Tag Archives: taco

Avacodo & Feta Taco. Its quick – Its Gluten-Free – Its Delicious and its Easy!

Its summer time and no one wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when there’s sunshine to enjoy!

IMG_20140716_150654 IMG_20140716_150703 TacoThis is an old favorite of mine.  Simply easy and delicious – best of all takes about 5 min to make and very little mess to clean up. This is a vegetarian taco-like sandwich using an unconventional filling.

Makes 1 sandwich.

  • 1 Corn Tortilla
  • 1/2 avacado
  • 1-2 TB red onion
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • cilantro (optional)

Heat a non stick pan over high heat.  Place corn tortilla (you can usually find them in the refrigerated area at your supermarket), in the hot pan.

Meanwhile chop the avocado & onion.  Flip the tortilla over in the pan (it will be crispy on the side that was fave down and a little browned).  Crumble the feta on the tortilla, add onion and avocado.  Sprinkle with  salt and pepper and cilantro if using.  (You can also add tomatoes or some cooked fish like mahi mahi ).   Heat for a couple min until you can peak at the bottom of the tortilla and see that it is browned.  enJOY.

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Forget Hockey – its Taco Night in Canada …

Does everyone’s family love Taco Night as much as ours?  Its guaranteed a hit in our house!  The problem with taco’s is that darn, envelope of sodium err,  Taco Seasoning – Here are my tips on how to make Taco Night more healthy and maybe even stretch your buck a little.

  1. Use Extra Lean Ground Beef and drain off any fat once you have browned it.  Better yet buy local from a farmer.  If you can get beef that (the cow) has not been finished on corn, you won’t get as much fat marbling and will have very little water and fat being released and although you may (or may not) pay a buck more per pound, its worth it  – you get more meat and less water.
  2. Mix a package of Veggie Ground Round with the beef – you will double the bulk and trust me once you add the seasoning no one will know the difference (and you get to sneak in more veggies)
  3. Leave the pre-packaged seasoning at the store and instead add your own mix  -I  use cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and a dash of chili powder – any combination will do.  To save time – mix up your fave concoction and store in an airtight container.  Use this the same way you would the seasoning, brown meat, drain off fat, add 3/4 c water and seasoning,  simmer.
  4. Add black beans to your meat. Increase the fibre and the protein!
  5. Add some frozen corn to the meat – again will bulk it up and add a veggie to the mix.
  6. In place of a store bought salsa or pico di gallo, dice up tomatoes & red onion, mix with some cilantro and fresh lime juice (this is also great on a salad instead of a dressing).
  7. Mash some avocado or serve it sliced in place of sour cream.
  8. Serve with a side salad  – make it fun a lettuce base (also to be added to tacos) and then let the family top their salad with the taco toppings.
  9. Can’t get the kids to buy into veggies?  Shred some carrots right into the meat after browning (also works in lasagna).
  10. Have left over chicken ? Heat it with the seasoning and a bit of water and simmer and have chicken tacos instead of beef.

Its also fun to have a contest to see who can make the most colourful tacos from the toppings being served.

As always enJOY.

  1. Have a contest to see who can make the most colourful taco

Is Take-Out (Away) – Fast Food really that bad for you?

Ok, if you know me at all by now you’ll know my answer by no question is YES, all caps, bolded letters YES!! Now to prove my point I went out and did a little research and entered the results here.

First I went to a certain taco joint with a freaky little Chihuahua making a run for the border, and ate what I would have eaten previous to avoiding fast food: 2 Mexi Melts made with beans instead of meat and a nacho’s supreme (or whatever the damn thing is called now), with a Dr Pepper.

While ordering: Wow, this is going to be great –  I am so looking forward to eating some yummy fast food”
While Paying :”Holy crap this is expensive – did I really just spend $9???”
Walking to table:”mmmm this smells good”
Unwrapping & eating: “can’t wait”
2 minutes after first bite: “Wow this is salty -I’m really glad I ordered a drink”
10 minutes after finishing: “Huh, that wasn’t as good as I remembered it being”, followed by “Wow , I’m still really thirsty”
In the car on my way home: “Huh, I feel like my belly is bloated out to here (imaginary hand waving in front of my belly) – maybe I should have walked the 5  km instead of driven”.
5 minutes later: – “O ya I definitely should have walked– boy I’m still really  thirsty.”
1 hour later: “Wow, I think I need a nap, but first I’m going to get another glass of water”

What the?  I used to LOVE (all caps LOVE) that fast food – now it just reminds me of a bad blind date “Not what I hoped for but about what I expected” 🙂

So I decided to “get the goods” so to speak and actually compare the nutritional “buzz words” floating about in conjunction with other fast, convenience or take out foods. Even I was a little astounded at the findings.  To give you some perspective I have included the following:

 “Recommended daily sodium according to Doctor Tylus  of Hamilton, ON 1000 mg for children aged 1 to 3
1200 mg for children aged 4 to 8
1500 mg for people aged 9 to 50
1300 mg for adults aged 51 to 70
1200 mg for seniors aged 70+

Now lets take a look at some of the most popular fast – convenience foods around (below you’ll find a chart comparing some of my dishes that I sell through my Joy In Your Kitchen business as thaw – heat and serve as a comparison.

