Tacos. Their true origins are unknown, but many professors of history agree that they likely originated in the 18th century in the silver mines of Mexico. The word “taco” may refer to the little charges they would use to excavate ore (pieces of paper they would wrap around gunpowder and insert into the rockface). Three hundred years later they have quite literally “exploded” into popularity!
When it comes to tacos, there's no shortage of opinion on how they should be done; we’re no exception to that either - even those of us in the MRC Kitchen have different opinions on what makes the “perfect taco”. One thing we can all agree on is that a traditional taco shell is not the healthiest component and certainly no friend to those actively trying to lose weight. The good news is that the shell isn’t where all of the things we love about a taco lives. So, we’ve decided to kick that carb-heavy shell to the curb and enjoy all of the other great things we love about a taco mixed together in a bowl (you’ve probably noticed that your local taco chains have similar options, too).
Some swaps that make our Taco Bowl a little different from what you’ll find in restaurants (even those that offer “bowls”) include using lean ground meat. Typically what you find in your local restaurants is full fat ground beef that’s dripping with extra oil and fat. Instead of sour cream, we’re using plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. When mixed into your entire bowl, you’ll never tell the difference, and you’re getting a little extra protein to help reduce hunger later and keep lean muscle mass healthy! Instead of carb-heavy rice, we’ve elected for riced cauliflower. We won’t try and say that riced cauliflower is a seamless swap for rice (we know that there are many different opinions when it comes to cauliflower vs. rice and how different they can taste), but we certainly think it’s a swap well worth making when you look at saving yourself 175 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrates by choosing cauliflower mixed in with all those other delicious flavors!
There are as many different ways to customize your taco bowl to your flavor preferences as there are healthy ingredients out there. So, if what we’ve got in yours isn’t quite striking your fancy, then swap in your own favorite ingredients. Some equally as delicious and healthy variations and additions you can make to your bowl:
- Add a handful of shredded lettuce
- Add 2 TBSP Fresh Salsa Picante Top with diced jalapeno, green onion, or cilantro
- Substitute lean ground meat for shredded chicken breast or sirloin
- Any of the veggies can be swapped for other plan-friendly options. REALLY don't like cauliflower? No problem - leave it out and swap it for some diced cucumbers and tomatoes!
- Swap corn in place of beans
- 1 lb. lean ground meat
- 2 TBSP low-sodium taco seasoning, divided
- 3/4 C. beans
- 8 oz. frozen riced cauliflower
- 4 oz. frozen bell peppers
- 6 oz. avocado, sliced and divided
- 3-4.5 oz. plain-nonfat Greek yogurt, divided*
- Low-sodium chicken broth, as needed
- Cook ground meat and drain fat. Weigh out cooked meat using a food scale (More clients weigh 9 oz. cooked and More Level 1 clients weigh out 13.5 oz. cooked. Return the weighed portion to the skillet and toss with 1 TBSP taco seasoning. Keep skillet covered over minimal heat or you can put an oven-safe skillet in the oven on lowest heating setting to keep warm. Store any leftover ground meat in the fridge to be used with another meal.
- In another skillet, cook your veggies over medium heat with 1 TBSP taco seasoning. Add additional splashes of chicken broth as needed to keep veggies from drying out. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until veggies are plump, tender, and heated through.
- Add the beans to the skillet with your veggies, stir, and let the skillet cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the beans are warmed through. Remove from heat.
- Divide each skillet (meat and veggies) into 3 equal portions and place in bowls. Top each bowl with 2 oz. avocado and 1-1 ½ oz. plain Greek yogurt (More clients use 1 oz. per bowl and More Level 1 clients use 1.5 oz. per bowl).