Recipe: Healthy Kale Tacos + DIY Taco Seasoning

I am always looking for ways to make traditional meals healthier. When I adopted a whole foods diet, I quickly grew to favor the satisfaction provided by plant based foods and nutrients over denser, less nutritious foods.  While I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I am always looking for ways to include or substitute healthy, plant based items into traditional meals. Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 5.46.21 PM When I saw this beautiful kale at the farmer’s market, I knew instantly that it would be the perfect vehicle to enjoy a traditional taco night. I used ground turkey for the taco filling, but feel free to double up on beans or add extra veggies for a vegetarian version.

healthykaletacosTaco Filling

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one can)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • seasoning


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)


  • saute ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink
  • add black beans and cook a few minutes longer (if using canned, drain first)
  • add about 1/2 cup of water and seasoning and simmer a few minutes until all moisture is absorbed
  • scoop taco filling onto freshly washed and dried kale leaves and finish off with traditional taco toppings (I enjoyed mine with shredded grass-fed cheddar, homemade guacamole, and hot sauce).

IMG_3981A quick side note about the spices… I’ve been making my own seasoning since I discovered that almost all  store bought taco seasoning packets include, among other additives, corn starch (usually made with GMO corn), maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract (another term for MSG), sugar, and an excess of salt.  Making your own is the only way to know exactly what is (and isn’t) going into your body.  Plus the spices seem so much more flavorful when they aren’t masked by excess salt. A super healthy and additive free version of a family favorite!  Enjoy! -Tori


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