Steak dish offers taco-salad flavor at fraction of fat

March 25, 1992|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,Orlando Sentinel

An average taco salad in a fried tortilla shell with hamburger and sour cream contains more than 600 calories and 35 grams of fat.

This spicy Mexican steak salad with cilantro and avocado has all the flavor of a taco salad with just a fraction of the fat.

Slices of lean, grilled steak and cubes of ripe avocado replace the high-fat hamburger and guacamole. Salsa replaces the usual oil- or cream-based salad dressing. Grated, low-fat Monterey Jack cheese adds richness and flavor but fewer calories than traditional Jack or Cheddar cheeses.

Cilantro is the fresh, leafy version of the spice coriander.

Mexican steak salad with cilantro and avocado

Makes 4 servings.

8 ounces beef round or flank steak, trimmed of all visible fat

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

8 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded or torn into bits

1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 ripe avocado (approximately 4 ounces), cubed

juice of 1 lime

1 green onion, finely chopped

1 cup shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese

1 (16 ounce) bottle commercial salsa

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

4 tablespoons fat-free sour cream alternative (optional)

Rub both sides of the steak with the black pepper. Heat a barbecue grill and cook the steak for 4 minutes per side, or until the meat is medium rare. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal. Try to get 12 to 16 slices of meat.

While the steak is cooling, divide the lettuce between four dinner plates. Sprinkle liberally with the cilantro and pile the avocado cubes in the center of each plate. Squeeze the lime over the avocado and lettuce. Sprinkle the green onion and cheese over each.

Arrange the slices of warm steak in a pinwheel fashion over the salad. Sprinkle with oregano and serve with salsa. If desired top with fat-free sour cream alternative.

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