Tuesday Tacos. Simple.Delicious.Nutritious.

In Family, Kids, Recipes/Food on March 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Tuesday Tacos are always a great quick and easy meal in our house.  Ya’ll know that I like alliterations so, of course, the best day to do a simple, easy and quick taco night is on Tuesday.  Certainly, you can consider Mexican Miércoles as an alternative but for those of you who don’t speak Spanish, Tuesday Taco night may be easier to remember. 😉  (By the way, Miércoles = Wednesday).  Nevertheless, tacos rarely find themselves as the most nutritious option for the day.  So, in an effort to up the nutritional value while still keeping the delectable goodness in every bite, try these options.  Even your kids will like it!

  • Ground turkey is a great substitute and, in fact, I really think it gives a much better flavor than ground beef.  Besides, the pink slime recently discovered in beef should make you want to consider a more stomach-friendly option. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/pink-slime-supermarket-ground-beef_n_1332429.html?ref=food
  • Ortega Seasoning.  I’ve tried several pre-packaged taco seasonings and, personally, I believe this is the best.  Actually, I’m a pretty loyal fan of many Ortega products. http://www.ortega.com/
  • Add cilantro while cooking the meat in the seasoning.  Fresh or dried, it will really bring out the flavor in your taco meat.
  • Spinach!  Instead of the no-value-add lettuce, use spinach to top your taco and increase your fiber intake along with several other health benefits. http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/11-health-benefits-of-spinach.html
  • Reduced fat or no fat shredded cheese.  We all love cheese but let’s face it, it either doesn’t love us (especially as we age) or we really could get the same taste without all of the fat if we just drop down in the milk fat used to make it.  You will have the same great flavor without the extra calories.
  • Whole grain corn taco shells.  Again, you get the same great flavor with a few extra benefits of fiber.  You won’t even know the difference.

Even though the tacos are more nutritious, I always feel I’m cheating my children when I don’t see veggies on their plate.  (The spinach that falls off the taco doesn’t count).  So, either I’ll add broccoli to the dinner (which doesn’t really compliment tacos that well) or I’ll make them “Shrek Juice”.  It’s the perfect way to give them juice while they drink away all of their nutrition via raw fruits and vegetables.

If you don’t have a Vitamix, honestly, I highly encourage you to get one.  It’s one of the best appliances in my kitchen and well worth the money.  I pretty much use it every day whether it’s for breakfast, a weekend lunch, or dinner.  And it’s SUPER easy to clean.  Even better, my kids love the juice that comes out.  They would never eat the likes of raw spinach and kale voluntarily, but put it in the Vitamix and they drink it like it’s sweet punch.  Below is our favorite recipe and an easy add-on to any meal!!!

“Shrek Juice (1 cup of ice)/Sorbet (if you add the 3 cups of Ice)”
.    100% Juice (we use Welch’s – Passion Fruit, White Grape / Peach or Pineapple / Orange).  The amount can vary.  Usually 2 ozs. is plenty but it will depend on how much you are making.  I usually eye it and then save the rest in a freezer-friendly container.
.    Banana
.    1 Slice pineapple
.    Handful fresh spinach and/or kale (I use both)
.    1 wedge fresh lime
.    3 Cups Ice

Turn machine on 1 turn to 10 then to high speed. Push ingredients into blade with tamper until machine “catches” (low grinding sound) all materials. Blend until smooth (4 “pillows” should appear on top). Should take no more than 30 seconds.

Other all-natural juices can be used instead of Welch’s – Use your imagination!

Note:  Welch’s has 2 types of frozen juice. 1) Yellow Cap (This is the preferred type as the sugar used is all natural fruit sugars) 2) White Cap (This is not preferred as the sugar used is High Fructose Corn Syrup)

Also, this recipe is pretty much the base for any juicing I do.  So, feel free to add carrots, beet, celery, apples, etc….

Simple. Delicious. Nutritious. That’s What’s Up!

  1. I really like the idea of substituting spinach.

  2. we too love tacos in my house. it is such a quick and easy option, but i have recently made some conversions to take the healthiness up a few notches.

    1) ditch the seasoning packet and make your own. i’ve seen lots of recipes but here’s one:

    2 tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp salt (i use Celtic sea salt)
    2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (careful if your kiddos don’t like spice)

    shake in zip lock baggie and use just like the packet.

    this amount will season at least 2 lbs of meat. but you can make a mega batch and store in your pantry with your own label 🙂

    and/ or you can add salsa to the pan after you’ve browned your meat for easy flavoring.

    2) the thought of the pink slime is really disgusting! i have switched to organic grass-fed beef and free-range poultry from a reputable butcher to eliminate this worry. i’m sure there are many arguments either way on ground turkey vs. say ground sirloin, but you might give this a try as well.

    3) lastly, you might consider raw cheeses–an excellent source of protein (found in whole foods or other health food stores), over what is commonly found in the grocery aisle.

    I love thar you’ve found a green drink that your kids will go for. i’ll have to give your recipe a whirl in my Vitamix!


    • Thanks Sepia Charm. Great additions to healthier tacos. I also make my own taco seasoning when I can remember. Thanks for the exact measurements for those who want to package your own. We try to stay away from red meat as much as possible. However, I know for many they can’t live without. So, yes, any butcher in your favorite store can grind sirloin fresh for your use in yummy tacos. I would highly recommend it too. I always wondered what that pink stuff was that oozed in the ground beef packages. Well, now we know. 😦 And, I’ll give raw cheeses a try. Sounds like a great alternative!
      Great tips. Thanks again. That was very “charming” of you. 😉

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