Flavor-Packed Taco Salad (It’s healthy too!)

I love taco salad!  I always forget how much I love it until I take that first bite.  It is one of those meals, if prepared correctly, really satisfies your hunger without making you feel an ounce of guilt. The best part is the crunchy tortilla bowl.  It takes the place of crumbling greasy tortilla chips on top of your salad and in my opinion tastes surprisingly fabulous!

Ingredients:

4 flour tortillas (We use the raw Tortilla Land tortillas, cooked)

1 can black beans, drained

1 lb ground turkey breast, or lean ground beef cooked and seasoned with your favorite taco seasoning

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 can sliced olives

1 tomato, diced

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1 cup of your favorite salsa (Ours is Emerald Valley – generally found with refrigerated salsa in your local grocery store)

1/4 cup low-fat or fat-free sour cream

1 avocado, sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown your ground turkey or beef, drain if needed.  Add taco seasoning as directed on packaging.  Set aside.

Prepare lettuce – firmly hold head of lettuce, core side down, slam head down onto counter then turn lettuce over and pull out core.  Next, I like to break off all of the thick, white bases of the lettuce leaves. Fill head with water then turn over and shake to drain.  Remove top two outer leaves and discard.  Slice/chop/break lettuce into bite-sized pieces.

Prepare tomato, avocado, olives, and cheese.  (We always buy the cans of whole olives and use our egg slicer to slice the olives.  My boys love this job partly because they love helping mommy in the kitchen but mostly because they always get to load up one hand with a full set of olive tips.)

Spray one side of tortilla with a small amount of non-stick spray.  Place tortillas, greased side down, onto ramekins.  Pinch edges vertically in a clockwise (or counter-clockwise) direction (see picture) to form your “bowl.” Place in preheated oven on a baking tray for 7 minutes.  Carefully remove ramekins from underside of tortillas.  Place tortilla bowls with flat side down on baking tray and return to oven for 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Set aside.

For dressing, mix salsa and sour cream together.

Place ground turkey or beef and cold black beans in the bottom of bowl.  Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese, olives avocado and dressing.

As you eat, crumble your bowl to give you that “tortilla chip” taste and texture without having to eat greasy chips.

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