In the past, I avoided taco salads for that very reason. I have enough problems controlling my weight. Like most of the women in my family as soon as I hit the age of 25 my metabolism began slowing down and I began putting on weight. That coupled with a job that required me to park myself at a desk all day didn’t help either.
It seemed like one of the only ways I could control my weight was to control what I put in my mouth. But I hated giving up my favorite foods, taco salad being one of those favorite foods. And we all know it’s a fact that if we deny ourselves for too long what we truly desire eating, sooner or later we’re going to binge.
So, I began learning how to take recipes that were not healthy and turning them into healthy ones, that way I didn’t have to give up my favorite foods.
Here are some tips for making your taco salad recipe healthier…
Healthy Taco Salad
#1 – Use the lowest fat content ground beef you can find.
I use one that is only 4% fat content and the cows the meat comes from are fed no antibiotics or growth hormones. That second one just makes sense to me since we are now learning that these
antibiotics could be contributing some of the resistance to antibiotics scientists are finding in the bugs these days. Growth hormones aren’t a good idea either since you are what you eat, and there is speculation that these hormones are really affecting our young women. Many stores are now offering lower fat beef options, as well as options that are from cows that weren’t fed antibiotics and hormones. Fred Meyers is one such store.
#2 – Drain any fat off the ground beef rather than eating it.
You’ll still get a bit of fat which is actually good for you no matter what, so just go ahead and drain the excess.
Here are some excellent ways to drain fat from meals with ground beef in them. (.pdf)
#3 – Get rid of that deep fat fried tortilla and add a few baked tortilla chips instead.
They are far healthier and you will cut the extra calories quickly if you use baked tortilla chips instead. That deep fat fried tortilla is a huge part of the calories in a taco salad dish to begin with.
#4 – Reduce the amount of ground beef and add more vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, avacados, and even onions.
Meat is wonderful, as we all know, and you do need a certain amount of protein in any healthy diet, but Americans actually eat way more meat than they need. You should really only need a serving of meat that is the size of your fist. The rest should be all vegetables.
#5 – Replace your regular cheddar cheese with a low-fat cheddar cheese.
The Tillamook brand has a wonderful tasting low-fat cheddar cheese, and is my personal favorite.
#6 – If you simply must have guacamole on your taco salad, make it with low-fat mayonaise instead of the regular kind and reduce the amount you put on your taco salad.
Avacados by themselves are actually good for you because they have the good kind of fat that lowers cholesterol. But when you make guacamole and add the high fat mayonaise to it, not only does the calorie count go up, so does the fat content (…and not the good kind). You may also want to consider just cutting up some avacado pieces to put on your taco salad!
#7 – Normally I’d suggest that you switch from regular sour cream to fat-free sour cream, but having tried it myself and I really hate the taste, I suggest instead to just reduce the amount of regular sour cream that you put on your taco salad.
I love the taste of real sour cream and in the past my tendency has been to really pile it on, but the truth is you only need a teaspoon or two of real sour cream to get the flavor you’re looking for. A little goes a long way!
#8 – Make your own salsa.
There are hundreds of great salsa recipes online and all you really need cooking tool wise is a blender to make your own salsa. Pre-made salsas are loaded with salt, sugar and preservatives, which is not good for you — at least not a lot of it anyway. The other advantage to making your own salsa is the wonderful fresh taste you’ll get!
Once I applied these tips to my own taco salad recipe, I not only felt better, but when applying the same principles to other recipes I also began to lose weight — a real plus for me!
Listen to Bud Light’s Real Men of Genius ”Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor”:
Must see: Taco humor on Pinterest.
Some of my favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with living green, saving money, pregnancy, weddings, and dogs. When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with my husband, read, create 3D artwork and Native American beadwork.