join me in the kitchen

Taco Salad


Spicy salsa! Chunks of avocado! Shreds of iceberg lettuce!  Freshly grated cheese!

Last week my sister-in-law mentioned that she made a fabulous taco salad for dinner.  She described it with such enthusiasm and detail that I have not been able to get it out of my mind! 

Done right, a taco salad is a healthy week night dinner, so I decided to give it a go.  Some notes on keeping it healthy:

  • Skip the chips
  • Replace full fat sour cream with Greek yogurt (for a great source of protein) or use non-fat or low-fat sour cream
  • Replace full fat cheese with non-fat or low-fat cheese and use just a sprinkle
  • Use extra lean ground turkey or chicken in place of beef
  • Use nutrient dense lettuce, such as romaine, instead of watery iceberg (something I didn’t do this time!)

It’s funny—we never eat ice burg lettuce.  It contains mostly water and very little nutrients when compared to its darker leafy friends like romaine, arugula, spinach, Bibb, and Boston.  So having iceberg felt like a treat!  And shredded—I never shred lettuce so it made the salad especially special.  This was a really enjoyable and filling weeknight supper!

Taco Salad:  

  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 14-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 cups shredded iceberg (or romaine) lettuce (rinse, spin then shred using a grater)
  • 2 avocados, sliced then cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

Combine salsa and sour cream in a large bowl.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add turkey and cook, stirring often and crumbling with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, cumin and chili powder; cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in cilantro and 1/4 cup of the salsa mixture.

Add lettuce to the remaining salsa mixture in the bowl and toss to coat. To serve, divide the lettuce among plates, top with the turkey mixture and avocado then sprinkle with cheese.

Recipe adapted from Eating


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