Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner, and I have Mexican food fever! So in anticipation, I am serving up some Spicy Turkey Tostadas for a healthier spin on one of my favorites.
One of Nathan and my first dates was to a taco truck here in Birmingham. Nathan had been going there for a while and raved about their lingua, chorizo, and carnitas tacos. When we visited the truck, we were the only “gringos” there, and even though Nathan had warned me that the proprietors didn’t speak much English I just couldn’t help asking a question. “What’s the different between these two sauces?” I asked. The guy just looked at me, pointed, and said “Red. Green.” We still laugh about that every time we go back to that taco truck. (If you live in Birmingham, it’s the one that parks at the Shell station off 280 in Inverness – Tacos El Guer.)
So we LOVE tacos, and a tostada is basically like an open-faced taco with a crisp shell, and you can add any toppings you like. Rather than using a ready-made deep fried tostada shell, I like to make my own by baking corn tortillas. It’s super simple and saves on some fat, plus I generally have corn tortillas on hand. (Remember – we love tacos.) Next, instead of using ground chuck, I chose to use some 93% lean ground turkey. I generally recommend using 93% lean ground beef or turkey in place of ground chuck to reduce the amount of saturated fat. To season the meat, I used a mixture of dried herbs and spices, which again, I already had on hand, rather than using packaged taco seasoning, which is high in sodium.
Then for the fun part… the toppings! I like to start with some guacamole, because in my book, just about everything is better when you add avocados. Avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which are good for your heart, and they provide a creamy component that pairs nicely with the crunchy shell. Then I added some shredded lettuce, and I like to shred my own romaine lettuce, which is more nutrient-rich than iceberg lettuce. Pile on the cooked turkey, and add shredded 2% Cheddar cheese, and a dollop of salsa, and that’s it!
What I love about this meal, besides that it’s so fast and flavorful, is that it makes healthy eating FUN! You can cook the tostada shells and turkey, put out all the toppings and let your kids and family members assemble their own tostadas. Who among us doesn’t love Mexican food, really? And with this dish you get a hefty dose of lean protein from the lean ground turkey or beef, even some vegetables with the addition of romaine lettuce, and it’s going to have significantly less saturated fat than restaurant Mexican food. So instead of going out to get your Mexican food fix, make these better-for-you Spicy Turkey Tostadas that you can feel good about feeding your family.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place tortillas on a baking sheet, and coat both sides lightly with cooking spray. Arrange in a single layer.
Bake for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden brown. (They will continue to crisp as they cool.)
Meanwhile, cook turkey, onion and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until turkey is browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and ¼ cup water. Simmer until water is evaporated.
Spread 2 tablespoons guacamole over each tostada shell; top evenly with turkey. Top each tostada with ¼ cup lettuce, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 2 tablespoons salsa. Serve immediately.