Low sodium hard shell tacos


This isn't so much a recipe as it is general meal inspiration. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is pull out all your measuring spoons have to follow a recipe. I do that most days because it's important for us to accurately track our sodium intake, but it really does get exhausting. These tacos were really easy to make and so low in sodium that I was even able to sprinkle a Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese mix on top and still keep them at around 50 mg of sodium each. The key to keeping the meal low sodium is: (1) sodium-free taco shells and hot sauce or salsa, all of which are from Trader Joe's; and (2) adding a lot of low-sodium vegetables to your meat filling (or making it completely vegetarian!) to cut down the sodium from the meat.


First, the filling. I used one pound of a 7% fat ground turkey (19 mg sodium/ounces). A leaner ground turkey has just 14 mg sodium/ounce. Ground beef is also about 19 mg/ounce and would be so good but we're trying to eat less red meat these days. So ground turkey it is. Cook the turkey with your favorite taco seasonings and don't be afraid to go heavy on the spices: paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, allspice, etc. I have this salt-free chili powder that I like and never measure out, just sprinkle a bunch over the meat as it cooks. Then I sauté a lot of vegetables to add to the filling so that I'm basically cutting the sodium by half to get it down to about 10 mg sodium/ounce. Vegetables that work really well: potatoes, corn, tomatoes, garlic, onions, all manner of peppers (sweet, spicy, mild), unsalted beans. Chop everything small, cook separately or throw them all together, and add them to the turkey or beef.



Now assemble the tacos. Make sure you heat the shells, otherwise they taste really stale. Each taco holds about 1.5 ounces of filling, some shredded iceberg lettuce, hot sauce, about about 2 teaspoons of sour cream (most full fat sour cream is about 15 mg sodium for 2 tablespoons). That comes out to just about 22 mg of sodium each! So then I added about 3-4 grams of cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese mix and that's about another 25 mg of sodium, so about 50 per taco. With the cheese, you really do need to weigh it to make sure you're not adding too much. Four grams isn't a lot but it's enough to make a difference.



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