Turkey Tomatillo Lettuce Wraps

Mexican food isn’t necessarily known for being healthy, and I know my preference for turning Mexican Monday into Pasta Night doesn’t follow many diets, but it is possible to turn Mexican Monday into Healthy Night. Most taco recipes can be turned into taco salads, or in this instance, a lettuce wrap!

I was excited to find this recipe and Mountain Mama’s blog where she partakes in Taco Tuesday. I hope to find more Mexican Monday inspirations from her as I explore her page.

I absolutely loved this recipe – it was fresh, healthy, and crispy. I think it’s genius to take a store bought salsa and add more fresh flavors to it.

If you don’t like using fresh lettuce as your taco shell, you can substitute soft or hard shell tacos.

Turkey Tomatillo Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 C fresh cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 C tomatillo salsa
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • your favorite taco toppings, i.e. tomatoes, fresh onion, cheese, avocado

Steps:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil in medium-high heat. When hot add ground turkey and season with S+P. Brown turkey, breaking up with a wooden spoon. After 5 minutes stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
  2. In a food processor combine onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salsa. Pulse until smooth. Add to the turkey. Cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock and cook let simmer another 2 minutes.
  4. Tear off lettuce leaves, fill with turkey, and top with your favorite taco toppings.

*This recipe is adapted from Kelley at http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2014/01/cilantro-lime-turkey-taco-lettuce-wraps/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-4*

Lettuce Wraps

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mexican Monday is back! And it’s back with a trusty favorite recipe. Stuffed shells. I know, stuffed shells are typically an Italian dish, but I much prefer this Mexican spin to the traditional spinach and ricotta.

I’ve been making these stuffed shells for a couple years now, and was not disapointed to find that previous photographs weren’t exactly blog worthy. I’ve done these with both ground beef and ground turkey. Honestly, the turkey just doesn’t yield that same mouth-watering, need-to-grab-another stuffed shell result. But if you’re trying to cut back on red meat this year you can absolutely substitute turkey or chicken for the beef.

Shells

Meat Filling

Stuffed Shells

Mexican Stuffed Shells

The following recipe is for two casserole dishes worth of stuffed shells, which will feed 6-8 people.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 4 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 box jumbo shells
  • 1 jar (16 oz) salsa
  • 1 jar (8 oz) taco sauce
  • 2 1/2 C shredded Mexican cheese
  • 3 scallions

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. You don’t want them to be too soft so you can stuff them. Using a slotted spoon remove shells from water and place on wax paper. (You run the risk of breaking shells by straining like you would normal pasta.)
  2. Brown ground beef. Drain fat. Mix with taco seasoning and 2 C water. Cook until water is reduced. Mix in cream cheese until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Divide salsa between two casserole dishes.
  4. Spoon about 1 tbsp of meat mixture into each shell. Place in casserole dishes.
  5. Top shells with taco sauce.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with cheese and bake another 10 minutes.
  7. Garnish with scallions. Serve with sour cream, salsa, or any other toppings you’d like.

*This recipe is adapted from Maeghan at http://www.thewaytohisheartblog.com/mexican-stuffed-shells/*

Mexican Stuffed Shells 1 Mexican Stuffed Shells 2 Mexican Stuffed Shells 3

Healthy Chicken Tacos

Mexican Monday has been in need of a healthy make over. This recipe from Cooking Light is very simple, very quick and full of flavor. The chicken gets its smokey warmth from ancho chili powder and is accompanied by a bright, crunchy slaw.

On a side note, I picked up a package of organic free range chicken breasts for this dinner. They were considerably smaller than the chicken breasts I normally pick up – about half the size! These two breasts yielded 5 tacos. If I used the average antibiotic treated chicken I could have gotten 8 tacos. I am tempted to now pay a little more for organic chicken because the difference in taste was like night and day. I was surprised.

Healthy Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 3/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 2 limes, divided use
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 C packaged cole slaw
  • 1/2 C sliced scallions
  • 1/4 C chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • taco sized flour tortillas

Steps:

  1. Season chicken with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, S+P. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat cook chicken in olive oil until cooked through.
  2. In a blender, puree sour cream, milk, avocado, zest and juice of 1 lime. Mix until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl toss together slaw, scallion, cilantro, juice of 1 lime, and canola oil. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Assemble tacos and enjoy!

*This recipe is adapted from Maureen at http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/ancho-chicken-tacos-50400000111963/*

Image

Mexican Pizzas

It’s another Mexican Monday and today my suggestion is to try these “Taco Bell Mexican Pizzas”. I do not frequent the local Taco Bell, so I can only trust the source I got the recipe from that they are indeed “Taco Bell Mexican Pizzas”. Either way, they’re delicious and a simple week night dinner – I opted to add ground beef to the pizzas, but you could omit the meat and keep them vegetarian. Don’t be deceived, these tortilla sized pizzas are surprisingly satisfying.

Mexican Pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/8 C taco seasoning or 1/2 pkt
  • 1/4 C water
  • 4 wheat tortillas
  • 1 C refried beans
  • 1/3 C enchilada sauce
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced finely
  • 2/3 C shredded Mexican cheese

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium, non-stick skillet brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Stir in taco seasoning and water according to taco seasoning directions. *If making your own taco seasoning, use 1/4 C water and 1/8 C seasoning for the 1/2 lb of meat.
  3. Crisp up tortillas in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, flipping often.
  4. Heat the refried beans (the microwave will work just fine) until they’re warm and easier to spread. Spread over two of the crispy tortillas.
  5. Top each tortilla with the remaining two tortillas. And spread the enchilada sauce over top. Pile on meat and veggies. Cover with cheese.
  6. Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

*This recipe is modified from Allyson at http://domesticsuperhero.com/2013/05/20/taco-bell-mexican-pizzas/*

Image