Taco Salad

With the warm weather hitting Prince George, I’ve been finding it hard to motivate myself to cook. That’s why I love making fresh salads; they require minimal to no cooking and they are light yet satisfying on hot summer days. The only issue I run into is when I’m trying to cook for myself and my man who usually doesn’t think a salad will suffice for dinner. That’s why he was pleasantly suprised when I whipped up a taco salad for dinner last night. This taco salad has enough vegetables to account for 3 servings of vegetables but also enough protein to make it filling enough even for a hungry man’s appetitie.

I do have to admit that I didn’t measure anything when making this salad and really you can use the ingredients as a base and use more or less of your favourite toppings.

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Ingredients:

Salad:
Organic Spring Mix
Avocado
Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped
Orange bell pepper, chopped
Frozen corn, blanched
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips, broken into small pieces
Aged cheddar cheese, shredded

Dressing:
Salsa (your favourite)
Plain Greek yogurt
Lime juice
Chilli powder

Beef and Black Bean topping:
Jalapeno pepper, chopped
Extra lean ground beef
Black beans,
Chilli powder
Curry powder
Vegeta, a Serbian vegetable seasoning salt, or you can just use seasoning salt
Cayanne
Tomato paste
Water
Olive OIl

Method:
1. Heat oil in pan, cook beef seasoning with as much or as little of the spices as you wish, add a bit of water to make the beef juicey, toss in jalapeno pepper, tomato paste and the black beans
2. Mix lime juice and chilli powder into the yogurt
3. Layer all of the salad ingredients: lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, corn, beef and bean mixture, salsa, yogurt dressing. Top with cilantro and tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

Here is an estimate of the nutritional breakdown. Again it’s only an estimate because I didn’t measure the ingredients while I was making it…

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Calories (kcal)

526.5

Fat (g)

26.9

Saturated Fat (g)

7.1

Trans Fat (g)

0.4

Cholesterol (mg)

89.3

Sodium (mg)

537.4

Potassium (mg)

1732.6

Carbohydrate (g)

29.8

Fibre (g)

12.7

Sugar (g)

7.0

Protein (g)

44.6

Vitamin A (RAE)

309.1

Vitamin C (mg)

39.9

Calcium (mg)

144.5

Iron (mg)

6.0

Vitamin D (μg)

0.2

Vitamin E (mg)

4.4

Thiamin (mg)

0.4

Riboflavin (mg)

0.7

Niacin (NE)

19.4

Folate (DFE)

234.2

Vitamin B6 (mg)

0.9

Vitamin B12 (μg)

3.3

Keeping Cool and Healthy This Summer

Now that summer has finally arrived so has the time for summer bbqs, picnics and camping! Although the cravings for ice cream and smore’s may be powerful don’t forget that summer also provides a bounty of tasty and seasonal fruits and vegetables. When the school bell rings on that faitful day in June don’t let those 10 months of healthy balanced eating fall to the wayside with those school books. Remember to include a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean proteins at your meals and snacks.

Don’t use  camping as an excuse to pig out and laze around the camp fire all day, there are lots of ways to eat healthy and stay active while camping. If you’re out by the lake bring kayaks and swimming apparel to stay active on the water or go hiking around the campsite to enjoy the sites and sounds of mother nature.

When packing for a camping trip avoid loading on carbs like: oatmeal with brown sugar, sandwiches, hot dogs and of course the all time campfire favourite: smore’s. Don’t foreget to pack those fruits and vegetables as their packed with loads of nutrients.

Here is my list of healthy ideas for packing for your next camping trip or picnic:

  • Pack lots of fruits and veggies! –> try sugar snap peas, carrots, blueberries or other seasonal berries washed and ready to snack on
  • Instead of packing potato and pasta salads made with lots of mayo opt for lighter versions dressed with vinaigrettes (try combining olive oil, sherry vinegar, white vinegar, a dash of sugar, grated grana padano, oregano and basil and top your favourite blend of pasta and veggies), note these will also last better food safe wise.
  • Leave sugary drinks and pop behind at the grocery store (or only pack a few cans as a camping treat), stick to water or refreshing watermelon to quench your thirst instead.
  • Wrap corn, yams or potatoes in tin foil and toss by the camp fire for easy, healthy sides to your camping meal
  • Don’t worry I’m not going to skip out on the hot dogs but do try to buy a lower sodium brand. Try European weiners from your local butcher as a tasty alternative usually made with more meat than the average grocery store hot dog.
  • As for smore’s, I’m not even going to try to mess with these as they are too delicious of a creation to ty to make healthy 🙂 feel free to induldge in them once in a while!

Bubbly berries.jpg

Ideas for Cool Summer Treats:

  • Make your own iced tea! I love David’s Tea summer Tropicaila iced tea it’s caffeine free and doesn’t need any sweeteners making it the perfect drink to quench your thirst when you’re tired of water
  • Try an alcohol free summer cocktail: pour 1/4 parts lemonade and 3/4 parts sparkling water over frozen berries and toss in a lime wedge for a sparkling and refreshing summer treat
  • Freeze grapes and eat as a cold treat or pop into a glass of white wine to keep your wine cold 😉
  • Make your own popsicles – just mix your favourite fruit puree with sugar and freeze in popsicle cups or try some of these great ideas from Better Together

The other important thing to remember is to stay hydrated in the summer heat! As you sweat you lose electrolytes and salt and one of the best ways to replenish these losses is by drinking enough fluids. Even though iced coffees and slurpees may seem refreshing in those hot summer days, they are typically full of sugar. Don’t forget to drink lots of water (at least 8 cups per day) to ensure you are staying hydrated and keep the iced coffees and slurpees as treats. If you start to feel dizzy, nauseaous, light headed, have dry lips, a dry mouth or have a headache you may be dehydrated, take a break from what ever activity you are doing and have some water. A great way to prevent dehydration is to keep a bottle of water with you during the day.

The dog days of summer are upon us just remember that there are ways to eat right while still induldging in your favourite summer treats 🙂