3 Simple tacos

Avocado and seared tuna tacos. (April 2013)

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

Marge Perry

Newsday columnist Marge Perry Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts,

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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

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