Guilt-free Tacos

Below are some taco recipes that are sure to please.  Living in mexican food-obsessed San Diego, I’ve learned that tacos and burritos could be their own food group to a lot of people.  There’s no room for Chipotle and Taco Bell junk out here.  That being said, these recipes have been tried and tested on some very particular taco eaters…rest assured they are delicious. 

Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde  

Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, quartered, seeds optional
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 4 medium tomatillos, (about 8 ounces) husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 8 sprigs cilantro for garnish
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Pulse the first three ingredients of the salsa in a food processor.  Process until fine consistency.  Add next three ingredients.  Coarsely chop.  Add cilantro and stir together with a spoon. 

Mix together the oil, garlic powder, white pepper, and chipotle.  Add the shrimp and toss to coat.  Let marinate for 45 minutes.  On an outdoor grill, cook shrimp roughly 90 seconds per side.  Grill tortillas until slightly charred.  Spoon sauce into tortilla and add shrimp.  Sprinkle with fresh lime and serve. 

Ricotta-Spinach Tacos 

  • 8 ounces ricotta (preferably fresh), at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans sliced green chile peppers, drained
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach (about 1 pound), stemmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 to 12 corn tortillas
  • Salsa verde, for serving

    Combine the ricotta, cilantro and 1 clove garlic in a medium bowl and season with salt. 

    Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute onion for about 4 minutes.  Allow onion to start to become soft.  Add chiles, spinach, cumin, and cook until spinach begnis to wilt.  Stir frequently.  Add left over garlic and cook another 4 minutes.  

    Heat tortialls in a dry, hot skillet.  Add spinach mixture to tortillas and top with ricotta.  Add a spoonful of salsa verde and serve.


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