October 4 is National Taco Day, which is great for those who aren’t watching their weight. But what about the poor dieter? Diet and taco aren’t words you naturally think of together. Tacos are indulgent, calorie-packed handfuls of belly-bulging joy: they aren’t food for fat-conscious folks, right? Wrong: here are diet taco recipes to make you say ole! Now you can have yummy, fat burning tacos and lose weight too! Here’s how.
Mind your meat options. Sure, you crave that spicy chorizo and savory ground beef taco meat. Well, that’s where the fat, aka the calories, are found. Swap ground beef for ground turkey or chicken. Choose a reduced fat sausage over fatty chorizo. You can slash calories 300 to 400 percent with these lighter choices. Turkey is high protein and a good fat burner.
Cut salt, nix commercial seasoning packets and make your own taco seasoning blend. Salt is a hidden fat trigger as it causes water retention. Taco seasoning is filled with sodium, MSG and even fat. Use this spice blend to season tacos: lime juice, oregano, ground cumin, celery seed, minced garlic, chopped onion, hot paprika, fresh cilantro leaves and a few dashes Himalayan pink salt or sea salt. You might find you don’t need any salt, but if you do, those two are healthy sodium alternatives.
Go vegetarian or vegan. Season whitefish, cod or pollock with taco seasoning for fish tacos. Swap plantain, cubed winter squash or sweet potatoes for meat. Neither are low calorie, but they are fat-free, full of fiber and rich in betacarotene and antioxidants. Season as you would meat, then roast or saute in olive, coconut or sunflower oil or non-fat cooking spray.
Swap out high fat dairy. Switch to low moisture mozzarella cheese, feta or bleu cheese or Parmesan. Reduced fat cheese sticks have only 50 calories. Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Use cheese sparingly. Skip cheese and use a light salsa.
Consider your wraps. Corn shells are lower calorie than flour. Don’t fry shells: fold and toast in microwave. If you like tortilla chips and taco salad, use baked instead of fried chips. Choose a veggie chip or make your own kale chips. Or go crazy-healthy: skip the shells and chips altogether and wrap taco fillings in a large lettuce leaf, like romaine. You’ll lose calories, burn fat and gain fresh, crunchy taste!
Go loco on fat-burning vegetables! Fill your taco with chopped onions, tomatoes, peppers, hot peppers, shredded lettuce, grated carrots, chopped zucchini, avocado slices and sprouts. Saute sliced zucchini, summer squash and eggplant. Season with homemade taco seasoning. Top with Greek yogurt. Serve tacos with homemade kale slaw: chop kale, carrots, celery, onions and peppers. Season with Splenda, acai vinegar and olive oil.
Serve with tacos with homemade 100 percent fruit smoothie. Blend strawberries, blueberries, limes, grapefruit and bananas for a fat-burning fiesta of flavor.