Healthy Taco Salad

Healthy Taco Salad

How great was this weekend?? It was sooo nice out! We had bonfires, hung out at the lake, had some good food, some good drinks, some good laughs, spent time with friends! Isn’t that what long weekends are for! Awwwe I love summer❤️ A little tired on this Monday morning but nothing that a few cups of coffee and the Perfect Green Smoothie can’t fix! Who made the White Wine Sangria for their Canada Day celebrations? If so, let me know, I’d love to hear how it turned out!!Bowl of taco salad with bake tortilla chips, lime wedge, sliced jalepenos, taco dressing and chopped cilantroWe’re going to start the off week right today with a yummy, Healthy Taco Salad!! I’ve made this salad a few times on my Instastories and I always get a lot of request for the recipe so, here it is!! I seriously make this salad at least once a week! I’m really into Mexican food in general but tacos, guacamole, salsa, chips (I love chips so much🤤), are some of my faves!! During the week, we usually try to eat as healthy as we can so we can indulge a little more on the weekends so I “healthified” the usual Taco Salad that is made with the calorie packed dressing, deep fried chips and tons of cheese (I skip the cheese completely but you could sprinkle some in).

So, for the protein in this recipe you have four options: ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork or ground beef.  Today I used ground chicken but they are all really good! Start off by browning the meat in a medium skillet with a little olive oil. Once the meat had begun to brown, add a little more oil if the pans appears dry and add one small onions, diced. Season lightly with salt (the taco seasoning can be a little salty so best to not over salt and adjust seasoning later). Continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. For the taco seasoning, I usually buy the low sodium one because I prefer to adjust the seasoning to my taste. I like the PC Blue Menu taco seasoning (I use 3TBSP) or I also have the one from epicure (I use 2 TBSP). The one from epicure is a bit spicier so you might want to add a little less if you don’t want it too spicy! You might also be making your own taco seasoning blend, if so, great! That works too! Essentially, it’s just a combination of a bunch of dried spices like chilli powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder…  Once your onions are cooked, add the taco seasoning and cook for another minute or so to wake up the dried spices.  Add ½ cup of your favourite salsa. Mix everything together, remove from heat and set aside!

The dressing is creamy, tangy, spicy and literally has zero fat! Sometimes when you buy low-fat or non-fat dressings at the store they are filled with other things to replace the fat like sugar. I promise you that we are not compromising on taste even if we are making a healthier version. Typically taco dressing is made with either full fat ranch dressing, sour cream or mayo but we are going to use a mixture of fat-free greek yogurt, salsa, taco seasoning, freshly squeezed lime juice and cilantro. You have 2 options for the dressing: I put everything in a jar and shake it up but this gives you like a chunkier dressing which I like! I you want a smooth dressing with no chunks, just blend it up. A magic bullet or mini food processor would work great, even a hand-held blender. The dressing can be made ahead of time and will keep in the fridge 4-5 days. If it’s separate a little just give the jar a shake!

THE CHIPS! Ok this is very important. So, making these baked tortilla chips is so easy and literally takes like 10 minutes. You don’t have to do this part you could totally use store bought chips if you don’t have time! I’ve tried a lot of tortillas before I found the perfect ones to make chips! Some of them I would bake but they wouldn’t be crispy… If I’m gonna compromise on something I don’t want it to be the chips!! I want that crunchy element to my salad and something to scoop up all the guacccc. SO, this is the brand I find is the absolute best👌🏻👌🏻! They bake up as crispy as fried chips and I barely use any oil. I lightly spray them with olive oil spray or brush them with a little EVOO. Then I sprinkle some spices on them, but you could do just sea salt. I use a combination of ground cumin, smoked paprika and garlic powder. If you don’t have those spices on hand, you could sprinkle some taco seasoning and it would be as delicious! Cut up the tortilla up into 8 wedges (I use kitchen scissors it works really well). These particular tortillas are found in the freezer sections of the grocery store so just let them thaw a few minutes before cutting them up. Spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake them at 425 for 5-7 minutes. Mine took about 6.5 minutes… keep a close eye on them because they can burn so quickly. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. If I’m serving this salad as a main, I make 1 tortilla per person.

Ok, so once your dressing in done, your meat is ready and your chips are done, you are ready to assemble the salad. In a large bowl, add about 8-10 cups chopped romaine lettuce. To that, add the diced peppers, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle about ¾ of your dressing and mix everything together. Add the taco meat and mix again. Dived among bowl, drizzle with remaining dressing, garnish with the baked tortilla chips, salsa, fat free greek yogurt, guacamole or sliced avocados, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapenos. This salad doesn’t store nicely for leftovers, best enjoyed fresh!!Bowl of taco salad with baked tortilla chips, guacamole, lime wedges, cilantro sliced jalepenosThis salad will serve as 3-4 mains or you could serve it as a side for probably 6 people.

ENJOY!

Nat, XO

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Taco Salad garnished with Guacamole, baked chips, sliced hot peppers, lime wedges.

