Have you ever actually seen a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Something that sneaks around looking all sweet and innocent full of fluff and then you find out it is dark and evil. I feel like this is a problem that is lurking in the kitchens of America.
We feel like we are eating something healthy and nutritional and then, just to feel good about ourselves, we read the nutritional information and see that we are wrong. It’s like that episode of Seinfeld where everyone is eating frozen yogurt by the shipload because they thought it was low fat. After putting on pounds they sent it off to have the yogurt tested and discovered that it was full of calories.
Another common culprit of this; salads. Some of the tastiest salads have well over 2,000 calories. If I’m going to consume that many calories in one setting I am going to eat macaroni and cheese and chocolate chip cookies. I saw a friend once (who said she was dieting) order a salad with fried chicken and lots of cheese on top, then she drowned it in dressing, ate half, and asked for more dressing! It made me a little nauseous to watch.
So is it really possible to have a yummy salad full of bold flavors without all the calories? I say yes! And to prove it I challenge you to try my tasty Taco Salad.
This salad is not only tasty and low calorie it is also full of powerful nutrients. One ingredient that really pumps up the power is broccoli sprouts. These puppies have been touted to have the same amount of hytochemical sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) as 1 1/4 pounds of cooked broccoli. My hubby won’t eat broccoli but he loves these so I throw them into a lot of meals.
To give this salad some crunch I threw in lots of chopped fresh veggies. And, instead of using chips like most taco salads, I roast chickpeas with a little chili powder sprinkled on top. This really adds crunch and flavor.
To make my Healthy Taco Salad I started by roasting chickpeas with a little chili powder sprinkled on top. These roast for about 30 minutes so I get them started first. The rest of the meal will be done by the time these tasty suckers are.
I then browned turkey meat in a skillet. When done I drained it and added in taco seasoning and prepared to the package instructions. While this cooked I made my salad dressing by combining cilantro, basil, garlic, Dijon mustard, and lime juice in a food processor. I blended this until it was smooth. I then streamed in olive oil until it reached its desired consistency.
To prep my salad I used a spinach and arugula mix that would have a crisp flavor. I topped it with broccoli sprouts, chopped purple onion, bell peppers, and avocado. When my chickpeas were ready and crispy I sprinkled those on top of my salad and added in prepared taco meat. I then drizzled on a little dressing.
This salad had so much flavor and texture. Not only is it big on flavor but also it is full of vitamins and nutrients and enough fiber to keep you full all day. My husband thought it was so tasty that it didn’t even need the salad dressing.
If you are looking for a fresh new twist on your regular salad give this recipe a try. I think you’ll like it!
Healthy Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 Prepared recipe for roasted chickpeas with 1 tablespoon chili powder sprinkled on top before roasting
1 Pound turkey meat or lean beef
1 Package taco seasoning
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Package of mixed spinach and arugula or the lettuce of your choice
1 Small bell pepper, chopped
1 Avocado, chopped
1 Cup broccoli sprouts
½ Cup chopped onion
For the dressing:
½ Cup cilantro leaves
1 Clove of garlic
3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 Tablespoon Splenda, sugar, or honey
1 Tablespoon basil leaves
1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ Cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare one recipe for roasted chickpeas with the addition of 1 tablespoon of chili powder sprinkled on top before roasting. Brown turkey meat and prepare according to the taco meat seasoning instructions.
2. Prepare salad by dividing lettuce mixture onto plates. Top lettuce with a little of each bell pepper, avocado, broccoli sprouts, chopped onion, and tomatoes.
3. To prepare salad dressing place cilantro, garlic, juice, onion, Splenda, basil, Dijon, and cumin into blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and well combined. Stream in olive oil until well mixed. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add prepared meat and chickpeas to lettuce and veggies. Drizzle with salad dressing. Dig in!