These American family-favorites have a great balance of carbohydrates and protein, but many of them lack the vegetable and nutrient punch that we strive for.
One of the most beloved quick weeknight meals has to be tacos. Flavorful filling, easily gobbled up in a corn or flour tortilla, and topped with yummy salsa and guac? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this combination.
At The Wildflower Chef, we upgrade these old favorites by working in more fresh fruits and vegetables. We love fillings like Roasted Sweet Potato & Corn or Portobello & Poblano Pepper because they add essential vitamins and minerals, and can be prepared in about 30 minutes. Toppings like fresh tomatillos or diced mango give tacos added phytonutrients and flavor, while keeping the calorie count low. If you're not ready to give up meat entirely, try mixing your meat filling with a veggie filling in a 1:1 ratio.
Here are two of our favorite taco filling recipes. These are more like guidelines, so feel free to substitute different vegetables or seasonings if desired!
Roasted Sweet Potato & Corn
2 sweet potatoes, diced small
2-3 tbsp olive oil, or as needed
Spices: cumin, garlic, salt, pepper
1 onion, diced
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 cups fresh spinach
Toss diced sweet potato with just enough oil to coat. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic, to taste. Roast in a 375F oven until tender. In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm 1-2 tsp olive oil. Add diced onion and cook until translucent. Add corn and saute just until tender. Wilt in spinach last, then toss all together with the roasted sweet potato. Serve in taco shells.
Portobello & Poblano Pepper
2-4 Portobello mushrooms, gills removed, sliced thin
1-2 Poblano peppers, seeds removed, sliced thin
1 Onion, sliced thin
Spices, to taste: salt, pepper, cumin, chile powder
Saute mushrooms, peppers, and onions in a large saute pan over medium heat, using 1-2 tbsp oil of choice. Season with spices, to taste. Toss in chopped fresh cilantro just before serving.
Healthy tips to make your tacos even better:
- Instead of shredded lettuce, try topping your tacos with shredded spinach or kale
- Instead of sour cream, use creamy and rich guacamole
- Mix up your cheeses: try a sprinkle of queso fresco, feta, or goat cheese in place of cheddar - because these cheeses are tangy and salty, a little goes a long way
- Get creative with salsas: mix in fruits like mango, blueberries, or strawberries for added nutrition
- Make it a taco salad: serve taco fillings over a big bowl of greens - try mixing up a simple lime vinaigrette using fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic
Back in August, we had the pleasure of preparing some delicious and nutritious tacos for the awesome residents of AVE Malvern, in Malvern, PA. My sous chef John manned the build-your-own salsa station, while I handed out hot tortillas and shared a little bit about why we love vegetarian taco fillings. We served up the two fillings mentioned here, as well as a simple cilantro-lime chicken filling. Want the chicken recipe? Shoot me an email and I'll send it to you!