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I can’t tell you if it’s genetic, or a symptom of growing up in Texas, but I don’t think I could survive without Mexican food. I love the gorgeous cuisine of the Yucatan and the rich moles of Oaxaca. I love the enchiladas of El Paso and the 50 cent fish taco stands of Baja.

And, though this is muy embarrassing, when I was living in New York and pregnant with my son, I had such serious Mexican cravings that I would take an eight dollar cab ride to the nearest Taco Bell to buy three dollars worth of tacos and burritos.

But even though I had to give up Taco Bell to get my body back, I didn’t have to give up the taste and crunch of taco night.

Now, I just make my own taco filling a new way and, just like Taco Bell, mine has hardly any meat in it either! The big difference is, that instead of using weird fillers of chemicals and wheat to bulk mine up, I use real vegetables to deliver the taste and texture I crave, without all the calories or fat.

This is one of those recipes that makes a load but freezes beautifully so I can Ring the Taco Bell whenever I need to… without taking a cab ride!


Remember, your food processor is your friend…use it to do the chopping, and this is a snap.

2 pounds ground turkey or chicken

3  onions, chopped

1 globe eggplant, chopped fine

6 ribs celery, chopped fine

3 red bell peppers, chopped fine

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 pound mushrooms, chopped fine

1 bunch (about 10) green onions, chopped

2 T minced garlic

2 cups cooked and skinned green chilis, fresh or canned, chopped

4 to 5 packages dried taco seasoning (Of course, I prefer the Taco Bell brand, but use any one you like.)

Heat a large pot and spray with canola oil.

Add the turkey or chicken and onions together and stir. Using your food processor to do the chopping, add the rest of the vegetables and stir them in as you go, making sure you keep breaking up the meat so it incorporates with all the veggies.

When meat is just about done, stir in the spices and cook another 20 minutes until the meat and vegetables have all taken on the same color.

Serve as soft or hard tacos with shredded lettuce, fresh chopped tomatoes, and just a sprinkle of 2% sharp cheddar. Add a little bit of avocado and fat free sour cream and salsa if you like.


Whenever I go to the trouble of making a big vat of taco meat-ish, I always reserve a little in the fridge and freeze small containers that can be quickly thawed on our busy nights.

You can use it to top a tostada salad, make a soft taco, turn it into enchiladas, or make a quick huevos rancheros for breakfast….It’s all about inventory, so keep some on hand!





About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
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