Hmmm . . .Taco Salad . . . That doesn't sound so new, does it?
What's new about this taco salad is I've eliminated the parts that I don't need in my diet. Like the deep fried tortilla bowls or the corn chips that come loaded with fat, carbs and calories. Traditional taco salads aren't all that light with all those chips, tortilla bowls and refried beans, now are they? Well, you don't need to include those ingredients to enjoy a completely satisfying taco salad.
I am really trying to eat healthy and lose some weight. I don't want to call it a diet because my main focus is to actually change my habits and the way I look at food in general. What I'm hoping to do is break the cycle of filling up on processed carbohydrates that seem to leave me feeling lackluster and only wanting more. I would like to limit my overall carb intake to whole grains and unprocessed carbs. As much as possible anyway. Unfortunately removing carbs from your diet can leave you feeling deprived and limited in your choices. There goes all the yummy breads, noodles, chips, and tortillas that make up so many of our go to meals, right?
What's really challenging is creating meals that will satisfy a need for variety as well as a desire for savory, spicy, crunchy, cheesy, sweet and tasty meals.
Today I'm sharing one of my favorite salads with you:
Guilt-Free TACO SALAD
That's right...guilt-free. Here are the stats:
calories carbs fat protein
|Cheddar Cheese, 1 oz||114||0||9||7|
|Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average, 1 wedge (1/4 of medium tomato)||7||1||0||0|
|Ground beef, lean, 3 oz||225||0||18||15|
|Del Monte Sweet Peas no salt added, 0.25 cup||30||6||0||2|
|Salad, Spring Mix Salad, 2 cup||20||3||0||1|
|Rosarita Salsa Verde (Green Salsa), 2 tbsp||10||2||0||0|
|Master's Touch Vine Sweet Mini Peppers (3 peppers), 1 serving||25||5||0||1|
|Knorr Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor, 1 tsp/4g, 4 gram(s)||5||1||0||0|
|Baby Carrots, raw, 1 large||5||1||0||0|
|Cilantro, raw, 1 tbsp||0||0||0||0|
Start by cooking low-fat ground beef...then reducing the fat content even more by draining and rinsing the meat after cooking. (After draining the excess grease into my grease can, I rinse the ground beef with hot water and then drain again. This removes a lot of excess grease that we don't need to be putting into our bodies. You could prepare this with white meat ground chicken or turkey as well.)
While the meat is cooking, you can prepare your salad fix-ins in a bowl and set aside.
Today I used:
Spring Mix, Mini Sweet Peppers, Carrots, Sweet Peas, Diced Tomato, Diced Onion, Diced Cilantro
Next add some flavoring and seasonings to the cooked beef.
Knorr Tomato Bouillon (1 tsp),
Red Pepper Flakes
(I generally just guesstimate my spices since I've been making my own seasoned taco meat for years. If you want detailed measurements for the seasoned meat you can check out the recipe at allrecipes.com.)
There should still be a bit of excess water (from rinsing the meat) which will work well to mix and cook these seasonings into the meat. If you drained out all the water just add a splash back in. There is no need to add any additional salt because the tomato bouillon contains sodium and you probably won't want (or need) any more.
Add your seasoned ground beef on top of your salad fix-ins and sprinkle with a bit of grated cheese.
You could save yourself 114 calories by eliminating the cheese, but I appreciate this little splurge. I make up for it by using Green Taco Sauce as my dressing and skipping any sour cream or other dressings containing fat.
You could substitute seasoned black beans for the meat, saving yourself another 111 calories but upping your carbs by 25g. I'm not ready to give up my meat yet either. ;)
Here are a few other options you might consider adding or substituting for something above. I've included the approximate nutrition information for each so you can make good choices:
calories carbs fat protein
|Jalapeno Peppers, 1 pepper||4||1||0||0|
|Olives, Black, Sliced - 1 Tablespoons, 1 serving||25||0||3||0|
|Light Sour Cream, 2 tbsp||40||2||3||2|
|Beans, black, 0.5 cup||114||20||0||8|
|Salsa, 0.25 cup||18||4||0||1|
|Cheddar Cheese Low Fat Shredded, 0.13 cup||45||1||6||8|
|Avocados, California (Haas), 0.5 cup, pureed||192||10||18||2|
Salads don't have to be boring or plain . . . enjoy your salad!
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