Healthy SpicyTaco Salad with Grilled Pork

Healthy SpicyTaco Salad with Grilled Pork

Have you ever had a craving for something, and it can actually be fairly healthy except for one thing which happens to also be the whole reason for the craving? Well, in my case, taco salads are close to the top of that list!
I always loved the crispy, crunchy shell and the taste it would have after eating the ground beef, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. When you get one of these "salads" in a restaurant, you think it's got to be healthy, it is after all a "salad" right? Nope. That delicious shell can make the otherwise fairly healthy (depending on how it's treated) goodies just no good for you. That is the main reason I quit ordering them.

Luckily, I realized that you can actually make a taco salad shell healthy by baking a whole wheat tortilla in the shape of a shell!

Healthy SpicyTaco Salad with Grilled Pork

Healthy Taco salad
(The measurements below are approximates as I do no measure when cooking)
  • Marinaded Pork loin (If pork isn't your thing, chicken, beef or even portobello mushrooms will work!)
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped tomato
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced 
  • Chopped lettuce, about a cup per salad
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • A lime, sliced into wedges
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • 0% plain yogurt, to substitute the sour cream (optional)
  • Shredded cheese
Turn oven on to broil and place the pork loin in a pan that can take the heat (I used my cast iron grill pan). Cook until juices run clear, the internal temp is at 160F and there's a beautiful crust on the outside, making sure to turn every so often to have the outside cook evenly. If you are having any issues with the pork cooking all the way, feel free to turn on the oven for another 20 minutes at about 350F (Thank you Farmer Jo for the great tip!!).

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into strips.

While your meat is resting get your tortillas ready. Find a baking dish (I actually used a small spring form pan, as it was perfect in size) and place your tortilla in side. This will need to be done one tortilla at a time unless you have more than one utensil!

Take the olive oil and lightly brush it on the inside of the curved up tortilla. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350F, making sure to check it every couple of minutes after it hits the half way mark just in case!

Remove and allow to cool about 5 - 10 minutes before filling with lettuce, pork, tomato, jalapenos, guacamole, yogurt and cilantro.

Healthy SpicyTaco Salad with Grilled Pork
Note: if you like the taste of jalapeno but it's usually too spicy, remove the white part (the hottest part of the pepper) and the seeds! Also remember to use gloves, as the oil from the pepper can burn the skin. Don't believe me? Read this.

It may sound like a bit of work, but it's totally worth it! The shell comes out crisp and crunchy and you will never miss the fried one you get at a restaurant!!


penny aka jeroxie said...

healthy and spicy makes me tick!

bunkycooks said...

This looks so good! I much prefer cooking tacos at home, so I know how many calories I am eating.

MaryMoh said...

This looks very delicious. My daughter made fajita yesterday....very delicious. I must tell her to make like your way next time.....beautiful presentation. Mexican food is really to eat too.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Love how healthy this is and flavorful - thanks for the recipe.

pegasuslegend said...

I love how fresh this looks~

Isabelle said...

I'm such a sucker for taco salad. That wonderful combination of fresh and crispy and creamy and spicy all at once hits all my weak spots at the same time, but the calorie count is just killer... a million thank yous for figuring out a healthy way for me to have my favourite without feeling guilty about it. :)

baking.serendipity said...

Nice use of the tortilla for a shell. I'm always looking for ways to make my favorite dishes healthier too, and this is an awesome trick :)

Pacheco Patty said...

One of my favorites, taco salad, your dish looks soooo good, thanks for sharing a healthy version!

O. said...

I can't ever remember eating a taco salad but that looks delish

Lauren @ said...

Wow! This looks wonderful. What a great idea to use grilled pork. Love it!

Chef Chuck said...

Now, I am getting hungry!! Your blog is so inviting, Thank you :)

Thomas Andrew said...

I love taco dishes! This one looks great.