Happy National Taco Day! Tacos are quite literally my love language and my most favorite thing! It’s a damn good reason I live in Austin, one of the taco capitals of the world!
I probably make tacos at least once a week, always have and always will! When I started seriously training for some races and cross training with Crossfit, I knew I needed to find some ways to make some swaps and find new ideas so I could better fuel myself and my adventures. I still enjoy some legit tacos, but it’s more of a treat instead of all the time. This way, I can have all the taco days I want and still be ready to run or workout the next day.
First things first, I have some wonderful food allergies and intolerances so I have a list of things that are already off my radar. Dairy and gluten are the major categories of food that don’t get along with me, so just know that I don’t talk about those foods because they won’t let me sit at their table! Ugh, mean girls.
I LOVE to cook! I don’t love to plan every nanosecond of food or clean up after meal prepping 425987 meals, but I love to cook and also enjoy tracking my macros. Finding and trying new recipes, finding swaps that fit my macros aka properly fuel me, all of that is exciting and fun for me! Come with me and I’ll share some of my favorite tips, swaps, and ideas for amazing tacos!
An easy swap I do a lot is to substitute ground beef in my recipe for ground turkey. I use the same vegetable and spice mix, I still get a ton of protein and love the taste, and it’s just less fat. Another swap that is delicious instead of ground beef tacos is to use ground bison, or game meat if that’s available to you. For fajitas, I use a lot of chicken, fish, or shrimp, and occasionally lean cuts of beef.
Most of the time I use a ‘street taco’ veggie and spice mix. I cook up some chopped onion, garlic, and red/yellow/orange bell pepper. I add in paprika, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and sometimes cayenne, straight to my vegetables while they’re sauteing. I’ll add in the meat after the veggies are all cooked, and go from there. Seasoning your cooking with flavorful vegetables and one-ingredient spices saves you several ways; it’s cheaper, there are less additives, you control exactly what’s in your meal, and no sneaky sodium!
An addition I have been making lately is to add more vegetables to the meat mixture. I will add cauliflower, broccoli, watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, or really any veggie! Cook all that with some additional spices and add to your normal tortilla, so fabulous! A quick meal prep idea is to grill up a bunch of veggies at one time and then add them to recipes through the week! It takes almost zero extra work and you get a whole lot more flavor!
Another way I add some different fueling changes is to substitute tortillas. Corn in any form can upset my stomach, so instead of corn, I use La Tortilla Factory Gluten Free Tortillas, made with ivory teff. Having a taco salad instead of tacos is also a way to be able to enjoy tacos, with additional leafy greens and vegetables instead of tortillas.
Go out and have a great day with some delicious tacos, however you make them!