Quick Fix: Tortilla strips a colorful addition to taco salad

Taco salad. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

Here’s a new take on one of America’s very popular Tex-Mex dishes: the taco salad. It has the flavors of a handheld taco but with a new twist. Instead of using tortilla chips, I use tortilla strips. When I found multicolored ones ready-made at the market, I decided they would make a colorful, crunchy addition to a salad. A dressing made with salsa mixed with yogurt adds a little extra spice.

I use shrimp in this salad, but you can use chicken, beef or even any leftover protein you might have on hand.


Helpful Hints:

— You can use broken tortilla chips instead of tortilla strips.

— You can use any type of cheese.

— If your chili powder or ground cumin is more than 6 months old, it’s best to buy new ones.

— You can use any type of salsa.

— Place frozen corn kernel in a strainer and run hot water over them to quickly defrost them.


— Assemble all ingredients.

— Mix dressing together and set aside.

— Make salad.

Shopping List:

To buy: 1 jar salsa, 1 container nonfat plain yogurt, 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat lettuce, 1 bottle chili powder, 1 bottle ground cumin, 3/4 pound peeled shrimp, 1 ripe avocado, 1 container frozen corn kernels, 1 container cherry tomatoes, 1 bag tortilla strips, 1 bag shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese and 1 bunch fresh cilantro.

Staples: canola oil.

Taco Salad

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

3 tablespoons salsa

1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

4 cups washed, ready-to-eat lettuce

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 pound peeled shrimp

1 ripe avocado

2 cups defrosted corn kernels

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup tortilla strips

1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Mix salsa and yogurt together and set aside. Divide the lettuce between two dinner plates.Drizzle half of the yogurt dressing over the lettuce. Heat oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chili powder, ground cumin and shrimp. Saute 3 to 4 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Divide the cooked shrimp in half and place on one corner of the lettuce. Peel the avocado, remove the pit and cut the avocado into cubes. Place them next to the shrimp. Place the corn next to the avocado and the tomatoes next to the corn. The toppings should cover the lettuce.

Sprinkle the cheese over the toppings and drizzle the remaining dressing over the all the toppings. Sprinkle the tortilla strips on top along with the cilantro leaves.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 538 calories (37% from fat), 22 g fat, 286 mg cholesterol.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Email her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.

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