Here’s How To Make Taco Night Guilt Free
Taco Tuesday can be a great excuse to cook with your roommates, catch up with old friends over an inexpensive meal or try out some new recipes. When you’re picking out taco ingredients it might be easiest to go for whatever is on sale at the store. It’s hard to resist that hefty stack of flour tortillas for $3.99, all the sour cream, cheese or ground beef, because hey, that’s probably what the majority of you grew up eating when taco night rolled around. If you decide you want to be more conscious about what you’re eating, but you can’t give up tacos, here’s how you can make your favorite Mexican food healthier.
A lot of mainstream taco wrappers like hard shells or white flour tortillas are either fried or filled with enriched flour that’s stripped of its nutrients. Be on the lookout for whole grain, whole wheat flour or corn tortillas. If you buy a decent brand of corn tortillas you’ll get a dose of fiber, vitamins and minerals that refined flour tortillas won’t provide. Corn tortillas also have less sugar and they’re usually smaller than flour tortillas so it’s basically built-in portion control. Tortillas made with corn might fall apart more easily than the flour ones would, but that’s what your hands are for.
It’s easy to stay away from ground beef for taco night. Choose leaner proteins like chicken or turkey breasts. Beans and lentils are heart-healthy and packed with protein and fiber. You could go in a whole different direction and make Indian tacos with dal makhani or coconut curried lentils. Make a Moroccan chickpea stew and have that count as your protein. If you add tuna or salmon you get Omega-3 fatty acids and protein at the same time so you can’t lose. Breakfast tacos are always a hit so get yourself some organic eggs and scramble up the protein that way.
Cheese and sour cream are hard to replace, but there are plenty of ways to add tons of flavor without loading on the dairy. Caramelized or pickled onions are a good place to start. If you want to pack in the nutritional value to your tacos you can add some seasoned quinoa or brown rice to the mix.
Tahini, guacamole, hummus, labneh and Greek yogurt are all healthy substitutes for sour cream. Replace ice berg lettuce, which is basically green crunchy water, with greens like arugula, kale, endive, spinach, mustard greens or even bean sprouts.
You can add roasted nuts for extra crunch and texture. These vegan cheeses can be substituted in for regular cheese when you want to take it easy on your stomach. Any fermented foods like kimchi would be good for your gut and they’ll add an unrivaled tanginess to your tacos. Don’t forget about all the fruity salsas and chutneys out there.
Now you can make every night taco night without the guilt!