Taco bar.

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Taco Tuesday is a staple in my house.  My kids have requested it forever and now it’s a staple… at least for the most part.  We missed Tuesday this week due to my daughter’s swim banquet for high school but I made up for it on Wednesday.  Having a taco “bar” is easy when your family has a divided diet as mine does.  My husband recently adopted a vegetarian diet, much like myself but my girls and father all eat meat.  Having a multitude of toppings makes it easy if your a vegan, vegetarian or meat lover to happily partake in this fun theme dinner.

First let’s start with the chip and dip platter/bowl/dish that you have stashed away in your cupboard that you only use for parties.  Pull it out!  It makes the best taco “bar” and let’s face it – one place for all the ingredients means one bowl to clean up versus many.  Also great if your having a taco party.  Place the meat where the dip is supposed to go so it’s separated from the fruits and veggies.  The protein can be fish, shredded chicken, ground turkey, ground beef or grilled shrimp.

Toppings:  The options are simply endless!  This particular night I used the following…

Avocado, diced
Tomatoes
Sliced fresh mangoes
Green onions
Thinly sliced orange bell peppers
Shredded lettuce (I used iceberg because I also had used the outer layers of the lettuce for taco shells)
Black beans, low sodium and organic
Thinly sliced jalapeños
Grated cheddar – I used Cabot

Other ideas:

Shredded red cabbage
Shredded carrots
Chick peas
Red kidney beans
Shredded Romaine lettuce
Peaches, chopped
Pineapple, chopped
Greek yogurt
Sour cream
Limes
Lemons

Prepping the toppers can be done well in advance and bagged up and stored in your refrigerator.  I would omit the avocado and slice right before using (run under cold water to keep from browning or drizzle with citrus juice).

Taco Shell ideas:

Lettuce cups for a vegan, no-carb, gluten free option.  Use iceberg lettuce – slice the bottom off and pull each layer off carefully.  Wash and lay on a paper towel for drying.
Blue corn taco shells (you can find these in your organic, non GMO section of your grocery store)
Whole grain tortilla wraps
Flour tortillas

I hope this gives you some fun new ideas for Taco night at your house.  To me it’s a great way to sneak more veggies/fruits into my family and definitely a fun diversion from the typical taco toppings.  It also easily feeds vegans or vegetarians easily by just omitting the meat and loading up on the beans and other toppings.  Enjoy!

— Knead to Cook

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