I still remember the first time I had a taco salad as a teenager. Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of salads then but I quickly became one after enjoying a delicious Mexican-inspired salad with steak, beans, corn, tomato and cheese (lots of it) all in a crunchy taco shell! I’m not going to name the fast-food restaurant that “put me on” to taco shells but my mind was blown when I discovered I could make the same thing in my own kitchen.
This was especially important to me when I began this healthy eating journey because one thing I did not want to do is have to completely give up the foods I really enjoyed all for the sake of “being healthy.”
This salad reminds me – and may even remind you – that I don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health & wellness. I can have them both.
Combining two of my favorite things, lean flank steak + Mexican-inspired cuisine, this recipe is a hit for ANY meal. Oh, and the secret is in the sauce!
Ingredients for 4 bowls:
- 1 lb lean flank steak, raw
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- four (lower carb) 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
- Chipotle Sauce
- 1 (4oz) chipotle in adobo (this is heavily seasoned so sea salt & pepper should not really be needed)
- 3/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
- fresh lemon (or lime) juice
- 1 bundle spinach (about 4 cups), chopped
- 2 Romaine lettuce hearts (about 2 cups), shredded
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can no salt black beans, drained and rinsed
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/3 cup goat cheese crumble
- fresh lime juice
- goat cheese crumble
- Set oven to 400F.
- To make the taco shells, arrange four 6-inch cake pans on baking sheets. TIP: Place the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds so they are easier to handle and shape. Spray the tortilla with olive oil, then place the tortilla inside cake pans. Bake until crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes, then allow them to cool and harden.
- Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray with a little olive oil. Rub cumin and chili powder on the flank steak (on both sides) then place it in the skillet once it is hot. Sear and cook the flank (on both sides) until desired readiness, about 12 to 18 minutes, depending on how you like your steak.
- Once the steak has finished cooking, remove it from the pan and place it on a butcher block. Allow it to slightly cool before slicing.
- As the steak cools, in a large bowl, mix and toss together all of the ingredients for the salad.
- In a food processor, add the ingredients for the chipotle sauce and blend together until smooth. If possible, place the sauce in a condiment squirt bottle.
- Chop the flank steak into tiny pieces and then bring it all together.
- Remove the tortilla bowl from THE baking pan and set it on a plate. Add a generous portion of the salad, then add about a fourth of the flank steak on top.
- Drizzle chipotle sauce across the salad, garnish and enjoy!
Approximate macros for 1 of 4 taco bowls or servings:
515 calories, 53g carbs, 15g fat, 43g protein, 13g fiber, 15g sugar