Tacos make simple but tasty meal

Tacos are becoming one of our favorite sandwiches. Tacos, tortillas folded in half and filled with meat and vegetables, are usually made with fried corn tortillas, though soft flour tortillas are also used. Many restaurants also serve tacos flat as an open sandwich. Either way, they make a simple dinner. I soften corn tacos in the microwave and use cooked boneless, skinless chicken strips or cubes. So there is no cooking needed for this dinner.

To save preparation time, use fresh diced tomatoes and celery ready prepared from the produce department in the market. Packaged shredded cheese and lettuce also save preparation time.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestions: These tacos are rich and spicy; try an off-dry Chenin Blanc from France’s Loire Valley.

Helpful hints:

Any type of shredded cheese can be used.

Any canned beans can be used such as black beans or red kidney beans.


Marinate chicken.

Make Pinto Bean Salad.

Finish tacos.

Shopping list:

Here are the ingredients for tonight’s dinner.

To buy: 1/2 pound boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast strips or cubes, 1 small bottle orange juice, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 small bottle hot pepper sauce, 1 package 6-inch corn tortillas, 1 package shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, 1 package shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce, 1 container fresh diced tomatoes, 1 container fresh diced or sliced celery, 1 bunch cilantro,1 small container reduced-fat sour cream, 1 lemon, 1 can pinto beans.

Staples: Olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Chicken Tacos

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 lb. boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast strips or cubes

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 cup orange juice

Several drops hot pepper sauce

6 corn tortillas (6-inch diameter)

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Mix cumin, orange juice and hot pepper sauce together. Add chicken and marinate while preparing the remaining ingredients. Wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel. Microwave on high 45 seconds. Remove and gently fold in half into taco shape. Divide the cheese among the 6 tacos. Remove chicken from marinade with slotted spoon and divide among the six tacos. Sprinkle a little hot pepper sauce over chicken. Add lettuce and tomatoes to the tacos. Top with a spoonful of sour cream. Serve hot pepper sauce on the side.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 430 calories (23 percent from fat), 11.1 g fat (4.4 g saturated, 2.9 g monounsaturated), 103 mg cholesterol, 38.6 g protein, 45.4 g carbohydrates, 6.1 g fiber, 302 mg sodium.

Pinto Bean Salad

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

4 tsp. olive oil

4 tsp. lemon juice

1 cup rinsed and drained canned pinto beans

1 cup diced or sliced celery

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the beans and toss well. Add celery and cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 194 calories (47 percent from fat), 10.1 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 6.8 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 6.3 g protein, 20.7 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g fiber, 254 mg sodium.