The men in my house often complain when I mention the word Salad as a main course for dinner. Although they all enjoy salads, they also like their “meat and potatoes”. I like to keep our meals on the healthier side while giving them something they can sink their teeth into and feel satisfied and sometimes that can prove difficult. One of my favorite salads to create is a simple low fat taco salad. With a few minor substitutions and by using half the “normal” portions on select items, I can still have rich delicious flavor that is satisfying without the expense of calories. It’s also a great way to prove to them that ground turkey really does taste just as good as ground beef in most recipes.
In the recipe below, I ramp up the veggies significantly, use half the amount of tortilla chips, cheese and ground meat typical and make substitutions like ground turkey over beef, salsa or lime juice instead of a traditional salad dressing and add back in healthy fats like avocado and a smidge of chopped black olives. You can adapt the veggies to suit your family desires and tastes but this is a hit in our house and also stretches the budget since it makes so much.
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- May Substitute above seasonings for generic taco seasoning mix if preferred
- ½ bag tortilla chips crushed (may use baked variety for even lower calorie count)
- 2 large tomatoes diced
- 1 large bell pepper diced
- 2 green onions diced
- 1 medium head iceberg lettuce chopped
- ⅛ cup chopped black olives
- ½ cup shredded fat free or 2% sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 Avocado sliced thin
- Salsa and/or Limes for “dressing”
- Brown ground meat with seasonings listed or as directed on taco seasoning packet.
- Ground turkey has little to no excess fat so 1-2 tablespoons of water may need to be added to incorporate the seasonings well into the cooked meat.
- Set aside.
- In large bowl, crunch ½ bag tortilla chips. Usually yields around 2-3 cups crushed chips.
- Add ground meat to chips and stir until well incorporated.
- Mix in veggies and cheese until all ingredients are dispersed nicely.
- Leave Avocado and Salsa or Lime Wedges for “dressing” salad.
- -3 thin slices of Avocado per salad gives a nice rich and creamy flavor with healthy fats.
Katie is the owner of You Brew My Tea. A place where love and the mysteries of life meet a frugal mom with a big opinion about everything!Yum