Healthy Taco Lettuce Wraps with a Secret Ingredient
These Healthy Taco Lettuce Wraps have a secret- not only are they packed with irresistible rich flavor, but the meat marries perfectly with savory, earthy mushrooms to take these taco lettuce wraps over-the-top and will leave you begging for more!
Of course, a tasty taco recipe requires a filling that has plenty of flavor. For this recipe, I used my favorite homemade taco seasoning and bulked up the turkey meat with ground mushrooms. Shhh… what they don’t know won’t hurt them! I won’t tell, if you won’t and none will be the wiser. As I’ve discussed here before, my kiddos are sooooo picky and they gobbled this turkey meat up without even realizing the ground meat was blended with finely chopped mushrooms to match the consistency of the meat.
Mushrooms can easily mimic meat and the mighty mushroom has meaty powers to make meals more delicious, nutritious and sustainable. Since my kids are so picky, I love sneaking in healthy foods where I can and mushrooms provide important nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium (9%). They’re also fat free, cholesterol free and low in calories. Blending mushrooms with meat adds an easy serving of vegetables to the plate!
Ditch the taco shell and fill a leaf of romaine lettuce with the most flavorful, healthified turkey taco meat. While it may be best known for salads, a humble leaf of lettuce is the perfect vessel for your favorite taco ingredients. If romaine lettuce leaves are not readily available or you’re looking for a different option; bibb or butter lettuce, swiss chard or collards are all great picks for these wraps. They have sturdy, broad leaves that hold a good amount of filling without major risk of everything falling apart.
Healthy taco lettuce wraps are a true 30-minute meal, even including the time to chop up the ingredients for the Pineapple Strawberry salsa. As we head into the warmer months, this is a meal that won’t heat up your kitchen or feel too heavy to eat. It’s one of those magical meals that’s both very satisfying and also deliciously light and refreshing.
Adding mushrooms to the taco filling adds bulk and volume, generating more servings and stretching recipes into more portions. The blend keeps well in the fridge, so make a big batch for dinner and then have the leftovers for lunch over the next few days, or make this for a crowd without cooking until the last minute. Add a splash of chicken broth or water if the filling looks dry; and heat up what you need in the microwave.
- For the taco meat:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 10 oz. bag or 1 (8 oz.) box Crimini (aka baby ‘bellas or browns) Mushrooms, finely chopped to resemble ground meat*
- 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey**
- 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning you will have the perfect amount for avocado crema and all! (or store bought)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- For the Pineapple Strawberry Salsa:
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple
- ½ cup finely diced strawberries
- ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- For the avocado crema: optional, but so good
- 1 large avocado
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning + sea salt to taste as desired
- 16 Lettuce leaves doubled up, for serving- I use romaine. See full post for other suggestions.
Heat olive oil over medium to high heat in a large skillet. Add chopped mushrooms and cook for about 3-5 minutes to enhance flavor. Remove to bowl and set aside. Add additional olive oil or cooking spray and ground meat to the same skillet and cook, tossing and breaking up meat occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add back in mushrooms, taco seasoning and broth, reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes until sauce has reduced.
While meat/mushroom blend is cooking, prepare pineapple strawberry salsa and avocado crema. In a small bowl, combine all fruits and stir in apple cider vinegar and honey. Combine all crema ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Double up lettuce leaves for easier serving and fill with meat/mushroom blend, strawberry salsa and avocado crema.
*I give my mushrooms a few pulses in a food processor to save time.
**Feel free to use your favorite ground meat.
***Nutritional information is calculated with meat/mushroom blend, pineapple strawberry salsa and avocado crema; please note that figures will likely be decreased as you will probably have leftover avocado crema.
****The recipe for avocado crema will make more than enough for these tacos. I love having extras for dipping chips and raw veggies, egg wraps, omelets, salad dressing and sandwich spread. If you prefer not having leftover crema, consider cutting ingredients in half for the tacos.
*****For the "drizzle look" of the avocado crema on tacos, cut off the very end of one corner of a plastic baggie (a very small cut). Load the baggie with a couple of spoonfuls of crema and then squirt crema out of the cut as you move back and forth across the tacos.
If you love healthy taco lettuce wraps, check out another favorite….
Something to think about….
Have you ever tried blending chopped mushrooms with ground meat? If not, what are you waiting for?!?!
Learn more about blending mushrooms with meat to create delicious, nutritious, satisfying meals for your family by visiting The Blend.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.