It’s fun to celebrate Taco Tuesday now and then. Everyone in the family loves tacos. They are easy to make and can adjust for every food preference. My picky sixteen year old, Abigail, chooses the basics: tortilla chips topped with seasoned meat, beans and cheese. That’s it; as simple as it gets. No lettuce, no fresh tomatoes, no avocado, no cilantro, no sauce. Are you kidding me? For this reason, I load the meat with beans, peppers, onions, garlic and stewed tomatoes so that she may “accidentally” eat some healthy vegetables without really knowing that she is; it’s a sneaky way to do it, but very effective. Her simple food choices still provide her with plenty of protein and calcium from the meat, beans and cheese, and she picks up a few good vitamins and minerals from the other add-ons, so somehow she manages to get what she needs.
Michael and I are trying to cut down on extra carbohydrates so we like to wrap our tacos in lettuce. The iceberg lettuce leaves make great wraps even though the nutritional value of iceberg is pretty marginal. The rest of the taco makes up for it and then some. I love all the toppings in this recipe. Feel free to add more like jalapenos, Cotija cheese, avocados or even a big spoonful of my Mango Salsa.
I made these in bariatric cooking class last week and they were a big hit. You save on the costs of buying packaged seasonings by using your own spices and it doesn’t take that much more time. To save even more time, I used Litehouse OPADipity Chipotle Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip instead of making Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing; either topping brings just the right amount of heat for far less calories. The fresh tomatoes sort of cool it all down too. These quick-to-fix tacos make for a great summer dining idea when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen too much and want easy clean-up. Fresh and light, flavorful and nutritious!
- Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
- 1 pound 99% fat-free ground turkey
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can Mexican stewed tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, mashed slightly
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large iceberg lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup OPA Light Jalapeno Ranch dressing or Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
- Brown ground turkey in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Add tomatoes, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until liquid is reduced slightly.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup turkey mixture onto lettuce leaf. Top with tomatoes, cilantro and a tablespoon of dressing. Wrap up in lettuce leaf and secure with toothpick if needed. Repeat with remaining ingredients.