Turkey Taco Wraps
Makes approximately 4 servings
Tacos are an all-time favourite of many. I have to say I've never been a fan of the hard taco shell - deep frying aside, I find them messy and hard to eat! My family used to have soft tacos as a quick, comforting meal when I was growing up, which I much preferred. Now I have to follow a strict gluten free diet, and if you've ever tried gluten-free wraps you know they're not the best. I haven't had much luck with them, especially when it comes to filling them with delicious taco-y fillings!
The green lettuce wrap is the perfect substitute. Imagine the warm, flavourful taco fillings with a cool crunch of lettuce, plus it adds some extra veggies to your meal, which is never a bad thing! I use ground turkey in this recipe instead of beef, but if you really prefer beef that'll work too. I often choose turkey because it's naturally leaner. I don't notice much change in texture or flavour, especially if it's cooked into a sauce or with spices.
Lettuce wraps are a great alternative to flour wraps in so many recipes. For a summer BBQ, put leaves for wrapping out on a tray and offer a variety of fillings and flavours. So, what's the best kind of lettuce to use for wraps? I use iceberg or bibb lettuce, but the most important thing is to look for large, whole leaves that will be somewhat easy to bend into shape without breaking. When you're pulling your lettuce apart to put it out on a tray, be sure you're extra careful not to rip the leaves. I find it easiest to break the leaf off right at the thickest part near the lettuce root and then gently pull it away from the head of lettuce. If you're using bibb lettuce the whole leaf tearing thing is a bit easier than with iceberg.
I'll let you in on a little grocery shopping hint for this one. Greek yogurt makes an excellent substitution for sour cream in any recipe that calls for it, but make sure you double check that you grabbed the plain kind. I once served a tray of nachos to guests with vanilla yogurt, and they were all so polite I didn't even realize what I'd done until I tried some (after the other people were snacking for a while...). Not a good combo. Oops!
- Frying pan
- Mandolin or good knife
- Wooden spoon
- Cheese grater
This recipe is really flexible! It's easy to swap out different veggies and toppings. Scale the ingredients up or down depending on how many mouths you have to feed.
- 1 Tbsp avocado or canola oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey meat
- 1.5-2 Tbsp taco seasoning (more or less to taste)
- 1 lime
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- 1 yellow or red bell pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- Additional shredded lettuce for filling (optional)
- Guacamole (my favourite easy homemade guac recipe below)
- Salsa (recipe for easy homemade salsa coming soon!)
- plain greek yogurt (Use this instead of sour cream!)
- Prep your veggies. Chop the yellow onion, dice the tomato using a sharp serrated knife, and slice the red onion and bell pepper into thin slices using a mandolin (or knife if you don't have one). Wash and dry the cilantro, then chop or pluck the leaves off. Cut the lime into wedges. Put your veggies (except the yellow onion) out on a platter so they'll be ready to go and you can eat your meat when it's hot!
- Make your salsa and guacamole (if you're making your own).
- Heat oil in a med-large skillet over medium-high heat. Add finely chopped yellow onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add ground turkey and break up with a wooden spoon, the same way you would with ground beef. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add taco seasoning. Mix seasoning into taco meat well, and continue to sauté meat. (hint: if you're sensitive to spice or strong flavour, add less taco seasoning to start and add more if you like, but don't taste the meat until it's fully cooked! You can always add more after tasting it once it's finished cooking. The meat won't soak up as much of the flavour from the seasoning if you add it after it's cooked, but it'll do if you're not sure.)
- Let turkey cook until meat is cooked through, about another 4 minutes.
- While meat is cooking grate the cheese and separate your lettuce leaves. After you separate the leaves wash them gently and dry them using a spinner or paper towel.
- When turkey is finished cooking put it into a bowl to serve, put all of your prepped fillings out onto the table, and voila - turkey tacos!
- Put your fillings into your lettuce leaf, wrap it up, and enjoy! If your leaves aren't holding together well or if they're not big enough, try laying two leaves over top of each other and using them together.
Bonus recipe: Quick Guac
This has become my man's specialty. The secret to our favourite guac is the Epicure spice mix we use. It's so good! Check it out at the link below.
- 3 ripe avocados (should be firm enough that they don't squish, and just soft enough that they give a little when you squeeze them gently)
- 1/4 small red onion, finely diced (yay food chopper!)
- juice of 1/2 - 1 lime
- 1-2 Tbsp Epicure Guacamole Mix
Mash all ingredients together with a fork. Alternatively I like to use my manual food processor - it gets the job done quickly and leaves some texture.
Optional: If you like a creamier guacamole, mix in 1/4-1/2 cup of 0% plain greek yogurt. It adds some protein, while using sour cream adds more fat.
Nutrition info based on 2 lettuce wraps, each containing~ 1/4 cup ground meat, 1 Tbsp guac, 1Tbsp salsa, 1Tbsp yogurt, 2Tbsp cheese, and all the veggies you want to fill them up!
- Lean ground turkey is a great substitute for ground beef. It's high in protein, and lower in saturated fat.
- Watching your sodium and saturated fat? Use less cheese - it's high in both! Add more flavour with salsa and add more creaminess with greek yogurt instead.
- I did the recipe analysis using store-bought guacamole, salsa and taco seasoning, so the amount of sodium shown is higher than it is if you use homemade versions. My homemade versions of all three are quite low in sodium, so the amount in the meal would be lower as a result.
- If you want a bigger meal, load up on extra veggies and fill your green taco up with extra lettuce, salsa and tomatoes! I personally stretch the meat and sauces out into 3 tacos and then load up on veggies :)