Te Quiero Taco Salad?

I love me a good taco salad. Mmm…that crispy tostada, all loaded up with meat and cheese and guacamole and sour cream…and mucho horrific fat content, too. So what’s a girl craving a taco salad to do? Well, this one put on her thinking cap and went to work. I came up with this truly delicious alternative (as in, I-was-craving-another-round-the-next-day-kind-of-good). It still offers everything those high-fat taco salads do in terms of flavor, but minus the bad heart-palpitating, arterial-wall-thickening fat. A little prep work up front will yield a few of days of taco salads for one, or enough to feed a family with leftovers for lunch. In fact, this is actually, three, three, THREE recipes in one.

Turkey Chili Taco Salad

Dory’s Te Quiero Taco Salad


1 cup Dory’s Turkey Chili (recipe below)

2 large handfuls organic spring greens

2 tbsp diced red onion

1/2 avocado, sliced

6 or 7 high quality tortilla chips (I love XOCHiTL’s Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips, personally)

2 tbsp avocado creme (recipe below)

Lay the spring greens in a large, single-serving bowl. Cutting the avocado in half, discard the seed, and use your knife to slice one half lengthwise into several wedges about a 1/2 mm wide. Now using a spoon, scoop those wedges out and arrange over the salad greens. Layer the tortilla chips over this – they will serve as the “bed” for the turkey chili. Scoop the chili onto the chips and sprinkle with the diced red onion. Finish with a couple tablespoons of avocado creme, and you’re ready to enjoy a healthy – but I promise you, delicious – taco salad!


Turkey Chili

So I said this was three recipes in one – let’s start with this turkey chili-with-some-kick which you can eat on its own with some onions and Greek yogurt, throw into whole grain tortillas for soft tacos, or say, use to top an amazingly yummy taco salad. You’ll need all this to start (note that spice measurements are not level):



2 pounds ground turkey (organic is best, all natural better)

1 large yellow onion (or 2 smaller ones), diced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika

1/2 tsp roasted (or regular) cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano or 2 tbsp fresh, finely chopped

1/2 can chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, with 1/2 the can’s sauce

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organics brand)

1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilis

1/2 bottle Mexican beer (I used Corona – or a full bottle of Coronita, cute lil things! But you can use Dos Equis or whatever you prefer)

2 cups beef broth

In a large saucepan, brown the ground turkey over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until cooked all the way through. Remove turkey from pan and put aside, reserving as much juice in the pan as possible. Turn heat down to medium and add olive oil. Once oil has heated, add onion, stirring until pieces begin to turn translucent. Add garlic (watch your heat here – burnt garlic is bitter!), stirring constantly for one minute. Add salt and spices, stirring for one minute to toast. Add oregano, chipotle peppers, diced tomatoes and green chilis, stirring another minute. Finally deglaze your pan with the Mexican beer of your choice and the beef broth, scraping the pan to get all those lovely brown bits of turkey and onion and spices mixed into your chili . Bring all to a boil, then turn heat down a smidge and allow to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove lid from pan and allow to simmer and reduce until the juice has nearly cooked down. Use a spoon or metal spatula to scrape any crispy yumminess from the bottom of the pan. Your chili should look like this:


Now scoop some into a bowl with some Greek yogurt and diced onions, maybe a few jalapenos – yum! Or make a taco salad (*enthusiastically points upward*)! Either way, enjoy this healthier alternative to typical red meat chilis!


Avocado Creme

The best part about a taco salad or a hot bowl of spicy chili? The sour cream on top! But instead of sour cream, which is loaded with saturated fat, I’ve discovered Greek yogurt has the same texture, virtually the same flavor (especially if you use the 1.5% fat from Stonyfield Organic’s Oikos brand), and none of the unhealthy fat content (not to mention a serving of probiotics – yay!).


1/2 avocado, removed from skin

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lime

pinch of salt

Mash the avocado in a medium size bowl with the salt and lime juice until almost creamy in texture. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Serve with chili, taco salad, or chips.

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Author:Dory Diaz Photography

Dory is a professional wedding and portrait photographer, writer, and social media addict.

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2 Comments on “Te Quiero Taco Salad?”

  1. March 5, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    This sounds DELISH!! I’m going to try it, but will substitute the turkey with quinoa. I use a vegetarian chili recipe that uses 1/2 c. quinoa instead of ground beef. Amazingly yummie!
    Can’t wait to try, Dory!

    • March 5, 2013 at 1:22 am #

      What a great way to make it vegetarian! I’m going to have to try it that way myself!

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