Fast (Convenience) Food     vrs.   Joy In Your Kitchen – Heat & Serve

Contender One: Convenience Foods

  Fast Food (Drive Thru) Take-Out or Delivery Supermarket
2 pieces Fried Chicken
dinner with  med fries
Double Quarter
LB Burger with cheese
& Large Fries
2 Chicken Soft Taco’s
& cheesy fries
New York Style
Pepperoni Pizza
(2 Slices)
Fried Rice
Beef Broccol(15 oz)
Roasted Chicken
Wedges &   Mac.  Salad –
(1cup ckn + 4 wedges)
Pre Packaged
Lasagna3/4 LB
Calories 1440 1320 290 830  1360 720 798  459
Total Fat 79 g 72g 9g 40 g 48g 24g 35g 25.4 g
Saturated Fat 10 g 24 g 3g 19 g 22g 6g 10g 8.35 g
Cholesterol 160 150mg 20mg 85 mg 100mg 155mg 100mg 35 mg
Sodium 2860 mg 1740mg 1000mg 2620 mg 3540mg 1620mg 1750mg 1462 mg

Reminder Doctor Tylus   recommends no more than 1500mg daily sodium intake for most of our audience (ages 9-50).

Wow! There is not one choice in our Popular Fast Food/Take out menu that is below the recommended DAILY intake for any age group – let alone at just one meal!

Contender 2  Joy In Your Kitchen

Comparable Joy In Your Kitchen Dishes
3/4 LB
Thai Coconut
Basil Chicken
(1 cup serving)
2 Chicken
& Refried Beans
& Mexican Rice (combo)
Joy’s Signature
3/4 LB
Baked Beans(4oz)
Chicken breast &(1/4 c Joy of BBQ Sauce) 
Joy’s Pizza Dough,
Joy of Pasta  sauce,
& 1/4c mozzarella
(2 pc of lg pie)
Butternut Squash Soup (1c)
1/2 twice baked potato
(with cheese & broccoli) 
Calories 233 187 677 473 260 309.5 259
Total Fat 5g 12g 22 g 13 g 4g 10 g  6 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g 7.9 g 8 g 3.7 g 1 g 6 g  3.4 g
Cholesterol 54mg 32.3 mg 82 mg 64 mg 3.6 mg 32.9 mg  15.4mg
Sodium 292 mg 683 mg 1332 mg 243 mg 942 mg 431 mg 854 mg


Other interesting facts:

From Livestrong.com

“Salt does not cause your body to gain or lose fat. In fact, salt has no calories. High consumption of salt only results in temporary weight gain as it causes your body to retain water. Conversely, low consumption of salt can result in temporary weight loss as it causes your body to expel water.

It is interesting to note that many crash diets which boast quick weight loss rely on foods with little or no salt content. The weight loss is mostly water, and as soon as you eat foods containing salt again you regain the weight.

A Word of Caution

Our opening paragraphs would lead you to believe that salt is of little concern in regards to long-term weight loss. In fact, a diet high in salt content can not only affect your blood pressure (see below), but is typically associated with weight gain.

The reason is that high levels of salt in our diets usually come from calorie dense, fiber poor, processed foods, like those found in fast food and restaurant meals, as well as on supermarket shelves. If you adhere to a low salt diet, it will likely consist of the lower calorie, healthier foods associated with weight loss.

Salt vrs Sodium

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, salt and sodium are not the same thing. Sodium, which is found naturally in most foods, accounts for approximately 40% of table salt. Therefore when salt is added to food, the sodium content increases by approximately 40% of the amount of salt added.”

Other Facts

Another Expert’s Opinion on why water is so important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

Proper hydration is one of the keys, not only to staying fit and healthy, but to looking and feeling our best, as well. Find out what Dr. Cousens, a renowned nutritionist, has to say about the connection between water and health. We also offer you a great formula for energizing the water you drink. It’s all here:

If you avoid dehydration, you can avoid overeating. As Dr. Cousens says, “When you start to hydrate by drinking enough water, then your appetite goes down because you’re actually fulfilling what your body needs—which is water. And that’s also a very powerful way to lose weight, but also, in a sense, the hydration makes everything, including your brain, work a lot better.”

So the next time you are thinking about “Just grabbing something to eat” – bypass the drive-thru, open your freezer and pop in your favourite Joy In Your Kitchen item, pour a tall glass of water and feel guilt free!

From My Kitchen to yours, Happy & Healthy Eating.


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