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Make-your-own Taco Bar

Makes 6 serving(s)

WHAT'S IN IT?

1 pound extra-lean or lean ground round
1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning mix (40% less sodium)
2/3 cup water (or the amount stated on the seasoning mix directions)
1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained

FILLINGS:
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1 large red, yellow or green bell pepper
4 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)
1 medium avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup salsa (hot, medium or mild—your choice!)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) finely shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 taco shells or soft taco-size (about 7-inch diameter) flour tortillas

STUFF YOU NEED

Large non-stick frying pan
Wooden cooking spoon or silicone spatula
Liquid measuring cup
Cutting board
Cutting knife
Can opener
Dry measuring cup
Liquid measuring cup
1 large bowl for the meat
10 small bowls
Microwave
Serving platter for the taco shells or tortillas

HOW TO PUT IT TOGETHER

  1. Add the ground round to a large, non-stick frying pan. Over medium-high heat, stir constantly with a wooden cooking spoon or silicone spatula for about 10 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. Drain off excess fat into the sink drain.
  2. For Kids: Sprinkle the taco seasoning mix onto the meat. Drip on all the water from a liquid measuring cup.
  3. Whirl around until mixed well. Reduce heat to low. Cook for another 4 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. For Kids: Prepare all the remaining fillings for the taco shells. From dry and liquid measuring cups, measure each filling into individual bowls.
  5. For Kids: Heat and crisp the taco shells (or flour tortillas) as directed on the package. The easiest and safest way is usually in the microwave on high for about almost 1 minute. Place warm shells (or flour tortillas) on a serving platter.
  6. Fill your own 2 taco shells with as few as 3 or 4 ingredients. Or, fill with all 11! Then, fill up your stomach!

WHY IT'S GOOD FOR YOU

Per serving (if you use every ingredient in taco shells!):
490 Calories, 24 g Total Fat, 8 g Saturated Fat, 70 mg Cholesterol, 1140 mg Sodium, 44 g Total Carbohydrates, 9 g Dietary Fiber, 6 g Sugars, 30 g Protein, 60% Vitamin A, 110% Vitamin C, 30% Calcium, 25% Iron

Per serving (if you use every ingredient in soft tortillas!):
520 Calories, 19 g Total Fat, 7 g Saturated Fat, 70 mg Cholesterol, 1020 mg Sodium, 56 g Total Carbohydrates, 9 g Dietary Fiber, 6 g Sugars, 36 g Protein, 50% Vitamin A, 110% Vitamin C, 25% Calcium, 20% Iron