Tag Archives: taco

Oven Baked Tacos

The holiday season is upon us. We are all very busy and stressed. Easy dinners are the order of the day, yes? These oven baked tacos are a win on that score. They can be put on the table in about 30 minutes and are delicious. And there isn’t a big mess afterwards. I hope these help ease a little of the December stress in your life.

Oven Baked Tacos (Makes 12 tacos)

Oven Baked Tacos

12 hard shell taco shells
½ tablespoon canola oil
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
½ jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed if desired, diced small
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tomato, diced
½ cup salsa
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 tablespoons water
½ cup shredded cheese (your preference)
Shredded lettuce
Chopped green onion
Chopped tomatoes
Sour cream
Shredded cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line taco shalls in 9×13 baking dish.

2. Heat a medium to large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and ground meat. While it begins to brown, chop vegetables. Add onion, peppers, and garlic once meat is mostly browned. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and pepper soft. Add tomato, salsa, taco seasoning, and water. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until thickened and combined.

3. Spoon meat mixture into the taco shells. Top evenly with shredded cheese.

4. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.

Nutritional Information (Amount per taco):

Calories: 158
Protein: 10 g
Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 32 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 277 mg

Recipe notes: Don’t worry if your shells crack a bit trying to get them in the pan. Once you put the filling and cheese in, you can patch them back together. I would start checking the tacos at 5 minutes. The longer they are in the oven, the softer the shells become. Mine were in 8 minutes (convection oven) and the bottoms of the shells were almost too soft/soggy. The nutritional analysis uses ground turkey and doesn’t include in toppings. Refried black beans are a great side dish to serve with this.

Source: Adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff

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Waffle Taco Salad

Did your family have a unique meal? Maybe a classic dish but your family made it in a special way? My family’s was taco salad. I have never heard of anyone making taco salad like my mom. I remember it being a special treat, too, since she only made it maybe once a year. I’m gearing up to try it myself, but I don’t know if I’m prepared for inevitable disappointment.

This taco salad is nothing like my mom’s but is extremely delicious. It is my favorite salad right now, and my favorite way to eat the chili I posted last week. You could use any sort of chili or taco type filling for the top. Vary the toppings as you like, too. But the cornbread waffle is just awesome on the bottom. Thanks to my mother-in-law for introducing me. Enjoy!

Waffle Taco Salad (Makes about 5 waffles)

Waffle Taco Salad

⅔ cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
⅓ – 1 cup skim milk

1. Preheat waffle iron.

2. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk in oil, egg, and ⅓ cup milk. Add more milk as needed to thin the batter to the consistency of waffle batter (rather than the consistency of muffin batter).

3. Cook on waffle iron until golden brown. Top with favorite taco salad toppings.

Nutritional Information (Amount per waffle):

Calories: 204
Protein: 6 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 38 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 445 mg

Recipe Notes: This is just a basic copycat recipe for Jiffy cornbread mix. You can use a package mix as well, but it won’t have the whole wheat flour. I also decreased the sugar a bit. You will need to thin it with milk. It just depends on the day how much you need to thin the batter.

Source: adapted from food.com

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Black Bean Tacos

A couple years ago, our family was at a bit of a crossroads. My husband was having a hard time finding a permanent job. We were beginning to feel the stress of what to do with our lives when a job offer came that totally reset the trajectory of his career. To celebrate, we went out to eat at a fun Mexican restaurant in Chicago. As I was pregnant, I was being extra careful to try and eat “healthy”. So I ordered the vegetarian burrito. I love that restaurant, but that burrito was disgusting.

I often find that the case with Mexican vegetarian dishes when I go out to eat. I’ve actually become very wary of them. They just don’t taste right to me. My guess is because they throw in strong flavored veggies that just don’t blend in well (like tons of broccoli in the burrito mentioned above). If you have found some places with good options, let me know. I’d love to try them.

