Quick 'n Healthy Taco Salad

Quick 'n Healthy Taco Salad
Staff Writer
Taco Salad

Steve Legato

Taco Salad

Once you realize how unhealthy most taco salads are, it’s tough to enjoy eating one without a side of guilt. By ditching the usual fried tortilla bowl and swapping in more fresh vegetables and leaner meat, I was able to substantially lower the fat in this Tex-Mex favorite. The creamy cilantro dressing replaces the guilt with a big side of yum!

Ingredients

For the dressing

  • 1/3  cup  light sour cream
  • 1/3  cup  low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2  cup  chopped cilantro, loosely packed
  • 2  tablespoons  lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1/8  teaspoon  garlic salt

For the salsa

  • medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4  pounds  lean ground beef
  • 1/2  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 3/4  cups  salsa
  • 6  cups  chopped romaine lettuce
  • green onions, sliced
  • 3/4  cups  low-fat Mexican blend cheese
  • medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • Reduced-fat tortilla chips (optional)

Directions

For the dressing

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside. 

For the salsa

Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add diced pepper and sauté 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the beef and chili powder to the pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until meat is well browned. Stir in the salsa and cook for one minute to combine. Remove from heat. 

To assemble, place 1 1/2  cups chopped lettuce on each of four plates. Top each salad with 3/4 cup of the meat mixture. Sprinkle on 1/4 of the green onions, 3 tablespoons cheese, and 3 tablespoons of dressing. Garnish with tomato wedges and optional tortilla strips, if desired.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
26g
37%
Sugar
11g
12%
Saturated Fat
12g
50%
Cholesterol
121mg
40%
Carbohydrate, by difference
20g
15%
Protein
47g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
1408µg
100%
Vitamin B-12
3µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
13mg
17%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
311µg
100%
Calcium, Ca
565mg
57%
Choline, total
146mg
34%
Fiber, total dietary
8g
32%
Folate, total
458µg
100%
Iron, Fe
7mg
39%
Magnesium, Mg
96mg
30%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
8mg
57%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
649mg
93%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
29µg
53%
Sodium, Na
1211mg
81%
Water
426g
16%
Zinc, Zn
10mg
100%

Quick Shopping Tip

Purchase ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes in bulk, in order to minimize waste and save money.

Quick Cooking Tip

Do all your prep in advance, and use three bowls: one for all your ingredients, one for all your prep, and one for all your refuse. Staying organized can help you put out meals faster.