1. Tofu Tacos (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Yep, you heard that right: tofu. If there’s one thing cooks love/lament about this plain-Jane bean curd, it’s that it adopts the flavor of whatever it’s paired with. And when you pair it with taco seasoning and pan-fry it with a little olive oil, well, you’ve got yourself the perfect taco filling.
2. Chili-Rubbed Steak Tacos
It’s okay to give red meat the green light! When nothing but a steak taco will do the trick, a leaner cut of meat, like top sirloin, goes a long way. Sprinkle it with a homemade seasoning rub of garlic, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper — and don’t plan on leftovers.
3. Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cream
Sure, a dollop of rich, cooling sour cream never killed anyone, but try blending nonfat yogurt with a bit of mayonnaise for a topping you don’t need to feel guilty about. Add a touch of smokiness from chipotle to the alterna-cream and then be sure to give it prime placement at the taco bar when you serve this tilapia goodness.
4. Fish Tacos with Habanero Salsa
When it comes to serving up tacos with big flavor but not a lot of calories, the secret’s in the salsa. A tomato-based one will help sneak in vegetables, but the real appeal is in the flavor. Fresh herbs, lime juice, and a bit of heat from spicy peppers make it an utterly addictive topping for any type of taco, but especially this snapper rendition.
5. Ricotta-Spinach Tacos
Are you ready to think waaaay outside the taco shell? Then now, for something totally different: A taco stuffed with savory cilantro-studded ricotta and well-seasoned sautéed spinach. The meatless taco may seem unconventional, but the soft texture of ricotta mirrors that of braised meat and the spinach gets a Mexican twist with a sprinkle of cumin and some spicy green chile peppers.