Not sure how this holiday started, but I love tacos and let’s face it who doesn’t? If you don’t believe me, apparently just last year Americans ate over 4.5 million tacos (Guess the source: Nationaltacoday.com). If this were true, that would equal 490,000 miles of tacos, or 775-million pounds worth of this delicious Mexican edible treasure.

Here is a little history behind the existence of tacos. Why am I writing about this? I still don’t know but hey its #nationaltacoday. Different sources explain tacos originated at the of the 18th century from the silver mines in Mexico, where workers would wrap around gunpowder with pieces of paper. Some others explain Tacos came way before even the Spanish came to America in the 16th century. Around that time, fish tacos were a huge favorite. Other preferred ingredients for taco Tuesdays in the 16th century included snails and locusts (Yum!). I am trying these ones out tonight!!

Now, let’s get to the nutrition part. Tacos can offer a wide variety of nutrients when done right, and the variations are infinite. From hard shell to soft, from corn to wheat, from lettuce, to kale “shells”. So I decided to browse through the internet to find the top 5 healthy taco recipes that would appeal to you from hearty and meaty, to vegan friendly, some of these developed by registered dietitians like yours truly. Let’s first dissect the main components of a perfectly made taco:

1. Taco shells (soft or hard)

2. Meat option (fish, chicken, shrimp, tofu, veggies, etc)

3. Cheese option

4. Tomatoes and other veggies (cabbage, spinach, kale, peppers, hot peppers, chile, avocado)

5. Sauces

Here are a few things to avoid or to add as alternative to boost the healthiness scale of these recipes

* Avoid the sour cream. Substitute with plain Greek Yogurt, you won’t know the difference

* Choose whole wheat tortillas, baked taco shells, or soft corn tortillas. Avoid white tortillas or fried shells (Most of them are fried)

* Find opportunities to add more and more vegetables

* Easy on the guac. Avocados are great but like anything, too much of it racks up calories in the day. Moderation is key.

Ready to make some tacos??? Click the links below for full recipes:

#5: Hake Tacos with Bacon Crumbles by Lauren Pendergast

These delicious tacos are made using Hake which is a deep water white fish from the COD family. With the addition of bacon or turkey bacon, and topped with avocado this recipe get a 5-star rating in the taco department.

#4: Skinny Baja Tacos by The Live Fit girls 

Can’t go wrong with a cabbage slaw into a par of tacos on a hard shell. This great recipe combines a variety of seasoning, herbs, and a delightful Chipotle Greek yogurt sauce that adds a nice little dynamite kick with the chili addition.

#3 Loaded Vegetarian Guacamole and Black bean tacos by Soup Addict 

For my vegan and vegetarian readers, I did not forget you. Here you get an explosion of colors, nutrients, and deliciousness. With various spices and a delicious guac filling, these tacos are a bit spicy with the Siracha and chili added to it, but man they are great!! If you don’t want the tacos, at least make the guacamole. It is pretty tasty.

#2 Spicy Grilled Shrimp tacos with all the fixins by The Healthy Maven

These tacos take 2nd place for the variety of flavor and the nice kick from the grilled shrimp. With a nice pico de gallo added in the mix, a delicious guacamole, and the perfect corn tortillas, these tacos needless to say, are beyond amazing.

#1 The Authentic Tacos Carne Asada by Tyler Florence

An authentic carne asada taco had to be in first place, simply because it blends the juiciest most delicious meat encased in a explosion of flavorful and colorful ingredients. This recipe, originally developed by Tyler Florence from the Food Network will take the win on this National Taco Day.

Now, my time of typing has come to and end as I need to figure out which of these recipe I am going to prepare tonight, but stay tuned as I will probably post on my social media. Please leave your comments, share away, and contact me if you would like to TACO bout it! 🙂 Get it?

Happy National Taco Day!!

Tags: tacos Mexican Food