In response, I have made it my mission to make awesome vegetarian versions of Mexican dishes at home. These black bean tacos were pretty great. I didn’t miss the meat, although I’m sure my husband did. I tried to focus on vegetables that made sense or at least had very mild flavors. Enjoy!

Black Bean Tacos (Serves about 4)

Black Bean Tacos

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced small (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
1 zucchini, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cans low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup frozen corn
4 whole wheat tortillas
½ cup shredded cheese
sour cream (optional)
guacamole (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add zucchini; cook for 3 minutes more.

2. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Saute 1 minute, or until beginning to be fragrant, stirring frequently.

3. Add tomatoes, beans, and corn. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 or so minutes, until everything is heated through and combined well.

4. Serve in tortillas with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, or your favorite taco toppings.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 427
Protein: 21 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Carbohydrates: 63 g
Fiber: 20 g
Sodium: 732 mg

Recipe Notes: I recently have been subbing pinto beans in many recipes for black beans with great success. Sometimes, I almost like the pinto version better. While I haven’t tried it with these yet, feel free to mix up the beans. Maybe a mix of black and pinto. Or garbanzo beans would also be tasty here.

Source: original recipe

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Grilled Fish Tacos with Spicy Slaw

On a recent trip to California, a couple family members and I branched out from the crowd going to the traditional chain restaurant. We found this little taco shack a few doors down that was phenomenal. They only served tacos and shakes, but they did both of those things incredibly well. We tried several different varieties, but my favorite was the fish taco.

I was so inspired that I came home and made some. While maybe not on the same level as the restaurant, these tacos were killer. I ate the leftovers for days as tacos, salads, quesadillas, etc. The slaw could really be served as a side on its own. The salsa you may recognize from my polenta poblanos; it is my favorite. Go fire up your grill and make these tacos. You won’t regret it.

Enjoy!

Grilled Fish Tacos with Spicy Slaw (Serves 4-6)

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1 pound white fish (I used tilapia)
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (cayenne if you don’t have chipotle)
8-16 corn tortillas

1. Dry fish with a paper towel.

2. Combine paprika through chipotle chili powder in a small bowl. Rub evenly over fish. Let marinate for 15 minutes (optional.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place fish onto hot grill. Grill for 4 minutes on the first side. Flip. Cook on second side until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from grill and let rest.

4. Grill tortillas until warmed on each side.

5. Flake fish into large chunks. Serve in warmed tortillas with slaw and salsa.

Spicy Slaw
¼ cup fat free sour cream
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
½ tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water, if needed
½ head of green cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup sliced red onion

1. Combine sour cream, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, and sugar in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth, adding water in small amounts as needed to thin to desired consistency.

2. Combine cabbage, carrots, onion, and remaining cilantro in a large bowl. Toss with dressing until well coated. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Fresh Salsa
8 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 jalapeño pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed (to your heat preference)
1 large red onion, cut into wedges (sixths or eighths should work)
½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup cilantro
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1. Toss tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion in olive oil. Grill on hot grill for 5-10 minutes per side, until nicely charred.

2. Puree tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, salt, and garlic powder until desired salsa consistency. Chill before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 288
Protein: 28 g
Fat: 5 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 334 mg

Recipe Notes: The cook times for the fish anticipate a thinner fish fillet. If your fillets are thick or frozen, you will want to increase the time on the first side. Just check your temperature. The amount of tortillas you need depends on your preference and the durability of your tortillas. I find corn tortillas, even when warmed, to be a bit brittle. I served mine doubled up to help prevent taco breakdown. Be warned that this slaw really can get spicy, especially the longer that it sits. Also, it will seem like it doesn’t have enough dressing, compared to traditional slaw. You want a crunchy slaw on top of you taco, so slightly underdressing is good. Also, it will soften more the longer it sits. The slaw recipe will also make way more than 4-6 servings for tacos. If only used for tacos, it would probably serve 8-10. Enjoy it as a side dish on another day. Same with the salsa.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light, Bobby Flay, Real Simple, and LoveOneToday.com

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