I think I have mentioned my love of Mexican Cuisine.Italian, Asian, and Mexican are my go to!
I may live in the south now, but I am not much a fried chicken kind of girl–I am not saying I don’t appreciate some good southern comfort. I enjoy it, but I just don’t typically crave it!!
Mexican food is a staple at my house. Why?
It is cheap, versatile, and healthy. Wait, healthy?!!
People often associate Mexican food with high fat and high sodium. And yes, that is what you get when you go to most restaurants–dishes full of meat and smothered in cheese with so much salt added to it, you find your fingers are swollen up the next day. And I love it!! I just can’t eat that way weekly!
I have found making Mexican food at home allows me to control the quality of all the ingredients. I can lower the sodium by using my own spices verses buying pre-made taco seasoning. I can add a luxurious creaminess into a dish with avocados that are full of healthy fats and nutrients. I use chicken breasts and leaner meats and stretch the protein by adding beans–black beans, kidney beans, red beans–they all work!!!
Not only can I pick and choose all the ingredients, but Mexican food can easily be made to fit gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo lifestyles by swapping or leaving out a few ingredients.
Now on to Taco Salad…..my favorite of all Mexican dishes because I can make so many varieties of it and everyone can pick and choose their toppings–making everyone in my family enjoy Taco Salad night as much as I do.
Here is how I like to build my taco salad:
- Start with lettuce (the darker the green the more nutrients!!)
- Add the meat combined with beans. This is a great time to use ground chicken or turkey because the vibrant seasonings will make up for any blandness typically associated with those meats.
- Use half beans to meat ratio. Not only does this keep cost down, but boosts fiber. If your family is picky about beans, they can leave them off or you can mix them in with the meat and seasonings and they may never know 🙂 If you are Paleo, leave out the beans. If you are vegetarian, leave out the meat but be sure to season your beans!
- If you are not dairy free or Paleo–add fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese now to let it melt into the warm meat and/or beans. You don’t need much–let the other flavors shine.
- Then the fun part: chopped olives, defrosted corn, diced tomatoes, diced onion, fresh pico, salsa, guacamole, chopped cilantro (such a flavor booster for me!), all natural sour-cream, or Greek yogurt. Drizzle with some fresh lime to truly app everything up.
- Then top with crushed tortilla chips. If you are Paleo, leave off and I am so sorry. The chips are so yummy 🙂
See, there you have it. A beautiful, fresh, whole-food meal that is full of flavor and suits just about everyone!! Enjoy
Here is my favorite version of guacamole to use with a Taco Salad, as a dip, or with any Mexican Cuisine. It is chunky and heavy on tomatoes and I don’t like any other as much as I love this version.
- 3 ripe avocados
- 5 ripe roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- juice of large lemon or lime
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Slice the avocados in half and remove pit. Slice the avocado’s flesh into cubes, while still leaving it attached to the skin. Scoop out the flesh and add to a serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, onion, juice of a lemon and salt and stir until combined but gently to leave the avocado chunky. Leave a pit in the serving bowl to keep the avocados from turning brown. And serve immediately.