Here’s a healthy twist on traditional tacos. Spicy ground chicken (or bulgur wheat for a vegetarian version) with onions, green pepper, tomatoes and grated carrots.
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds of ground organic chicken (682 grams) or 1 cup of bulgur wheat*
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 large carrot, finely grated
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 8 tortillas and your favourite toppings: lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomato, salsa…
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add chicken; cook stirring until chicken is no longer pink. If using bulgur wheat, add 2 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup of uncooked bulgur wheat and a pinch of salt. Cover and let stand for 15-20 minutes. Drain any excess liquid, fluff, and add to the skillet. If you want to increase the amount, just keep the ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part bulgur wheat.
3. Add onions and green pepper and cook until soft.
4. Stir in tomatoes, carrots, tomato paste, chili powder, red wine vinegar and cumin. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If mixture is too dry, add more water. If mixture is too saucy, simmer uncovered for a few more minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
5. To assemble tacos, place lettuce in centre of a tortilla. Spoon 1/8 taco mixture over top. Add some shredded cheese, salsa or toppings of your choice. Roll up bottom of tortilla to cover filling, then fold in sides.
*Bulgur wheat’s greatest claim to fame is tabbouleh salad, but it’s also a terrific substitute for ground beef, or in this case, ground chicken. When cooked in vegetarian chili, for example, its texture becomes very similar to ground beef, but offers more fiber and far less fat. Bulgur is available in several granulation sizes. The finer the grind, the less time is required for cooking the bulgur. A fine-ground bulgur will soften in about seven minutes, while a medium grind bulgur will be ready to eat in around 15 minutes. For tacos, I prefer a medium grind.
Tip: I sometimes make a double batch of tacos. Leftovers freeze well and they also make great school lunches. Put reheated taco mixture in a thermos and pack some tortillas and toppings in a lunch bag.