No matter where you live or come from, Tacos always seem to be a crowd pleaser among most! Our MRC Kitchen team has taken that deep-fried, carbohydrate-rich taco shell and replaced it with a Vitamin-rich bell pepper. Combined with the super flavorful taco seasoning recipe below, you can continue to enjoy the great taste of tacos while still losing weight! Perfect for lunch or dinner, it's a fiesta for your taste buds that the whole family can enjoy!
Why bell pepper? Did you know that bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, which lavish you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Also, the capsaicin in bell peppers has multiple health benefits: studies show that it reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, controls diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation. And when cooked for a short period on low heat, bell peppers retain most of their sweet, almost fruity flavor and flavonoid content, which is a powerful nutrient. What taco shell do you know of that can do all that?
Here's what you need:
- 8 Medium/Large Bell Peppers*
- 1 lb Ground Sirloin
- 1 Cup Green Onion, diced
- 1 Cup Cooked Black Beans
- 1 Cup Frozen Corn
- 1 Container Fresh Salsa or 1 Cup Tomatoes, diced
- 1 Packet (about 2 Tbsp.) of Taco Seasoning Mix**
- 1 1/2 - 2 Cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
- Optional: MRC Guacamole to top
*ensure they have a flat base so they will stand up when cooking. Or slice in half and lay on side open-faced up.
**To make your own Taco Seasoning at home: (note: makes more than needed for this recipe)
- 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Oregano
- Cut off the top and remove the seeds from each pepper.
- Place in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 350ËšF (175ËšC).
- While the Peppers are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium/high heat, and spray with Pam or Cooking Spray.
- Add the Ground Sirloin, and season it with a packet of Taco Seasoning or two Tablespoons of homemade Taco Seasoning.
- Allow sirloin to brown on all sides.
- Add diced green onion and reduce heat to Medium.
- Mix in the black beans, corn, and salsa.
- Add in 1 cup of cheese and stir until incorporated; the cheese should be melted.
- Remove from heat and remove peppers from the oven.
- Fill each with the taco mixture and top with the additional cheese.
- Return it to the oven for an additional 15 minutes just until the cheese has melted.
- Top the pepper with 2 Tbsp Guacamole (optional), and enjoy!
Serving size: 1 "Pepper Taco". Replaces 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate, and 1 vegetable. If using Guacamole, replaces 1 healthy fat serving.