Taco night!Posted: March 29, 2012
Who doesn’t love taco night?!
This was Tuesdays night’s dinner, and I’m still thinking about it (and looking forward to having leftovers for lunch today!). I’m a big fan of Mexican food, period. I love tacos, fajitas, enchiladas… you name it! What I also love is how easy it is to make Mexican food “healthy.” Not everything has to be slathered in cheese or deep-fried to taste good. To me, it’s all about fresh, simple flavors along with the right amount of spice.
The last few times I’ve made tacos, I’ve used tempeh, tofu or chickpeas as a protein source. But on this particular Tuesday, I was craving meat instead. I had bought some ground turkey breast at Whole Foods over the weekend, so I grabbed that and got to work.
As you probably know, meat can be expensive. Especially if you’re super picky like me, and only like to purchase free-range/organic meat. This ground turkey happened to be $6.99/lb., and I’ll honestly say that I’ve paid more for it in the past. For me, it’s totally worth it to spend a little more- I can easily get two or three meals out of this one pound of meat. My secret? Bulk up the meat with other ingredients.
I always bulk up ground meat (whether it’s beef, chicken, turkey, whatever…) with onions and mushrooms. This not only adds volume, but it also keeps leaner cuts of meat moist that would otherwise get really dry. I also use this combo in my bulked-up burgers and burrito bowls. I cooked the onions and mushrooms in a pan first, and then set them aside and browned 8 oz of the turkey (1/2 of the package). Then, everything gets added together.
I usually make my own taco seasoning, but have a few packs of pre-made seasoning on hand for nights where I’m lazy (like Tuesday). I used a little bit of this (which was all that was needed!) to add to the turkey/mushroom/onion mix:
I generally buy soft corn tortillas for tacos, but saw spotted some hard taco shells at Whole Foods last weekend that I thought would be great for a future taco night. I got them along with a can of refried black beans.
I don’t remember ever having refried black beans before- I’m pretty sure the variety that I usually have is pinto. But these were great!
I made a batch of salsa fresca (using mostly yellow tomatoes- hence the odd color)
This is my absolute favorite pre-made salsa! I put it on everything.
Greg cooked up some rice for himself, and I roasted a little bit of zucchini with a little garlic and chili powder for me. I topped the black beans with some plain Greek yogurt, which was a fantastic combination!
The other thing I love about Mexican food? It is super filling! This was all I could handle- and it kept me satisfied for the rest of the night! I even had enough turkey left over for a whole extra meal- which is pretty impressive for only 8 oz. to begin with.
Do you like Mexican food? Any tips for “bulking up” more expensive or calorie-laden ingredients?