it is cooking. Add a bit of water as needed to keep the meat moist, and to help incorporate the spices evenly. I also added the coconut oil for this reason. (If you are using ground meat with a higher fat content, you probably will not need the extra oil, and may even want cook and drain the
excess fat from your ground meat before adding the spices.) Add the onions and bell peppers, the remaining spices, and about a quarter cup of water. Simmer until the water has evaporated and the vegetables have reached the desired tenderness. Remove from heat so it cools just a bit before topping your salad. By the time I’m done getting the other toppings ready, it is still warm, but not so hot that it makes the lettuce wilted.
Serves 4 (per serving: 166 calories, 4.6g fat, 2.8g carbs, 28.6g protein)
P.S. Don’t forget… spices vary by brand, and I’ve found this especially true of chili powders. You might want to add a little at a time and taste test (after the meat is cooked thoroughly, of course) to suit your tastes!