In honor on Cinco de Mayo, lets talk tacos. Years ago, tacos used to be one of my few go to meals. At the time, me cooking was an extremely rare occurrence. I would use one of those boxed taco kits. It came out perfect every time, and people actually thought I could cook. It was kind of exciting. When I started on my pure food adventure, I began reading food labels for the first time. Reading food labels is hard. It takes so much time, and can definitely be frustrating. It wasn’t until then did I actually think about what is in those taco kits. Sure, it always tasted good, but I couldn’t understand more than half of the ingredients. Taco kits no more, I am on to bigger and better things…homemade taco salad!
The most amazing part about this taco recipe is that it is just as easy as the box! It takes only a few ingredients and is pretty impossible to mess up. I used organic free-range ground turkey meat; skinless but both white and dark meat combined work best. Sauté a chopped onion until translucent, brown the turkey meat, add in some tomato paste and chili powder, add some stock or water, and cook until the liquid evaporates. It’s that simple and tastes so delicious, without a doubt way better than the box!
I love to make this taco recipe into a salad. I use shredded romaine lettuce and brown rice as the base, then add the turkey taco meat, and this amazing roasted corn avocado salsa on top.
The salsa is by far my favorite part of this salad. It has so much flavor and is so light and fresh tasting. It has roasted corn, avocados, sweet cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, lime juice, cilantro and some red onion. All of the ingredients compliment each other so well and makes it so you don’t even need salad dressing for this taco salad.
I always get excited when corn is in season again. It reminds me of the summers I spend in the Catskills and the amazing family barbecues we have. I can’t wait to be back there again. In the meantime, I roast corn in the oven. It’s literally the easiest thing ever. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, place the whole ear of corn, husk and all, on the rack, and cool for 30 minutes. It doesn’t get easier than that! Once it cools, remove the husk and cut off the corn with a knife in order to add it to the salsa. One thing about corn, always, and I mean always, buy organic. Over 40% of the corn market contains gmo’s (genetically modified organisms). GMO sweet corn is genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant and to produce its own insecticide. Like all GMOs, genetically modified corn has not been tested enough to ensure that it is 100% safe for us to eat. This is why we buy organic.
Avocados are literally one of my most favorite foods. They are also one of the world’s healthiest foods. They have tons of vitamins and minerals, are high fiber, have more potassium than bananas, and are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. They are a hi-fat food, but the majority of the fat is oleic acid, which is extremely anti-inflammatory and can actually lower your cholesterol. Overall, people who consume avocados regularly are generally thinner and healthier. Yes, that means you can eat more guacamole. Who doesn’t love guacamole?
The combination of the crisp romaine, flavorful turkey taco meat, nutty brown rice and the fresh corn and avocado salsa really make the perfect meal. Get ready for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta!
- Turkey taco meat:
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pound organic skinless ground turkey (dark and light meat)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup homemade or organic boxed chicken broth or water (if buying boxed make sure to check ingredients. Should be just chicken, water and vegetables).
- For Salsa:
- 1 ear of organic corn
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut into 4’s
- ½ diced avocado
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbs. finely chopped red onion
- 2 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno
- 2 tbs. chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- For Salad:
- 1 head of shredded romaine lettuce
- 2 cups of cooked brown rice
- For Turkey Taco Meat:
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Sauté onion and cook until they becomes translucent.
- Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with the side of a spoon, just until meat is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in chili powder, salt, and tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
- Add broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid started to evaporate, thicken, and cling to meat.
- For Salsa:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place ear of corn on rack and roast for 30 min.
- Once cool, cut off corn with a knife, holding it perpendicular to the table, and cutting down.
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
- For Salad:
- Assemble salad by placing romaine first, then brown rice, meat and salsa on top.