3 March 2009

The Better (for You) Taco Salad

The Better (For You) Taco Salad
My Legume Love Affair is the brainchild of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Each month she features legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, as the central ingredient. Carnivores, Vegetarians, and Vegans are all welcome to enter. This month you are eligible to win a fabulous sounding book Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou. The event for March is hosted by the lovely Laurie of
Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska who always brings the foods of Greece to new heights of perfection.

In trying to keep with a healthier diet I decided upon this pretty layered salad. It is a lighter version of the traditional taco salads that are made with tortilla chips. Even with the tortilla chips a salad of this kind is still pretty good for you; but eliminate them altogether and you have something not only healthy, but delicious too!! With only 244 calories and 11 grams of fat how could you go wrong. Topped with a silky avocado dressing I was in salad heaven and dreaming of the lazy, hazy days of summer.

**The Better for You Taco Salad**
(adapted from Canadian Living)

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1 lb (500 g) extra lean ground beef
pinch of salt
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 can (19 oz) (540 mL) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (250 mL) light-style cheddar cheese, shredded

1 ripe avocado
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon low fat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 spring onion, sliced for garnish
Sliced tomatoes for garnish

To make avocado dressing mash 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted, with potato masher or fork until you get a silky consistency. Thinly slice the spring onion. Add spring onion, 1/4 cup (50 mL) water, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, low-fat sour cream and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute onion, garlic, extra lean ground beef, hot paprika or chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of salt for 8 to 10 minutes, or, until beef is browned and completely cooked. Drain if necessary; set aside.

Layer tomatoes in a shallow 12 cup (3 L) glass bowl, reserving a few for ganishing the top of the final dish. Follow with a layer of lettuce, cooked ground beef mixture, 3/4 cup (175 mL) cheese and then kidney beans. Top with avocado dressing.

Garnish with remaining cheddar cheese, green onion and reserved tomatoes.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. oh yum! I just ordered in a taco salad for lunch - but I bet this would be better!

  2. This does look delicious! I bet you can't even tell that it's "light."

  3. This is one delicious taco salad Val and such a great entry! I bet it tastes full bodied and not 'light' at all....

    Rosie x

  4. Really delicious! That healthy version makes me drool...



  5. Taco salad..........one of my favorites. We lived in Texas and I miss this kind of food. Your recipe sounds great and light, which we all need from the holidays.

    Thanks for visiting my kitchen and signing up to follow my blog. I'm honored and really appreciate it. See you again soon.

  6. Very nice! And I like the photo too.

  7. The avocado dressing would be great on a savory salad like this or even fruit. It looks great!

  8. What a great salad! Love the healthy version!

  9. This taco salad looks delicious and healthy. Perfect!

  10. That sounds perfect, Val! I love the idea of this salad and the flavors - the dressing looks really good too!

  11. Wow, with a presentation as gorgeous as this, I'd pick this over the conventional taco salad any day! Beautiful!

  12. It looks delicious sis and you made a very lovely presentation of the dish as well.

  13. That looks delicious! I love how much better for you (and probably better tasting) it is.

  14. I love taco salad but a healthy version is always a plus.

  15. Hi Val,
    You really have a knack for taking beautiful photos! The taco salad looks splendid and oh-so-yummy! I'm also "dreaming of the lazy, hazy days of summer". Can't say the weather has been the greatest here in Regensburg. LOL

  16. Great take on a taco salad! That presentation makes it wonderful fun too!

  17. Just reading about this is getting my taste buds all tingly!!

  18. Love the flavours that you got in the bowl Val.......got me reaching for the fork!!

  19. Hi Val, please pass by my blog and collect some awards ;o)

    Rosie x

  20. Taco salad is a favorite of mine. This lighter version sounds delicious, although I might be tempted to leave the meat out entirely and enjoy it vegetarian style from time to time, just for a change of pace.

  21. Looks awesome, Val. I love stuff like this - tasty and healthy!

  22. i could eat some form of taco salad every day for the rest of my life and be happy. the notion of a healthier version is wonderful--great post!

  23. Thanks guts for all your kind comments. I really enjoyed this sald and just had to share:D

  24. I'm glad you are featuring this recipe because I don't recall seeing it in CL. Looks so healthy and good.


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