Ingredients for a Taco Bar

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Must-Have Ingredients for a Taco Bar

Vegetable Selections for Your Taco Bar

Cilantro, finely chopped lettuce, chopped onion, fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers, and lots of salsa, Pico de Gallo and Salsa Verde. Several different varieties of hot sauce or Mexican seasoning sauces will make a fun option for diners.

Grain Selections

Whole grain corn tortilla shells, flour tortilla shells and lightly salted thin tortilla chips or strips. Mexican rice also adds a nice flavor to the bar. Pan-roasted chickpeas are delicious as a side item OR inside the taco.

Fruit Selections for Your Taco Bar

Tomatoes of any variety, and guacamole - or thin slices of avocado. Thin slices of lime or lemon are also fun and add a punch of vitamin C benefits.

Protein Selections for Your Taco Bar

Extra lean seasoned ground beef, seasoned pinto, black or red beans, grilled seasoned chicken strips, grilled fish or shrimp.

Dairy Selections for Your Taco Bar

Different varieties of cheese, sour cream, and queso. As to the cheeses, those which compliment tacos best include the following shredded varieties: mozzarella, Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, Colby [ or a blend of Colby-Jack], Muenster, Provolone and gruyere.

Healthy Tips for a Taco Bar

A taco can be one of the healthiest recipes on the planet. The key in keeping it a healthy choice includes the following tips.

1. Use the leanest ground beef available - or a mix of pinto beans and lean beef. The beef is an excellent animal protein choice while the bean ranks as a stellar vegetable protein choice.

2. Monitor the amounts of cheese and sour cream that you put onto your taco masterpiece.

3. Liberally use salsa and fresh vegetables which add nutritional punch to your finished creation.

Serving Suggestions, Decorations

Try filling a new and clean upside-down sombrero OR straw hat with the fresh warm chips or tortilla strips.

A piņata always makes for a fun decoration. Hang near the Taco Bar.

A large metal tub filled with ice for soft drinks will also add a festive mood.

Taco Bar Calories, Fat Content

1. Extra Lean Ground Beef, per 1 lb, cooked contains 284 calories and 34 total fat grams with 16 of those in the form of saturated fat. Cholesterol milligrams equal 404.

When it come to ground beef, the leanest available is going to be the healthier choice.

2. Tomatoes contain about 30 kcals per one cup of chopped with only a trace of fat.

3. Corn Tortilla is a very low calorie option at a scant 50 kcals per one shell. Total fat content is about 1/2 a gram - much lower than the flour version.

4. Flour Tortilla varies in caloric value depending upon the size of the shell. The corn tortilla tends to be available in one size. One flour version that is of medium size [46 grams] contains about 150 kcals, 364 milligrams of sodium, zero cholesterol, 3.71 total fat grams and a scant amount of saturated fat [less than 1/2 gram].

5. Chopped lettuce; one cup contains about 10 kcals.

6. Onions; one cup holds about 64 kcals.

7. Avocado; 1/2 cup of cubes contains about 120 kcals, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 total fat grams, 1.94 grams of saturated fat and zero cholesterol.

8. Queso, 1/2 cup contains about 160 kcals, almost 1,000 mg's of salt, 10 total fat grams - three of which are saturated fat. There are about 11 mg's of cholesterol contained in the serving.

9. Salsa, 2 Tablespoons. This is considered as a 'free food' because it's so small in energy values - about 8 kcals per serving. Do keep a watch on the salt content because some brands can be hefty.

10. Sour Cream, 1 Tablespoon contains a skinny 23 kcals and a little over 2 grams of total fat. However, energy values can quickly spike because it's difficult to resist adding more....and more...and more to the plate.

11. Monterey Jack Cheese, 1 slice [1 oz] holds about 100 kcals, 170 mg's of sodium, 8.5 total fat grams, 5.4 saturated fat grams and 25 mg's of cholesterol.

12. Mexican Blend Cheese, 1/4 cup shredded contains about 100 kcals. It's a bit kinder in the salt values at 95 mg's. Total fat is about 8 grams, 5 of which are saturated. There are 27 cholesterol mg's.

13. Cilantro, per quarter cup chopped contains a HUGE ONE CALORIE. Take note that some people are allergic to cilantro, so if you have never experienced eating it, go easy until you are certain you do not have an allergic reaction.

One of the sackers at our local market had such a horrible cilantro allergy that he couldn't even touch it to put it in our grocery bag.

14. Jalapeno Peppers, raw - per pepper they hold about 4 calories. While they are skinny on calories, they are big on flavor. They are the hottest item on the Taco Bar....

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