Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Skinny Taco Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing

Just because the word "salad" is in the description of a dish does not make it healthy or lower in calorie. Taco salads are a perfect example. Between high-fat grades of ground beef, a deep-fat-fried shell, piles of cheese and dressing, you can get more than a full-days worth of calories and fat from a salad!

All that said, they can taste so darn good. The challenge is to keep the flavors and textures we love while reducing fat and calories. This home-made version does that and is easy to make. Baked tortilla chips are topped with lean seasoned beef, tomato, onion, sweet peppers, salsa, shredded low-fat cheese and a low-fat home-made spicy ranch dressing. It has the crunch of the chips and fresh peppers and onions, the spicy beef and sauces, the mellow cheese and cool tomatoes all for only 360 calories with 11 grams of fat and 4 of fiber.

Skinny Taco Salad
Makes 4 servings
1/2 pound 90 percent lean or better ground beef
1 tablespoons Smoky Southwest Spice Blend
8 ounces shredded lettuce
2 medium to large red tomatoes, diced
4 ounces shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 sweet yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup salsa
4 ounces baked tortilla chips
1 cup Spicy Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

Brown ground beef with seasoning mix.

Crush and spread chips across a plate, top with lettuce, meat, tomatoes, cheese, peppers onions, salsa and dressing.

Spicy Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat butter milk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced

Combine ingredients and chill. Make ahead to allow the flavors to blend.

Deal of the Day: Making your own dressings is made simple using a mixer like the Zyliss Shake 'N Go Tumbler.


Anne said...

The dressing on this sounds so good - I love anything with Greek yogurt in it. This looks way too delicious to be skinny!

"pup" said...

This dressing sounds delicious!! Everything looks great!! The recipe you left looks good!

Angie's Recipes said...

I love ranch dressing! And bet the taco salad tastes wonderfully with such a delightful dressing!

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely dressing

baking.serendipity said...

This ranch dressing adds the perfect kick to the salad! Usually I stay away from taco salads for all the fat laden reasons you listed, but this one is safe :)

Alison said...

I LOVE taco salad... unfortunately it's all the fat stuff that makes me love it - sour cream, cheese, ground beef... I'll have to give yours a try!

~Prairie Story ... care of Alison Zulyniak

mydanishkitchen.com said...

Your dressing sounds wonderful, good looking salad. :)

Squeaky Gourmet said...

taco salad is one of my favorites! Nice dressing recipe!

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

Oh boy does that look great! But you know, I bake my own tortilla chips, just take some fresh corn tortillas, cut them into eight even wedges, spread out evenly in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees, or until crisp!


Bon appetit!

The Mom Chef said...

I love Applebees Santa Fe Chicken Salad, which is a lot like a taco salad, but with out the shell. Even with chicken and sans shell it comes in at a whopping 46 grams of fat. It's so disheartening. Thanks very, very much for this delicious-looking alternative.

bunkycooks said...

You are back! I want to hear about the big trip!

Scott K said...

Bunny, check out earlier posts, our vacation turned into a bit of an adventure.

Sook said...

I love that it's "skinny" taco salad! Yum!

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