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Taco Lettuce Wraps

Wondering how to align Taco Tuesday with your health goals? It’s really quite simple! It involves a quick swap of lettuce for tortillas to wrap up your favorite taco ingredients, and you will have a healthy but filling meal in less time than it takes to order and pick up take-out.

photo credit: swanksalot Romaine Lettuce

 

By replacing the tortilla wrap with romaine lettuce, you are cutting down on not only calories but also on a number of food additives of which you may not be aware are in many store bought tortillas. These additives include artificial colorings and flavorings, vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated oils, and a number of stabilizers. These are in addition to what are usually bases of bleached flours, void of their original nutritional value. And, do not be fooled by “spinach” or “tomato” tortillas. These are the same as flour tortillas with extra food colorings and seasonings to give the appearance of being healthier.

Enough about what we will not be including in this recipe and more of what we are incorporating!

photo credit: ginnerobot Taco Soup

INGREDIENTS

2 heads of romaine lettuce

1 pound ground beef, turkey, pork, or chicken

1 serving homemade taco seasoning (recipe below)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup water

Your favorite taco toppings: salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, sliced avocado, black olives, green chiles

TACO SEASONING

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a stove-top pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat, lower the heat to medium, and cook thoroughly.
  2. Add taco seasoning and water to the pan. Stir to coat the meat in the seasoning mixture. Allow to heat for an additional 5 minutes over low heat.
  3. While the meat mixture is simmering, chop the bottom portion (the stem) off of the romaine hearts. Wash the larger, outside leaves, and pat dry with a paper towel. You can save the smaller leaves for a salad, as they will not do well holding all of your taco ingredients.
  4. Next, assemble your tacos by layering the meat and your favorite toppings. A squirt of lime juice on top makes the perfect finish!

Due to the versatile nature of this recipe, including a number of protein and topping choices, we have not created a custom meal for My Fitness Pal. Nonetheless, this is an easy one to enter into any food tracking program.

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