July 25, 2011

"Taco" salad bowls

It's been so hot here that I've been making lighter, snack-like meals instead of cooking too much. Temperatures were in the 35's and 40's last week and it was uncomfortable, but I would rather have warmth over snow and cold any day.

Last night I made caprese salad bites with a baquette for dinner and the previous night I made chicken cashew lettuce wraps. Both meals were small, but refreshing. Who wants to make soup or use the oven too much in this heat?

We've been trying to clear out the fridge before we go on vacation, so I used up a lot of produce by making these "taco" salad bowls.


I saw the recipe here and she claims these bowls with all the ingredients in them are only about 300 calories each. Apparently a typical restaurant "taco bowl" can pack as much as 500 calories, as the shells are usually deep fried before serving.

These ones are made with a regular, whole wheat tortillas. I used tofu as the "taco meat." I love tofu, but it only lasts about 3 days opened in the fridge, so I tried freezing it. The frozen tofu is a lot more crumbly than normal, and actually makes a better ground meat substitute, plus it still tastes the same. You could also use chicken or beef as the meat and still have a low-calorie meal.

To make the tortilla bowls: 
Place the tortilla in a small oven-proof bowl. I used a small, corningware dish. Or flip a bowl over and place the tortilla over it (see here for photo instructions). Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. The tortilla should be warm enough to keep it's shape and slightly browned and crispy, but not falling apart.


Cook your desired meat filling with taco seasoning or paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. I made a few jars of homemade corn salsa a few weeks ago as my first canning experiment and will never go back to the store bought kind. Hopefully I can make some more and stock up now that sweet corn is in season.


Then fill the bowls with your desired ingredients. I started with lettuce, then added salsa, fresh corn, avocado slices, "taco meat," grated cheese and a dollop of plain yoghurt (you could also use sour cream).


The presentation is really neat and they're actually surprisingly filling. The tofu actually tasted more like chicken, but it was hardly noticeable with all of the other fillings (in case you're not a tofu fan).


I can't believe we're leaving for South America this week. It seems like we've been planning for months and I've been wanting to go forever. We're going to Peru for a week, then Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for another week. I am beyond excited and desperately need a vacation. I'll be posting pictures and my foodie adventures there when I get back!

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