If you enjoy tacos, you should definitely have a taco salad recipe on hand! It’s a salad, but it’s fulfilling. It’s got all flavors of a taco, but less messy and more convenient. Above all, it’s delicious and healthy.
How Healthy is Taco Salad
Taco salad is healthy, providing a great many nutrients- macro and micro.
In terms of your daily recommended macronutrients, our taco salad recipe contains 38% of your total fat, 43% protein and 12% total carbohydrate. It’s a bit low in carbs, so we served it with our tasty home fries. Altogether, this meal will cover your macronutrient quota.
Our numbers are calculated referencing RDI tables on vitamins and minerals, issued by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. We’re only using the RDI of men and women at the age of 19-30 currently (RDIs can differ depending on age.)
Our taco salad recipe has lots of fresh ingredients, which help provide a decent amount of micronutrients. Among the many nutrients, these are the most significant:
|Significant Nutrients||RDI (% per day) for men||RDI (% per day) for women||Main source|
|Vitamin C||25%||30%||Tomatoes, jalapeño|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||25%||25%||Lettuce, avocado|
Vitamin A and E belong to a group of micronutrients called “antioxidants”. They are substances that can neutralize free radicals (waste substances produced by the cells themselves.) If these free radicals aren’t reduced effectively, they can cause oxidative stress, which is linked to many serious health conditions.
By consuming a sufficient amount of antioxidants, we’re doing the body a favor.
Folate (Vitamin B9) is an essential nutrient in DNA replication, a substrate for reactions in the body, and is needed in larger quantities for women during pregnancy and lactation.
The food richest in folic acid (converted into folate in the body) is leafy greens. By adding more lettuce to your salad, you’re boosting your intake of vitamin B9.
Vitamin K, though belonging to 13 essential vitamins, still holds mystery and has functions yet to be discovered. Known functions of vitamin K include bone-forming, anticalcification, as well as acting as an anticancer and regulating insulin levels. Unlike other nutrients which are associated with “reducing risks of cancer”, vitamin K can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, hence the term “anticancer”.
Foods rich in vitamin K include leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, and in this recipe, romaine lettuce.
Now that you know how healthy our taco salad is, let’s find out how you can serve it.
Do You Eat Taco Salad Cold?
Although “salad” is in the name, this taco salad recipe isn’t meant to be eaten cold. It should be served similar to how you would serve a taco station— warm meat, fresh veggies, and crunchy taco shells (or in this case, Doritos.)
If the reason you’re considering serving this salad cold is convenience, here’s a better way: store the meat, the toppings, and the yogurt separately in the fridge. When it’s time to bring it to the table, reheat the meat on a pan, mix everything in a large bowl and sprinkle Dorito crumbles on top. It may not taste as good as a freshly made taco salad, but it’s definitely better than refrigerating everything.
What Goes Well with Taco Salad?
There are many options for taco salad sides, but the two that immediately came to mind for us were:
The first time we had this taco salad together, we put it with guacamole. The crunchy salad with smooth, creamy guacamole made a perfect pair. Together, they were a classic Mexican combo meal.
Thing is, both recipes included Doritos, and it’s not so healthy having a lot of Doritos. It’s still a deep-fried snack after all. If you’re going to go for guacamole, it’s better to skip the Doritos from the guacamole recipe, and have a glass of cold lemonade on the side instead. It has the calories you need, but cuts the sodium and fat, and is oh so refreshing.
As mentioned before, what’s missing in this salad is some carbs. Among our various recipes, home fries stood out as a great partner. It’s easy to do, quick, and full of flavor (not to mention, it’s baked, not fried!)
|Recipes||Course||Calories (kcal)||Saturated Fat (g)||Sodium (mg)|
|Taco Salad||Main Course||504||9.2||555|
|Home Fries||Side Dish||249||2||285|
Taco Salad Recipe
- 6 oz romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 oz cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 oz avocado cubed
- 1/4 cup green onions finely chopped
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 4 oz tortilla chips crumbled
- 4 oz white onions diced
- 8 oz tomatoes diced
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 oz jalapeno pepper diced
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 0.5 oz cilantro chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Mix all salsa ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate.
- In a medium-high heated skillet, add olive oil, beef and spices. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the rinsed beans. Stir for another minute and then turn off the stove.
- Put the Doritos chips in a bowl, then smash them using a large spoon (using a ladle works best.) Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, layer in lettuce, meat, salsa, and other toppings. To decorate, place Greek yogurt in a piping bag/Ziploc bag with a little corner snipped off, and start making streaks on the salad.