3 Simple tacos

Avocado and seared tuna tacos. (April 2013) Avocado and seared tuna tacos. (April 2013) Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. ...

TIP Cook extra chicken or pork the night before and use the leftover in any of these taco dishes.

TUNA-AND-AVOCADO SOFT TACOS

4 (4-ounce) tuna steaks

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon canola oil

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 avocado, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chunky fresh salsa

1. Season the tuna with salt, pepper and cumin.

2. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna and sear 11/2 to 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked to desired degree of doneness. Remove from skillet and let cool 5 minutes.

3. Heat the tortillas by holding with tongs directly over the flame of a gas burner for a few seconds or stacking them on a plate, covering with a damp paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds. Keep them covered as you build tacos.

4. Slice the slightly cooled tuna into thin strips. Working one at a time, place shredded lettuce on one half of a tortilla. Top with tuna slices, avocado and a tablespoon of salsa. Close the taco and repeat with remaining ingredients. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 389 calories, 32 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 637 mg sodium

 

CHIPOTLE PORK TACOS WITH MANGO SALSA

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2 mangos, diced

1/3 cup chopped scallion

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise and cut across into thin slices

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce

4 plum tomatoes, diced

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Combine the mango, scallion, cilantro, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add onion and cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add pork, oregano and chili powder and cook, stirring often, until pork is barely pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in chipotle in adobo and tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, another 4 to 5 minutes, until tomatoes are softened.

3. Heat tortillas by holding with tongs directly over the flame of a gas burner for a few seconds or stacking them on a plate, covering with a damp paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds. Keep them covered as you build the tacos.

4. Spoon the pork mixture onto one half of each taco; top with the salsa and close to serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 431 calories, 29 g protein, 61 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 628 mg sodium

 

CHICKEN-AND-CHEESE TACOS

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 cups shredded lettuce

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Pound chicken to even 1/4-inch thickness. Combine chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, salt, oregano and black pepper and rub mixture over entire surface of chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add chicken and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 160 degrees. Transfer to cutting board.

2. Whisk olive oil and vinegar together; add lettuce, tomato, green pepper and cheese, and toss thoroughly.

3. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces; toss with lettuce mixture.

4. Heat tortillas by holding with tongs directly over flame of gas burner for a few seconds or stacking on a plate, covering with damp paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds. Keep them covered as you build tacos.

5. Place mixture on the warmed tortillas; fold to close and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition for each serving 424 calories, 32 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 17g fat, 5g saturated fat, 489 mg sodium

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