WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: We wanted a recipe for a fresh, easy taco salad with spicy, saucy meat. To make crispy tortilla bowls, we skipped the deep-fryer and baked the tortillas on overturned soup bowls instead; this gave us a pair of golden, ultracrisp taco shells with a lot less fuss. Sautéed aromatics and tomato sauce and a hefty dose of chili powder added savory depth and heat to our ground turkey filling. For heartiness, we added beans to our salad along with cherry tomatoes and shredded romaine. Thanks to the saucy, boldly-flavored taco meat, a squeeze of tart lime juice was all the dressing our salad needed. Be sure to use ground turkey, not ground turkey breast (also labeled 99 percent fat free), in this recipe. If cherry tomatoes are unavailable, substitute grape tomatoes; cut the grape tomatoes in half along the equator rather than quartering them. You will need two ovensafe soup bowls for this recipe. See the sidebar that follows the recipe.
teaspoons vegetable oil
small onion, chopped fine
teaspoons chili powder
garlic clove, minced
ounces ground turkey
cup canned tomato sauce
cup chicken broth
teaspoon cider vinegar
teaspoon light brown sugar
Salt and pepper
(10-inch) flour tortillas
Vegetable oil spray
romaine lettuce heart (6 ounces), shredded
cup canned black beans, rinsed
ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
scallion, sliced thin
tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper
ounce cheddar cheese, shredded (¼ cup)
1. FOR THE TURKEY: Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground turkey and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until almost cooked through but still slightly pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes; mixture will be saucy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. FOR THE SALAD: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange 2 ovensafe soup bowls upside down on rimmed baking sheet (or use 2 slightly flattened 3-inch aluminum foil balls). Place tortillas on plate, cover with damp paper
towel, and microwave until warm and pliable, about 20 seconds.
3. Generously spray both sides of warm tortillas with oil spray. Drape tortillas over soup bowls, pressing tops flat and pinching sides to create 4-sided bowls. Bake until tortillas are golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let tortilla bowls cool upside down.
4. Toss lettuce, beans, tomatoes, scallion, and 1 tablespoon cilantro with lime juice in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place tortilla bowls on individual plates. Divide salad between bowls and top with turkey mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar and remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve.