Taco Salad with a Difference

March 13th, 2010

This has got to be the most refreshing salad I have ever tasted. Most taco salads are loaded with fat from all the cheese and ground beef. There is no cheese in this salad and it calls for ground turkey instead of ground beef. To be honest with you, I can live without the cheese. I have never been a big cheese eater and most of the time I find myself in a distinct minority. In place of the cheese you have a wonderful yogurt dressing flavored with lime juice and cilantro. The salad is further enhanced with mango, black beans tomatoes and corn. Taco salads are usually served in a huge taco shell and although I love the taste of the shell it is usually way too much to eat. In this case, corn tortillas are cut into wedges and baked until crisp. They give just the right amount of bite to the dish.

The only complaint I got about the dish from David was that he would have preferred it for a lunch instead of Friday night dinner. He is kind of like Ina Garten’s Jeffery; Friday night dinner should be a roast chicken or some other special treat. He is getting his roast chicken tonight.

I found this recipe in The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook; The New Classics. The cookbook was $6.99 at T.J. Maxx. I’m glad I found the cookbook and the recipe. It is a keeper and I will definitely be making it often for lunch and light suppers . . . just not on Fridays.


1 cup of frozen corn, cooked
3 corn tortillas, each cut into 16 wedges
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 limes and their zests
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, torn into 2 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2 thick wedges
1/2 red onion, sliced ( I put the slices in ice water for a while to eliminate the strong onion taste)
1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes

Cook the frozen corn in a small saucepan with a little water until done. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the tortilla wedges in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until crisp, turning once about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; let cool, and set aside.

Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, juice from 1 lime, zest of 1 lime, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium nonstick skillet, brown the turkey over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, juice of other lime, and lime zest. I added a little salsa just to keep it moist.

Transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the lettuce, beans, tomatoes, onion, mango, and reserved corn. Toss to combine well. Drizzle with yogurt dressing and top with tortilla wedges. Serve immediately.

Serves 6. 233 calories. 4 Weight watchers points.

16 responses to “Taco Salad with a Difference”

  1. Jessica says:

    I saw that set of cookbooks at TJ Maxx a few months ago and I snapped them up. I haven’t used them near as often as I should. Thanks for the very pleasant reminder that I need to spend some time flipping through these cookbooks soon.

    This salad looks delicious. I love taco salads but I generally don’t eat them because I always think it’s sort of false advertising (you know, healthy because it’s salad but in reality not healthy at all). I think that this salad looks like a wonderful dinner for a warm evening.

  2. Robin Sue says:

    Penny I like the idea of the mango in this dish to add some sweetness which I think would add a nice surprise too. The dressing does sound refreshing!

  3. Kat says:

    It looks and sounds delicious!

  4. This sounds wonderful! I agree with you about the average Taco Salad being filled with fat. I never order them in a restaurant for that reason. Can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for sending it along.

  5. Yum! You know I love to make taco salads at home! I’ll try this one really soon! Thanks!

  6. Kass says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. The yogurt dressing is a great idea.

  7. I love this salad. I would/will eat it often, even on Friday night!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I’ve starred this one in my igoogle reader, Penny, because when I want to make something like this I sometimes have trouble thinking of ingredients. Love the mango. I’ll bet the dressing would be fantastic based on buttermilk, too!

  9. This looks like a wonderful brightly flavored dish. I agree that cheese can overwhelm and dominate dishes, using alternatives like yogurt harmonizes the flavors better.

  10. We have the Canadian version of the store, HomeSense. I used to be able to get great deals on cookbooks.. but recently they have been 25-30 dollars instead of the great low deals they were before. Sigh.
    Looks like a great salad, very fresh for spring.

  11. Katy ~ says:

    This sounds so good (except for the cilantro, grins). What a delicious interpretation of the calorie and grease laden taco salad. A keeper!

  12. Sounds awfully good! Men!

  13. Penny says:

    Amen, Mimi!

  14. Julie says:

    A beautiful, colorful salad. Looks full of healthiness 🙂

  15. I love a taco salad and this one is so healthy. I’m loving it. Black beans only make it better in my book. I agree with David. It would make an excellent lunch.

  16. grace says:

    your hubby’s like jeffrey–that made me chuckle. 🙂
    i LOVE taco salad, but i must admit that the draw for me is usually the greasy taco bowl. this would be greatly preferred when i’m aiming for something a little more guiltfree. love the mango!

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