Build A Better, Healthy Taco
We can’t help it: We think a healthy taco is a sure path to happiness. In this week leading up to New Year’s, many are enjoying the extra time with family and friends—and what better way to spend quality time than to gather around a popular, home-cooked meal?
Everyone loves tacos, and we’re all just trying to figure out how to eat them more often. Luckily, no taco is ever the same, so you’ve got a pretty great chance of never getting bored with this meal. Since not all tacos were created equal, today we’re here to show you how to make a healthier one.
1. Start with a Base
We recommend starting with a corn or whole wheat tortilla, which are both whole grains and aid in fullness and digestion. Try to eat your taco immediately after creating it to avoid it losing its beautiful shape; why wait, right? As a bonus, try adding brown rice or quinoa. They will add texture and flavor, but be sure to keep your portions in check (serving size is ½ cup).
2. Pick a Protein
We know protein matters. Without protein, you’d probably be able eat 17 tacos and not feel full. But seriously, protein is essential for muscle development and tissue repair. We recommend grilled chicken, fish, or steak. If you are vegetarian or vegan, black and/or pinto beans are a great alternative as they are rich in protein and fiber.
3. Add Color
This is the fun part! Who wants a bland taco? Add toppings that are rich in color and flavor. We love tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, onions, and cilantro! Add as many as you can fit in your tortilla, this is a great time to use leftover veggies from previous meals. These toppings are often low in calories, so don’t be shy.
4. High Five for Healthy Fats
“Good fats” such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are both nutritious and delicious. We recommend finishing off your masterpiece with guacamole or avocado slices, which are full of unsaturated fats and taste delicious!
- 8 corn tortillas
- 20 oz. grilled chicken
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Pepper, to taste
- Seasonings, such as chili powder, garlic, cayenne pepper
- 16 oz. tomatoes, diced
- 16 oz. corn
- 16 oz. bell peppers, diced
- 4 oz. cilantro
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 cups brown rice
- 4 cups water (for rice)
- Prepare brown rice and water in a saucepan or rice cooker. Bring rice to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until ready (about 20 minutes).
- While the rice is cooking, sauté chicken in pan with olive oil and spices, such as cayenne pepper, garlic, salt and pepper until internal temperature has reached 165 °F.
- Chop tomatoes, bell peppers, and cilantro.
- Prepare corn (if frozen, microwave or if canned, drain and rinse) and set aside.
- Slice avocado.
- In skillet, heat corn tortillas until they are warm.
- Fill tortillas with quinoa or rice, chicken, tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, cilantro, and top with avocado. Enjoy!