In addition to being a fitness instructor and health coach in training, I’m also a wife and mother of two wild and amazing little boys whom I love more than life itself. By extension, I’m all the roles that make up those two big job titles, like chef, chauffeur, and housekeeper, to name but a few! (However, I’m not a food blogger, so forgive the super simple presentation here!) In other words, I’m busy. Crazy busy. Busy on a whole other level kinda busy, and I love every second of it. So, when it comes to food, as in all things, I strive for the golden mean. I try to avoid the blatantly terrible choices as much as we can but I’m also not slaving over all-organic, gourmet meals three times a day. This is real life. Most of all I need food to be quick, easy to prepare, nutritious, and delicious.
This simple take on taco salad never fails to satisfy my Tex-mex craving and BONUS! it cuts hundreds of unhealthy calories by replacing toppings like cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips with creamy avocado, crunchy shredded carrot, and your favorite salsa as a dressing.
What you’ll need
1 lb lean ground turkey (I use 97/3)
(About) 2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup (-ish) Cherry tomatoes, halved or larger tomatoes, diced
Bell pepper(s) diced (up you to how many and what color! Also worth noting that I use bell peppers to keep it kid friendly but if you’re looking for more zing, feel free to turn up the heat with jalapeños, habaneros, or any other pepper that you love!)
1 Zucchini, chopped (because I just happened to have it on hand, and why not get in some extra veggies?)
2 cups (give or take) cooked black beans (if you use canned, buy the no added salt variety or rinse them to reduce the utterly wild sodium levels. Just so you know, no judgement here, I rinse the canned ones)
Seasonings (to taste) – salt, pepper, garlic powder, minced onion flakes, oregano, cumin, and chili powder
What to do with it
In a large pan, heat approximately 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Sauté chopped tomatoes and bell peppers (and today – zucchini! What do you have on hand that you could toss in? Mushrooms? Onions? Sweet potato?) with seasoning for 3-4 min to soften. What seasoning, you ask? Here’s where it gets fun! Season liberally to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, minced onion flakes, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Use more cumin and chili powder than you think you need and far, far less salt. If you love spicy food, add in some cayenne! I have no actual measurements for this 🙃🤔😉. Brown the ground turkey with the seasoned veggies and when it’s cooked through, add in the cooked black beans and simmer a few more minutes.
(P.s. This is a pretty great standard Tex-mex seasoning! Use this combo to replace the sodium-laden store bought seasoning packets for tacos, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas, etc… it’s delicious on turkey, chicken, beef, pork, and veggies. Can you tell we love it? 😍 You’ll see this seasoning set pop up in my recipes frequently and you will no doubt find a multitude of uses for it too! Let me know what you season with it!)
Serve over torn baby spinach with fresh avocado and your favorite salsa. Top with crunchy shredded carrots!
I promise you won’t feel like you’re missing out by not adding the cheese, sour cream, refried beans, tortilla strips, and fatty salad dressing that are so commonly the garnishes for a typical taco salad. This salad is protein-packed, hearty, and satisfying! The avocado is creamy and delicious, the salsa replaces an unhealthy dressing, and the carrots give you the tortilla chip crunch!
Give it a try and let me know if you love as much as we do, as well as what adjustments you made (if any!) to make it your own!
Enjoy!! 🥗 Also, visit me on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on my group fitness schedule, my upcoming health coach certification, more Quick and Healthy Eats and Friday Feel-good 15 videos ✌🏼💖