Tacos are a quick & simple dinner that will likely please the whole family. You want to buy the leanest ground meat that your supermarket carries. For the taco shells, make sure to buy hard or soft corn tortillas that are made without trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil). I like this kit:
The ingredients for the shells are: organic stone ground yellow corn masa flour, expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil.
Such a short ingredient list! That’s what you want to look for when choosing products. The kit also contains taco seasoning and taco sauce. The caloric breakdown including 3 TB of the sauce and seasoning plus 2 shells clocks in at 150 calories, 6 grams fat (0.5 g sat fat), 600 mg sodium, 20 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, and 2 grams protein.
Since the sodium is high, I usually use less of the seasoning packet than they recommend. Since fiber is missing, I like to add something full of fiber to the meal (side of brown rice, black beans and/or vegetables)
For each person: use 3-4 ounces ground beef and 2-3 taco shells. Prepare toppings for the tacos, such as: lettuce, tomato, salsa, guacamole, low fat shredded cheese and/or low fat sour cream. Be aware of adding too much fat – it’s easy if you have a heavy hand with the guac, cheese & sour cream.
All you have to do is brown the beef in a skillet, add water and seasoning packet (box tells you how much). Simultaneously, heat shells in oven or toaster oven. Serve and add toppings — voila dinner is served!
You may also want to beef up the meal with a side of rice and black beans.
Here’s a photo of my dinner plate:
I stuffed 2 tortilla shells with about 4 ounces of ground beef and had home-made guacamole & tomatoes for toppings (we were out of cheese!). On the side I had some steamed broccoli. A side of black beans would have been a nice addition.
Nutrition Tidbit: Ground Beef
- Ground Beef ranges in calories and fat drastically; always choose the leanest one you can find.
- Here’s the nutritional breakdown for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of each type of ground beef
- 95% Lean: 137 calories, 21 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat
- 90% Lean: 176 calories, 20 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat
- 85% Lean: 215 calories, 19 grams protein, 15 grams fat, 6 grams saturated fat
- 80% Lean: 254 calories, 17 grams protein, 20 grams fat, 8 gram saturated fat
- 70% Lean: 332 calories, 14 grams protein, 30 grams fat, 11 grams saturated fat
- Sometimes supermarkets label it by the cut — to help you make sense of that here are the general rules:
- Ground Sirloin: 90-92%
- Ground Round: 85-90%
- Ground Chuck: 80-85%
- Ground Hamburger Meat: 70%
Trader Joe’s sells 96% Lean Ground Beef! That’s what I used to make this, here’s a photo of the package: