Looking for a quick and healthy Monday night dinner? Try one of these tasty twists on the traditional taco!

Who doesn’t love a good taco? This south of the border staple has become a favorite for families and firehouses alike, and for good reason. They’re portable, versatile and easy to eat, making them the ideal grab-and-go meal for busy families and hard-working firefighters. While the taco is typically thought of as being as caloric as it is convenient, it can in fact be a part of a healthy diet with the right substitutions. By switching out the flour tortillas for whole wheat, nixing the ground beef in favor of a leaner protein, and loading up on veggies instead of cheese and sour cream, you can easily turn your taco into a nutritious and well-balanced meal. Have a guilt-free fiesta tonight with five tasty taco recipes that are as figure-friendly as they are family-friendly!

Who doesn’t love Taco Night??

*Each recipe serves four; adjust measurements as needed

1. Kale, Turkey, and Black Bean Tacos

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 chopped sweet onion
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 8 small (6 in.) whole wheat tortillas

1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and brown the turkey and onion.

2. Add the diced jalapeno (remove the seeds if you don’t want it spicy).

3. Add the chopped kale with a pinch of salt, then add in the chopped pepper, black beans, and spices. Stir together and allow to cook for a few minutes until pepper has softened.

4. Serve with whole-wheat tortillas and top with salsa and a pinch of low-fat mozzarella if desired.

2. Blackened Baja Tilapia Tacos

  • 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4 six-oz. tilapia filets
  • 1 tbs. canola oil
  • 8 small whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced

1. Combine first four ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Combine mixture with onion in a small bowl.

2. Combine paprika and next six ingredients; sprinkle evenly over fish filets. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan; cook three minutes on each side or until done.

3. Divide fish, onion mixture, and avocado slices evenly over warmed tortillas and serve.

3. Grilled Pork Tacos with Summer Salsa

  • 2 tbs. fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 four-oz. boneless center cut loin pork chops
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ear shucked corn
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced ripe nectarine
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lime rind
  • 1 minced, seeded jalapeno
  • 8 small, whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray

2. Combine 2 tsp. lime juice, 1 tbs. oil, and pork in a zip-lock plastic bag and seal. Marinate 10 min. at room temperature. Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic. Place pork on grill rack; grill 3 min. per side or until done. Let stand 5 min. and slice into thin strips.

3. For salsa: Lightly coat corn with cooking spray. Place on grill rack and grill 6 min. or until lightly charred, turning occasionally. Let stand 5 min. and cut corn from cob. Combine kernels, 2 tsp. lime juice, remaining oil, remaining salt, bell pepper, and next 3 ingredients (through jalapeno) in a bowl and mix together.

4. Place tortillas on grill rack; grill 1 min. per side or until lightly browned.

5. For cabbage mixture: Toss cabbage with remaining lime juice.

6. Divide pork slices among tortillas and top each with 1 tbs. cabbage mixture and 2 tbs. salsa and serve.

4. Zesty Chicken Tacos

  • 3 chicken breast halves, skinned
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 8 small, whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Combine bay leaf, oregano, chilies, and onion in small bowl. Allow to marinate for at least one hour.

3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee chicken for about 10 min. or until brown. Turn chicken and cook another 20 min. or until tender and cooked through.

4. As chicken cooks, pour in 3/4 cup beer a little at a time so chicken does not dry out. When done, remove chicken from skillet.

5. Deglaze pan with remaining 1/4 cup beer and cook for about 2 min. Slice chicken into bite-size strips and toss with pan juices. Spread evenly over warm tortillas and sprinkle cilantro on top.

5. Shrimp Tacos with Lime Crema

  • 1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 8 small, whole-wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion

1. In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with chili powder, cumin, and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and 1 tbs. lime juice.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sautee shrimp 3 min., turning once, or until done. Remove from heat, toss with 1 tbs. lime juice.

3. Fill warmed tortillas with lettuce, shrimp mixture, and diced red onion. Drizzle with lime crema.


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