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Oh Boy, Skinny Taco Night

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Ok, I admit it…I just love the original crunchy tacos at Taco Bell.  Although small in size, they are quite high in fat and not very healthy due to the fatty beef, regular cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce… I decided to try and recreate the same taste but make it a whole lot skinnier. First off, I’m using very lean beef and draining the fat after browning it.  I’m also using reduced-fat cheese and adding nutritious chopped tomatoes and romaine lettuce.  The results… An absolutely delicious taco that I think taste even better than Taco Bell’s! Each skinny taco has 126 calories, 4 grams of fat and has 3 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. With these numbers you can easily have two! Enjoy a taco night and let everyone create their own!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


Ingredients for Tacos:

1 pound extra lean ground beef

1 cup diced onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 package (1 ounce) Lawry’s Taco Seasoning

⅔ cup water

1 box (12 shells) taco shells, I used Mission white corn taco shells


Ingredients for Toppings:

2 cups or more chopped or shredded romaine lettuce, as desired

1½ cups or more chopped tomatoes, as desired

¾ cup (3 oz) reduced-fat cheddar cheese or lite Mexican blend


Instructions

1. In a large, nonstick pan or skillet, add beef, onions and garlic.  Sauté together until meat is browned.  Bring to sink, pour in a colander and drain off any excess fat.  Add beef mixture back to pan.

2. Add taco seasoning, water and mix well.  Bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

3. To make one taco-add about ¼ cup taco meat to the shell.  Fill with as much lettuce and tomato you desire and top with 1 tablespoon cheese. The taco meat freezes great.

Makes 12 tacos (serves 6, 2 tacos each serving)


Food Fact

Glen Bell founded Taco Bell and opened his first location in Downey, California in 1962.  The first franchise was sold two years later to Kermit Becky, a former police officer, in Torrance, California. The company grew so rapidly that by 1967 there were 100 locations. By 1978, Mr. Bell sold to Pepsi Co.


Shopping Tips

Most major supermarkets sell Mission crunchy taco shells.  They are available in both yellow and white corn. I used white corn for these tacos.

I used Trader Joe’s 96/4 lean ground beef.  Most supermarkets carry lean ground beef.  The fat is further cut down by draining off most of the excess fat after browning the beef.


Substitution Tip

Not a fan of crunchy shells?  You can use soft corn tortillas.  You’ll save 1 gram of fat per taco.


Weight Watchers SmartPoints
3
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
3
Weight Watchers
(old points) 3

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 skinny taco (includes cheese)
126 calories, 4g fat, 2.4g sat fat, 22mg chol, 11g protein, 10g carbs, 1g fiber, 175mg sodium, 2g sugar
FAT FACTS: for 1 Taco Bell Crunchy Taco
170 calories, 10g fat, 8g protein, 12g carbs, 3g fiber, 320mg sodium, 1g sugar