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Friday, May 14, 2010

Healthy Grilled Tacos

Mexican food isn't usually the first thing you think of when you think about eating healthy, but there are ways to still enjoy Mexican food without all the fat. Starting with grilled chicken, a healthy tortilla (either low fat corn tortillas or whole wheat) and losing most of the cheese and high calorie sauces will result in a good-for-you taco. Add flavor with queso fresco, Mexican spices, cilantro and lime. These tacos are full of flavor, good for you and they are ready in no time. You don't even have to dirty a pan.

This recipe makes about double the chicken that I needed for 2 people, come back tomorrow and I'll show you what I did with the leftovers.

Healthy Grilled Tacos

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp garlic salt (I like Lawry's)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lime
2-3 roasted piquillo peppers, sliced into strips
1/2 -1 cup black beans
1/2 -1 cup corn kernels
2 oz queso fresco
2 T cilantro, roughly chopped

Trim any fat off chicken breasts, cut each breast in half horizontally to make chicken a uniform thickness, pound flat if necessary. Combine chili powder, garlic salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Coat both sides of chicken pieces with spice mixture. Squeeze juice from half the lime over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Preheat grill on medium-low heat. Grill chicken about 6 minutes, flip and grill 5-6 minutes more, until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil. Turn the grill off and place tortillas on the grill for 20-30 seconds per side to warm. You don't want the tortillas to char or crisp up or you will have tostadas instead of soft tacos so watch them carefully.

Combine corn, peppers and black beans in a small microwave-safe bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, microwave about 2 minutes until hot. Slice chicken thinly and assemble tacos with chicken and bean mixture. Crumble cheese over the top and add cilantro. Squeeze remaining lime juice over tacos. Serve with fresh salsa or pico de gallo if desired.

Note: Queso fresco is generally found in the dairy case with other specialty cheeses or in an ethnic food section of the grocery store. Roasted piquillo peppers are similar to roasted red peppers but are really good if you can find them; if not, you can substitute roasted red peppers.


  1. I love grilled tacos filled with just about any meat and veggie. It's the perfect summer meal!


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