Sunday, August 19, 2012

Taco Salad

When you want some great Tex-Mex food but you don't want all the calories of a tortilla, just put all the insides together on your plate in salad form!

Taco Salad
nutrition facts, serves four

Excellent Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey, extra lean
1/2 t olive oil
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1 1/2 C Salsa 
1 1/2 C black beans, canned
6 C lettuce, torn
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 C onion, chopped

1 avocado, diced
1 lime, juiced
Optional: Cheese, sweet red pepper, jalapenos, serranos, Hatch chilis, more Salsa, or Tabasco

What to do:

Drain and rinse the black beans. Prepare the lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. Dice the avocado and squish the lime over the pieces.  Prep the optional ingredients of your choice.

Put the olive oil in a large skillet or pan. Heat over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the turkey, stir and cook until the turkey is fully cooked. Drain any excess oil and broth from the turkey.

Return pan with turkey to the stove and stir in the chili powder and cumin. Saute about a minute - do you notice a change in the fragrance of the seasonings? Delicious.

Add the salsa - do not pre-measure the salsa and dump it all in at once. Add a little at a time until you get to the point where the turkey is well sauced but not excessively so. You want to be able to push the meat to one side and not have rivers of juice running all over. If that happens you may want to add a tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken it up a bit. Allow to simmer on low while you start the salad.

Divide the lettuce among four dinner plates. If it looks skimpy on the lettuce, feel free to add more. Lettuce has so few calories you should eat as much as you want.

After the meat has simmered 10 minutes, divide the mixture on top of the lettuce, mounding it in the center of the plate. Leave plenty of lettuce around the edge, this is where you will put most of the other ingredients.

Divide the tomatoes, onion, and avocado around the mounds of meat. If you are using peppers, arrange them over the entire plate, including the meat mountain. Top with cheese, but remember there's a lot of fat and calories in there so be very mindful as to the amount. If your day has room for a little cheese, you can use either Monterrey Jack or Sharp Cheddar... or a mix. If you love Queso Fresco, cut a few chunks and spread them around. 

If you would like to eat the salad with chips, arrange them in a pattern on the lettuce or stick one in the meat as if it were a sail on a boat.

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