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Family fiesta soft tacos

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

One recipe four ways

These soft tacos will spice up dinnertime with a Mexican-style meal that's chock full of taste and nutrition. One of the best ways to get your kids to eat it is to involve them in the preparation. Setting out the makings for tacos and letting everyone in the family assemble their own is a fun way to let even young children feel like they're "cooking."
Family fiesta soft tacos


Adults and children don't always agree on what makes a delicious dinner, yet moms don't want to spend hours preparing multiple meals. One Recipe, Four Ways solves this common mealtime dilemma by providing a fun, easy way to make several meals out of one. You have a base kid-friendly recipe that serves 8 (enough for the whole family plus some leftovers), and 3 add-on recipes (that yield 2 servings each) for those who crave something a bit more exciting.In these family recipes, with just a few additional ingredients the tried-and-true taco is transformed into a guacamole-topped tostada, an entrée-grade quesadilla, or a rich casserole of enchiladas. These recipes were provided by Mealtime.org.

Ingredients

For the taco meat filling:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced, mild green chiles
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, no salt added, drained
  • 1/2 cup drained canned corn
  • 1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned red kidney beans
  • salt, to taste (optional)

For serving:

  • spray oil
  • 8 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas, warm according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup fancy, shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup finely shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup diced avocados (optional)

Preparation time: 15 minutesCook time: 10 minutes

Preparation

For taco meat filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until lightly browned, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add beef and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.Add chili powder, cumin, pepper, chiles, tomatoes, corn, and beans and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes.Season to taste with salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and keep warm.To serve the original tacos, plate up warm tortillas, dish up the cheese, lettuce, and avocado (if desired). Serve with taco meat filling. Assemble and enjoy.To please a different palate, you can easily prepare one of the following variations. For each of these options that are designed to serve two, you'll prepare the taco meat filling as instructed in the base recipe. Then you'll take a portion of the taco meat and easily turn it into a different dish.Servings: 8Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 300; Total fat 10g; Saturated fat 2.5g; Cholesterol 45mg; Sodium 400mg; Carbohydrate 30g; Fiber 4g; Protein 20g; Vitamin A 20%DV*; Vitamin C 25%DV; Calcium 8%DV; Iron 20%DV* Daily Value

Guacamole volcano

Ingredients

  • spray oil
  • 2 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 5 tablespoons prepared, refrigerated guacamole
  • 1 cup warm taco meat filling (from recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Preparation time: 10 minutesCook time: 15 minutes

Preparation

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Spray with a thin film of oil and wipe out with a paper towel. Cook tortillas on both sides until blistered and soft, about 1 minute per side. Transfer each to a plate.Top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons guacamole. Mound 1/2 cup taco meat filling on each tortilla. Top each with half the shredded Cheddar cheese, half the shredded lettuce, half the remaining guacamole, and half the cilantro. Serve immediately.Servings: 2Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 290; Total fat 14g; Saturated fat 4g; Cholesterol 40mg; Sodium 420mg; Carbohydrate 24g; Fiber 6g; Protein 18g; Vitamin A 20%DV*; Vitamin C 30%DV; Calcium 10%DV; Iron 15%DV* Daily Value

Dinner quesadillas

Ingredients

  • spray oil
  • 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup warm taco meat filling (from recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or mint

Cook time: 15 minutes

Preparation

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with a thin film of oil and wipe out with a paper towel. Cook 2 tortillas on one side until lightly blistered. Remove to a clean work service, cooked side up. Meanwhile cook the other 2 tortillas in the same way.Top 2 of the tortillas each with 1 tablespoon cheese and 1/2 cup of the taco meat filling. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the meat and top with the remaining 2 tortillas, cooked-side down.Spray the skillet with more oil and return the quesadillas to the skillet and brown on both sides. Transfer to plates and rest for a minute before cutting each into 4 wedges. Serve.Servings:  2Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 330; Total fat 13g; Saturated fat 6g; Cholesterol 55mg; Sodium 310mg; Carbohydrate 33g; Fiber 5g; Protein 21g; Vitamin A 10%DV*; Vitamin C 20%DV; Calcium 20%DV; Iron 15%DV* Daily Value

Enchiladas grandes

Ingredients

  • spray oil
  • 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2/3 cup canned, red enchilada sauce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup warm taco meat filling (from recipe above)
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded sharp, Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.Heat a large skillet over high heat. Spray with a thin film of oil and wipe out with a paper towel. Cook tortillas on both sides until blistered and soft, about 1 minute per side; keep warm.While the tortillas are cooking, pour 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on a small plate, set aside. Pour
1/4 cup in a pie plate or small rectangular baking dish, about 6 x 10-inches, and mix the remaining sauce with the sour cream, set aside.Mix the meat filling, cheese and cilantro in a medium mixing bowl.To assemble: Lay a tortilla in the plate of enchilada sauce and turn over. Fill with 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and roll up like a tight cigar. Place seam-side down in the sauce in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Pour the remaining 1/3 cup sauce mixed with sour cream over the enchiladas. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
 
Servings: 2Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 350; Total fat 15g; Saturated fat 6g; Cholesterol 55mg; Sodium 800mg; Carbohydrate 37g; Fiber 5g; Protein 21g; Vitamin A 30%DV*; Vitamin C 25%DV; Calcium 20%DV; Iron 15%DV* Daily Value

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