Great Tips for Tiki Taco Tuesday!

7 04 2015

Ok, so I know that sounds funny, but it is a phrase that was coined by my children in school. It seemed taco day always fell Cathy head shoton Tuesday, and the “Tiki” part just fit! Do you think tacos are just for kids, or that they can’t possibly be part of a healthy diet? I say NO to both parts of that question! Tacos are actually very versatile, and they can be a great vehicle for foods that pack a real nutritional punch! They can also be very simple and portable, which makes them a great way to get a fast meal on the table, or, in my case, maybe in a teenager’s hand as he is flying out the door! Here are some tips to make your Taco Tuesday a nutritional hit:
1. Fill ‘er up. Choose hard taco shells made from whole grain corn, whole grain corn tortillas, whole wheat flour tortillas, or many of the other “shapes” of whole grain taco shells as your base. Check your tortillas as some tend to be higher in sodium.
2. Choose some lean protein to start building. Things like lean ground turkey, ground sirloin, cooked and shredded chicken breast, and even fish make a great taco! If you want to go vegetarian, start with any kind of beans. If you choose things like canned black beans, pintos, or even refried beans, look for ones that are reduced sodium, or that have no added salt.
3. Add veggies to your taco filling! Try adding frozen fiesta style vegetables to your taco meat while cooking. These usually have beans, corn, peppers and onions in them. These not only add great flavor, but also stretch out your recipe (it yields more servings) and boost the nutritional value. If you prefer, cut up your own veggies and add a can of no added salt black beans that have been drained and rinsed.
4. Add your seasoning. If you don’t make your own taco seasoning, try one of the reduced sodium mixes available on the market. Some have up to 40% less sodium per serving, and they taste great!
5. Top them right! Tacos are great topped with loads of vegetables. Use lettuce, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, sharp cheddar (strong flavors go a long way, so you don’t have to use too much), lite or fat free sour cream, garden salsas, fruit salsas….the options are endless!

With all of these great options, it’s easy to overfill your tacos! So if you need them to be portable for eating on the run, keep that in mind while you are building.

Get cooking and make tacos a simple and healthy meal the whole family will love!

Here is a great idea for vegetarian tacos from Food and Nutrition Magazine. Tip: you can purchase butternut squash already cut in the produce section! http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/October-2014/Butternut-Squash-and-Black-Bean-Tacos/
Here are some more, great, healthy tips from Food Network: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2014/02/06/5-brilliant-ways-to-build-a-better-taco/

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