Healthy Taco Salad

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings
  • Category: dinner, lunch
  • Cuisine: mexican

Description

This healthier version of the classic Taco Salad is lower in calories but definitely not in taste! Homemade dressing, homemade chips and all the deliciousness you want in a taco! Add some guacamole, salsa, cilantro, slice jalapenos and you have yourself a Mexican fiesta!


Ingredients

The Baked Tortilla Chips:

  • 3-4 Tortillas* (1 per person)
  • Olive oil spray or EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Spice blend: 1 Tsp garlic powder + 1 Tsp smoked paprika + 1 Tsp ground Cumin (makes 4 tortillas)
  • Sea Salt

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 TBSP taco seasoning
  • The juice of one lime
  • 2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped

For the Salad

  • 1 Pound of either ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef or ground pork
  • 1 small onions, diced
  • 2-3 TBSP taco seasoning
  • 1/2 Cup salsa
  • 8-10 Cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Optional: sliced fresh jalapeno peppers

Instructions

For the Baked Tortillas:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut up each tortilla* into 8 wedges.
  4. Lightly spray with olive oil spray or lightly brush with EVOO, sprinkle with spice blend and sea salt.
  5. Bake for 5-7 minutes until crispy. (Watch carefully after  5 minutes they can burn quickly). They will crisp up even more as they cool.
  6. Set aside.

For the Dressing:

For a Chunky dressing: In a mason jar, combine the fat free greek yogurt, the salsa, the taco seasoning, the freshly squeezed lime juice, the chopped cilantro and salt & pepper. Shake up until everything is combined and store in the fridge until ready to use.
For a Creamy dressing: In a small blender or mini food processor, combine the ingredients listed above and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to use. (You could also use a hand held blender.)

For the Taco Meat:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add a drizzle of EVOO and the ground meat of your choice.
  2. Brown the meat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped onions and cook for another 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the taco seasoning and saute for about a minute to wake up the dried spices.
  5. Add the salsa, mix everything together and set aside.

For the Salad:

  1. In a large bowl, add 8-10 cups chopped romaine lettuce.
  2. Add the chopped peppers, tomatoes, green onions and cilantro.
  3. Drizzle about 3/4 or your dressing and mix everything together.
  4. Add the taco meat, mix everything together.
  5. Divide into bowls, drizzle with remaining dressing, garnish with the baked tortilla chips.
  6. Optional: Garnish with guacamole, salsa, fat free greek yogurt, slice jalapeno peppers and chopped cilantro.

Notes

*As I mentioned in my post, I tried a lot of different tortillas and the ones I recommend are the Brown Rice Food for Life. They are the ones I find bake up the crispiest. I find them in freezer section of the organic department of the grocery store. They thaw quickly so just leave them out a few minutes them chop them up to make your chips.

Keywords: taco, taco salad, healthy taco salad, mexican food

Hello again🙋🏻! I thought you guys might like to enjoy this salad with my 🥑Guacamole🥑 so here you goooo, BONUS recipe!!! Delicious with this Healthy Taco Salad but also makes the perfect summer snack, may I suggest pairing it with some Mojitos? You’re welcome✌🏻!

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Guacamole

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large bowl
  • Category: lunch, dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Avocados, tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh lime juice, cilantro, that’s all you need to make the perfect Guacamole at home. Serve with tortilla chips, fajitas, tacos, taco salads, add to burgers, grilled chicken, fish, sooo good!


Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe avocados
  • The juice of 2 freshly squeezed limes
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or finely chopped (1 use 1 large clove)
  • 1 large tomato seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cups finely chopped red onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (about a 1/4 cup or more)
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Carefully cut the avocados and remove pit. Remove flesh and add to the bowl. Mash up half of the avocados and dice the other half, this gives you a nice chunky guacamole.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, onions, grated garlic, cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice. Mix everything together. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips or along side your favourite Mexican dish! Enjoy!

Notes

You can store left over guacamole in the fridge for a few days. It might turn a little brown but the flavour will still be good!

Keywords: Guacamole, dip, avocados,



2 thoughts on “Healthy Taco Salad”

  • Well I ‘ve actually had the chance and pleasure to try this recipe with the one and only “Natallie ” Author of “Thelakehouse kitchen ” ….. she came over and took the time to show me the step by step process of this delicious recipe.Explaining very carefully how to cook the chips without burning them (like I usually do🤦‍♀️)and showing me how to brown the meat perfectly before putting the onions in……and making sure none of my ingredients were expired…(oopsss)….like she says “it dosen’t take much but everything counts when your cooking”… Delicious ,easy,fresh,quick,and wholesome ,to say the least!!Thank You Natalie for making my Holiday Monday Supper a real “Hit”👏 for my family!Merci Beaucoup!

    • Awwweee my god, it was my pleasure!!! So happy you loved it!!! I know that you will recreate that salad without any problems or burnt chips!!! And for the expired ingredients…. i don’t know what you mean🤣🤣 XOXO

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