Taco Night Done Right!
Taco Tuesdays…or Wednesdays…or even Thursdays! In my house, we’re game for tacos pretty much any night of the week! Today I decided to take a tried and true favorite and put a new twist on it. I substituted ground turkey for ground beef and made Turkey Tacos! If you’re trying to cut back on calories, saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet, substituting with fat-free ground turkey can help you meet your goals. And the best part of it all…you don’t have to sacrifice any of the flavor! Additional veggies, spices, and toppings make this recipe a crowd pleaser for sure!
Tacos just happen to be my all-time favorite meal, but what makes me even happier is the fact that they’re quick, easy and relatively inexpensive. I started with Nature’s Rancher Ground Turkey from Whole Foods Market. Nature’s Rancher offers a couple of ground turkey options, but I chose the 93% Fat Free White Ground Turkey.
In an effort to sneak in some extra veggies into our diet, I selected a recipe that incorporated poblano peppers, zucchini, and onions directly into the meat mixture. The great thing about this is you can use whatever might be available in your fridge…bell peppers, cauliflower, squash. If you’ve got some picky eaters in the family, you can try using a food processor or shredder to help “disguise” these nutritious additions. Sneaky, but it works!
Another reason I gave this recipe a thumbs up was that it called for a homemade taco seasoning. I like the idea of cutting out all of the additives, preservatives and extra sodium found in most pre-made mixes and being able to adjust the flavor to suit my family’s taste buds! Because we prefer spicy foods, I even added some red pepper flakes and a little cayenne pepper to give it that extra kick!
But the real beauty of taco night is that you don’t have to make any side dishes. Tacos are hearty, filling and a stand-alone meal by themselves! Happy eating!
- 4 TBS olive oil
- 12-16 ounces ground turkey meat (light meat)
- 1 medium poblano pepper (seeded and diced)
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- ½ medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
- 1 heaping TBS chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 8 soft taco shells
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Diced avocado
- Diced plum tomatoes
- Sliced radishes
- Sour cream
- Other options – jalapeno peppers / cilantro / salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook, while stirring and breaking up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon, until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the peppers, zucchini, and onions and sauté until the veggies have started to soften, about 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the meat with the chili powder, cumin, and paprika and give a good seasoning of salt and pepper; cook until fragrant. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and are soft, about two minutes more. Add the chicken broth and simmer lightly until the sauce is thickened and all the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil to a small bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Lightly brush both sides of the tortilla shells with the olive oil. Carefully place each tortilla shell over two bars of the oven rack. Bake until crisp, 8-10 minutes. Remove the shells with tongs after they are baked.
- Serve the warm taco shells filled with the turkey veggie filling and toppings of your choice.