Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tacos made healthy; Diabetes Friendly Thursday

It is that time of the week again!! It is time for Diabetes Friendly Thursday! We also have a new member to our proud DFT team: Parvathy!This week the DFT team is bringing to you something that we hope all of you will enjoy: Tex-Mex food!!

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When you think of Tex-Mex cuisine, what comes to your mind?? I am sure several things do. I am also sure that one of the things that crosses your mind is TACO. Taco is singular while tacos is plural. Taco is pronounced ta:ko. So, what exactly is a taco?? Taco is basically a tortilla with some kind of filling. I am sure you are now imagining a deep fried hard shell heaped with meat, salsa, sour cream, cheese and a little lettuce. Well, you are not wrong. But that is not the only kind of taco. Tacos can be hard or soft. The hard shell tacos are ones where in the tortilla has been deep fried and therefore they retain their shape.Soft tacos are with tortillas that have not been deep fried and obviously, therefore much healthier. The tortilla used can be flour, wheat or corn tortillas. Corn tortillas can be gluten free.

Now coming to the filling in a taco. That's the interesting part. Tacos are so versatile that you could fill it with pretty much anything you wish and still call it a taco. You could make it as unhealthy and calorie laden as you wish by heaping it with red meat, sour cream, salsa and tons of shredded cheese or you could make it as healthy as possible by filling it with something as simple and nutritious as chunky avocado guacamole!! Isn't that interesting??

So, once again taco filling essentially has to have a protein base with some kind of salsa/ sauce to spice it up, some veggies and may be topped with sour cream and or shredded cheese. Based on the protein filling that forms the primary ingredient, the taco is named. So you can have pork tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos, fish tacos, shrimp tacos, black-bean tacos, avocado tacos etc.What I am bringing to you today are tacos that are extremely healthy and low in calories. I present to you egg tacos and quinoa black-bean tacos. I have used corn tortilla as they are low in calories: around 80 calories per tortilla. I have also used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.These tacos could be had for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Servings: 1 ( 2 tacos per person)

For pico de gallo and salsa verde  recipes, click here.

For quinoa-black bean-corn filling recipe,click here.

For  the egg filling:


Egg: one large egg
Milk: 2 tbsp
Salt: to taste
Black pepper: freshly ground, a pinch
Oil: 1 tsp

Method :

In a bowl, take all the ingredients listed above except oil . Beat until the egg is fluffy. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the beaten egg mixture to the pan. Let it sit for couple of mins until it begins to set. Now scramble it gently. When the eggs seem to leave the pan easily, it is done. Do not overcook/burn the eggs. Keep the egg filling aside in a bowl.

Ingredients needed for assembling the taco:

Corn tortilla: 2 numbers
Egg filling for egg taco
Quinoa-black bean-corn filling for vegetarian taco: 1 cup
Greek yogurt : 1/4 cup
Pico de gallo: 1/4 cup
Salsa verde: 1/4 cup
Avocado pieces: 1/2 cup, from one small avocado.


Warm the corn tortilla on the stop top in a skillet for 1-2 minutes. Alternatively, you can warm the tortilla in the microwave by keeping it in a microwave-safe plate and covering it with a damp paper towel. Warm it for 30 seconds.

Place the warm tortilla in the plate that you intend to eat/serve the tortilla in. Add 2 tbsp of the desired filling at the center of the tortilla: quinoa black bean mixture for vegetarian taco ; egg filling for the egg taco. Now top it with 1 tbsp of pico de gallo and/ or salsa verde, avocado pieces. Lastly add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.

Quinoa- black bean-corn taco

Egg taco

Serve/ eat immediately.

Enjoy! I am bringing this to my friend Angie's Fiesta Friday so more people can be benefited with all these wonderful recipes! The co-hosts this week are Jhuls@The Not So Creative Cook and Laurie@ Ten Times Tea.

Cooking made easy:

In the above recipe, you could season some shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder, pan fry it and use it as a filling. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken, shred it and use that as a filling. The possibilities are innumerable. Use your imagination. Tacos form a great weeknight dinner. All you have to make sure is that you have some tortillas at home. Assembling of the tacos can be made by each individual as per their individual taste.

Tip for healthy living:

Eating healthy does not have to mean that you have limited choices or options. You could eat pretty much anything you want. All one has to be mindful of are the ingredients. Swap the unhealthy ingredients with the healthy ingredients. In the case of the above tacos: I have used corn tortillas that are only 80 calories per tortilla, has less fat in it and is less processed and gluten free. I have skipped shredded cheese entirely and swapped the sour cream with the healthier, non-fat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and is also a probiotic. Read more about the benefits of greek yogurt here.The quinoa used in the vegetarian taco is a superfood. You can read more about quinoa here.Black beans are another great low fat source of protein for vegetarians. It is also rich in fiber. You can read more here.

I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.

Indulge in delicious Tex Mex food with DFT this time with all these other recipes from our team!

1. Vidhya's vegetarian chilli.

2. Chahat's chicken enchiladas.

3. Shailja's black bean brown rice veggie bowl

4. Prachi's vegetarian sopes

5. Sonal's vegetable fajitha platter

6. Anu's sweet potato fajitas

7. Apsara's jalapeno cornbread muffins

8. Swati's quinoa and bean bites.

9. Parvathy's lime cilantro quinoa

Food for thought:

Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do. Jose Ortega y Gasset

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