A taco night favorite and for good reasons, taco bowls are delicious, customizable and can be extremely healthy, not just because salad is in the title. I’ve love tasting and trying new ingredients in Mexican recipes. Sometimes I add sweet potatoes, sweet peppers and even cabbage. This turkey taco bowl recipe is pretty classic, filed with lean ground turkey, rice, tomato, romaine, black beans, red onion and avocado.
Like everything else you see on my blog, I try to make everyday recipes healthier. Here is my twist on a traditional taco salad – with clean wholesome ingredients.
Homemade Taco Seasoning and Salt
Using homemade seasoning to marinate the ground turkey is a great way to take some un-needed sodium out of your taco Tuesday. Taco Bell’s store bought seasoning has about 300 mg’s according to packaging, which isn’t crazy but we can do better with homemade. Make sure to flip over the package on your store bought taco seasoning packet if you choose not to make your own. Many have gluten hidden in there too, so watch out. 140mg or less is considered low sodium according to the American Heart Association (AMA). With all the other flavors of cumin, garlic and chili powder you won’t miss the salt.
1,500 milligrams is the AMA’s recommended limit of sodium per day. Most of sodium in our diet comes from processed foods, so by cooking for yourself you have much more control over your daily intake.
Brown rice is a good base for a taco bowl and is key to completing the texture and helps make everything stick together on a spoon but be careful not to over serve this grain. This recipe calls for ¾ cup of brown rice which is about 160 calories. It is easy to get carried away and add way more and your calories will shoot through the roof. Make sure to measure what you serve to keep your healthy goals going strong.
Let’s Talk Toppings!
The great thing about this dish is there is something for everyone to love. You can add or subtract toppings based on people’s preferences, even kids. I enjoy cilantro but many don’t. My favorite thing to add to any taco is guacamole (check out my homemade recipe here). Cilantro and guacamole pair well together as toppings because of the contrast in flavors, one is bland and the other bold. And who doesn’t like cheese! Shredded cheese is a classic topping, but with all of the other flavors in this bowl, I don’t think you will miss it, if you left it in the fridge.
DIY Chipolte Sauce
The star of the toppings in this recipe is the chipolte sauce.
Chipolte’s are a great way to add flavor and because they are a veggie with generally low nutritional value (low calorie, low fat, low carb). In adobo sauce there is only about 95mg of sodium per serving in this recipe. To make the sauce simply us a blender/food processor and combine Greek yogurt, 1 chipolte in adobe sauce and a small dollop of adobo sauce with garlic lime juice and cumin and you have a mouthwatering sauce to top your tacos. Taco salad complete! If you don’t have time to make the sauce I would top the salad with salsa.
Where’s the Beef?
I prefer ground turkey over beef, and when you compare them apples to apples it’s easy to see why. Beef has more calories, fat and saturated fat. Cooking turkey is easy and when seasoned right has a similar flavor. Wait for a sale in the meat section and buy 98% fat free lean ground turkey.
Turkey Taco Bowl Price
This is relatively low on my price scale. Veggie toppings are all inexpensive (around $1 each). Ground turkey is comparable in price to chicken (about $4 per pound). The price heightens with the DIY Taco Seasoning, if you don’t have some of the spices on hand already. Shop at Whole Foods and check out their bulk seasonings section, where you can buy small quantities of spices and pay per pound, which will come in under $1 for each. The Simply Organic brand of seasonings found at Giant and Whole Foods come in 0.60 oz containers for about $2 each (depending on the type of seasoning) which I love them because the price is pretty reasonable, especially if you don’t need a lot.
I hope you have fun making these taco bowls with family and friends. Eat well and stay energized!
- 1½ cup Brown Rice (cooked)
- 1 pound Ground Turkey
- ¼ cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
- 2 cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped
- 1 Avocado
- 2 Roma Tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
- 1 Cup Black Beans
- ½ cup Cheddar Cheese (optional)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Chipolte Sauce (optional)
- Lime Juice to taste
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Dash red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1½ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Chipolte Sauce
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 chipolte in adobo sauce (2 if you like it spicy)
- ½ tsp. adobo sauce
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- ⅛ tsp. cumin
- Cook brown rice as directed on package. In a medium skillet add ground turkey, turn to medium heat. Add water, and taco seasoning. Stir and cook until brown and water is evaporated. This recipe makes for two, but you can portion this to taste, adding more or less of the toppings. In a medium size bowl, layer half of all the toppings – first brown rice, then romaine (chopped), avocado (sliced) , tomato(chopped), black beans, cheese (shredded) and ground turkey. Repeat in second bowl. Top with Chipolte Sauce and spritz of lime juice to taste.
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