Healthy Family Dinner Ideas: Crispy Vegetable Tacos and Mango, Avocado and Pistachio Salad


These meatless tacos are a terrific way to get healthy beans into your family dinners without sacrificing flavor.  We can easily go through 12 of these little tacos in one sitting.  Celia actually prefers eating the fillings and shells separately, while Solomon has a great time making the taco then trying to stuff the whole thing in his mouth before it falls apart.

To round out your healthy family dinner, serve the tacos with Mango, Avocado and Pistachio Salad (recipe below) and  Icy watermelon mojitos.  For another great vegetarian family dinner, try Fresh Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad with Shrimp.

Crispy Vegetable Tacos

Prep + Cook Time: 20 minutes
6 servings

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned
29 – 30 oz. canned black eyed peas or use pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup salsa, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
12 taco shells, or use corn or flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.  (Make the salad now, if you are serving it.)When the onions begin to brown, add the tomatoes and corn kernels and sauté them for about 2 more minutes.  (At this point you may want to keep some of the corn and beans separate for picky eaters.) Add the beans, salsa and cilantro (optional) and stir until heated through.

Heat the taco shells on a baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes (or warm the tortillas).  (Set the timer because they burn easily.)  Assemble the tacos at the table, starting with the bean mixture, then adding the cheese, lettuce and extra salsa, if desired.

Slow Cooker Directions: Omit the oil.  Combine the onion, tomato, corn and beans in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.  Serve in heated taco shells as directed.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion and the tomato, chop the cilantro if using, shred and refrigerate the cheese if necessary, chop the lettuce.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Use spicy salsa, the optional cilantro, and/or add 1 chopped jalapeño to the skillet with the onions.

Tip: Heating the taco shells makes a world of difference, giving them a great crunch.

Mango, Avocado and Pistachio Salad

1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
1 red onion, slivered
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts, or use pumpkin seeds
1 lime, juice only, 1 – 2 Tbsp.
1/8 tsp. salt

To make the salad for your healthy family dinner, combine all the ingredients and stir gently. Chill until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values)
Calories 420, Total Fat: 12g, 20%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 22%; Cholesterol: 10mg, 4%; Sodium: 420mg, 18%; Total Carbohydrate: 60g, 20%; Dietary Fiber: 12g, 52%; Sugar: 10g; Protein: 18g

Nutrition with side dish(es): Calories 479, Total Fat: 14g, 23%; Saturated Fat: 5g, 24%; Cholesterol: 10mg, 4%; Sodium: 481mg, 22%; Total Carbohydrate: 72g, 24%; Dietary Fiber: 14g, 59%; Sugar: 19g; Protein: 20g

Healthy family meals on the table in 30 minutes or less!

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