A few weeks ago I came across a taco recipe on the internet that peeked my interest. It was not the filling (though I love the creamy (and healthy) mixture of chicken and beans), but rather the cooking method.
The tacos, once assembled, are lightly sprayed with cooking spray and baked until crispy. In my mind, I pictured the tacos at a popular fast food place that deep fries their tacos AFTER they are filled with a soft meat mixture (mostly filler). While also crunchy, I imagined the baked tacos might be far tastier, and knew they would be FAR less greasy.
Well, last night I tried them (with a few of my own tweaks of course), and they were a HIT! The crunchy, chewy tortillas yield to a creamy protein packed flavor-filled middle, and when topped with tangy cheese and cool lettuce, the whole thing – well, it’s just downright taco-licious!
If that were not enough, they are a breeze to make (you can even make the filling ahead of time), and the nutritional stats are great. Just 110 calories, 2 grams of fat and 2 Smart Points per taco (remember, veggie ingredients are 0 for SP, but I always include them in my analysis. If you use simply plug the numbers below in your calculator you will get 3 SP points instead of the proper 2).
PS This is an easy recipe to double. Once assembled you can wrap and store the tacos in the fridge for a few days, or the freezer even longer. Simply heat, and eat when ready!
(Full disclosure: The family grabbed them so fast, I didn’t even get to take a picture. The photo is a good representation of how they look when done.)
MAKES 10 Tacos
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning (or 1/2 store-bought packet)
1 cup cooked shredded chicken breast
1/2 16-oz can fat-free refried black beans
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
10 thin corn tortillas
10 tablespoons reduced-fat cheese (Mexican Blend or Jalapeno Jack)
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Hot sauce, salsa, or guacamole (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400° degrees. Set out a cookie sheet.
2. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray, add the onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add the taco seasoning and cook one more minute. Gently mix in chicken, coating with seasoned onions. Push to one side of the pan and add the refried beans and salsa to the other side. When warm and softened, fold into the chicken. Gently stir in the sour cream and cilantro and heat until warm. Set aside.
3. Lightly spray the cooking sheet with baking spray. Slightly wet 3 or 4 tortillas at a time and place in the microwave. Heat on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until softened. Place about 3 tablespoons of filling on one side of the tortilla, fold in half, and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken/bean filling. Lightly spray the top of tacos with cooking spray.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are crisp of the tortillas are crisp, the middle starting to crisp, and the filling is hot. Serve stuffed or topped with cheese (1 tablespoon each), lettuce and sauce.
Nutrition Information Per Taco: Calories 110 | Carbohydrate 13 g (Sugars 1g) | Fat 2 g (Sat Fat 1g) | Protein 10g | Fiber 2g | Cholesterol 20mg | Sodium 225 mg | Exchanges: 1 Lean Meat, 1 Carbohydrate | Carb Choices: 1 (2 Tacos = 1 ½ carb choices) | WW Smart Point Comparison: 2