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Classic Tacos with Eggplant 'Taco Shells'

Active: 40 min Total: 40 min
Who doesn't love a classic taco night? This taco bar is a fun dinner that everyone will love and shows you that homemade is way better than what you find out at restaurants, especially when you can choose to use eggplant slices as your taco shells!
Smarts: Don't be afraid of digging into your spice drawer. Coriander, cumin, paprika, and chili powder are classic Latin spices - use them wherever you want to add some Latin flava.

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Taco Night:
  • Lean ground beef - 1 lb
  • Coriander - 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin - 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • Jalapenos - 2, diced
  • Onions - 1, diced
  • Iceberg lettuce - 1/4 head, sliced
  • Eggplant - 1, sliced lengthwise
  • Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp
  • Crushed tomatoes - 3/4 cup
  • Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
  • Lime - 1/2, sliced into wedges
  • Salsa - 1/2 cup ((Pick a tub of your favorite salsa.))
Iceberg Lettuce and Avocado Salad:
  • Iceberg lettuce - 1/4 head, sliced
  • Avocado - 1, cubed
  • Paprika - 1/4 tsp
  • Red wine vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Cooking oil - 3 Tbsp ((like grapeseed, vegetable, or avocado))
  • Sunflower seeds - 2 Tbsp, shelled

Nutrition Facts

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Prep

  1. Ground meat - Season with coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, and chili powder. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead).
  2. Garlic / Jalapenos / Onions / Lettuce - Prep as directed. For jalapenos, the fewer seeds you use, the less spicy the taco filling will be. Just wash your hands thoroughly after touching seeds. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Eggplant - Slice on a diagonal into ½” (1.25 cm) thick pieces. You’ll be baking these and using them as long ‘taco shells’. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

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Make

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (191C) degrees. Lightly coat both sides of eggplant with oil and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes on a sheet pan until tender.
  2. Make vinaigrette (double if you’re making Thursday’s dinner) by whisking together paprika, red wine vinegar, honey, and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic, jalapenos, onions, and a bit of salt to heated oil. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes.
  4. Next add in ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Saute until broken up into smaller pieces, 4 to 6 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until meat is cooked through. Season to taste with salt, pepper and any of the spices.
  5. Cube avocado and slice lime into wedges. Toss chopped iceberg lettuce, sunflower seeds and avocado with vinaigrette for salad (reserve half for Thursday if you doubled). Spread out your taco bar: eggplant shells, meat filling, lettuce, lime wedges, and salsa. Fill eggplant with taco fillings and roll it up. If it gets messy, pull out a fork and knife and dig in that way. Enjoy with salad. You’ll be using more salsa later on in the week, so make sure to not eat it all!

Nutrition Facts

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Reviews

Ratings

Original (178)
Gluten-free (12)
Paleo (12)
Vegetarian (17)

76 reviews

Good but nothing special. Skipped the salad and used the avocado on the tacos.

By: Kathryn
Posted: Mar 24, 2016
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Nothing Special, tasty but ordinary

By: Kathleen
Posted: Mar 21, 2016
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Loved these tacos! What a difference it makes to use real ingredients instead of those packets of seasoning. We didn't make the side salad. Instead used the avcado and lime juice as an additional taco toppings. Wow, really great!!

By: Stacy
Posted: Mar 13, 2016
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I'll need to make this again and properly season the ground beef. We though the meat was a bit bland, but perhaps it was operator error? The avocado and lettuce salad were incredible!

By: Nicole
Posted: Mar 04, 2016
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Very tasty! I opted out of the optionals because I current can not have any dairy (cheese, sour cream, etc.). But it was still delicious. I've made this twice already.

By: Lori
Posted: Feb 28, 2016
Diet: Gluten-free
0 Helpful

Used extra cheese. Topped tacos with tomatoes and hot sauce. Would add extra veggie toppings next time.

By: Samantha
Posted: Feb 25, 2016
Diet: Original
0 Helpful