Greek tacos combine cultures

June 23, 2007|By Jill Wendholt Silva | Jill Wendholt Silva,McClatchy Newspapers

When two distinct ethnic food influences collide to create a hybrid dish, chefs call it fusion cuisine. The fusion doesn't necessarily mean it's lean, but it does provide a nice jumping-off point for creative cooks. Take something familiar, and turn it into something new by making a few healthy substitutions.

These Greek Tacos take the standard Mexican-style taco - a hard or soft shell stuffed with ground meat and layered with lettuce, tomato and cheese - and give it a spin using a whole-wheat pita. Puffy mini pitas are a great way to exercise portion control, but if you can't find these small flatbreads, a regular flat whole-wheat pita will work.

GREEK TACOS

Makes 6 servings

1 pound ground round

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons all-purpose Greek seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or fourths

1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed and discarded

6 mini-wheat pocket breads

Yogurt Dill Sauce (See recipe below)

3 tablespoons feta cheese

Cook ground round, onions and garlic in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is browned; drain well. Add Greek seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper and blend well.

Stir in tomatoes and spinach and cook over medium heat 3-5 minutes to allow tomatoes to become juicy and spinach to soften.

Cut pocket breads in half, then spoon mixture into each bread pocket and top with Yogurt Dill Sauce. Sprinkle sparingly with feta cheese.

Yogurt Dill Sauce: Blend together 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon dried dillweed.

Per serving: 207 calories, 5 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 45 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrate, 21 grams protein, 231 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Recipe analysis provided by the Kansas City Star.

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