Recipe: Tremendous Tacos

This week we have a great healthy taco recipe from one of our colleagues Leigha Saunders, a 3rd year CCNM student. Check out her new website called for some great recipes as well as info on health and naturopathic medicine. For now check out these amazing tacos! Doesn't that avocado dressing look amazing?!

Inspired by Hearty Catering, this recipe is a sell-out every Thursday at CCNM--so much so, they also made Taco Mondays (although that doesn't sound half as cool as Tremendous Tacos!). What makes this recipe extra great and with a little kick is the wonderful avocado dressing.  Read on for the recipe...
I was even more inspired to come up with this recipe after reading the nutritional label on Old El Paso Taco mix - yikes! Check out what's in the mix you would regularly buy at the grocery store: 

  • Chili pepper, salt, maltodextrinspice, onion powder, corn startch, yellow corn flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, yeast extract, silicon dioxide (anticaking agent), sunflower and/or cottonseed oil, natural flavor, ethoxygquin (preservative)

First of all, what is spice?! Why can't they just say what it is? The mysterious 'spice' always throws a question mark up in my mind. Partially hydrogenated oils are full of trans fats that cause heart disease and other undesirable health effects.  Do we really need to eat silicon dioxide and ethoxygqin? So, as always - I ask if something that is processed can be made at home, healthier and to taste just as good - and here we are! Homemade tacos at their best. 

 Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and then store in an airtight container. If you're not a spicy loving person, reduce or omit the red pepper flakes.

Avocado Dressing
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A pinch of Salt and pepper
To prepare the avocado dressing, you need a food processor or blender, or a mean mixing hand. Add all of the ingredients together and mix until well blended. It should form a smooth, but thick dressing to use on top of the tacos. 

Taco Essentials
  • Ground beef or chicken (about 1 lb)
  • 1/3 cup Green lentils (optional - makes the recipe go a little further)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • Lettuce
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • Tortillas (gluten free, if desired)

Prepare the taco mix as described above.  Get the lentils going first - rinse them, then put in a pot with about 4 cups of water. Turn the element up on high to bring to the verge of boiling - the trick to not having your lentils get to mushy is to turn the pot down to low heat right before they boil and remove the lid from the pot. That way, they don't get tossed around in the boiling water and stay nice and together. They shouldn't even look like they're cooking - but keep them on the element for about 25-30 minutes. 

Chop the onion and add it into a big pan with your ground meat. Brown the meat on medium-high heat with the onion until cooked. Add the taco seasoning, with a little bit of water to help it dissolve and mix it into the meat. I usually add all of the seasoning, but you can add as much or as little as you like. Once the lentils are cooked, you can add them to the meat, mixing well. Add a little more seasoning and a bit of water to mix if desired. Don't forget to chop the tomato and lettuce for dressing! Other fun toppings include grated carrot and beet. Once everything is ready, serve it up! Layer the fixings on the tortilla and enjoy! 

Buen apetito!



Anonymous said...

Hello Leigha, Evelyne here from Hearty Catering at CCNM. Well, your avocado Sauce recipe for your "Tremendous Tacos!" sounds great. But we do add Lemon Juice to our sauce :-)
Just a little goes a long way.

Christine Cho said...

Hi Evelyn,

Thanks so much for your suggestion :)

Can't wait for Taco Thursdays to start...

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