Healthy Meal of the Week: Hard Shell Tacos w/ Spanish Rice

Healthy Leftover Idea: Mexican Pizza

Here’s an easy to make meal that your family, and especially the kids, will love – hard shell tacos. What makes these handheld delights so special is you can literally add any toppings you prefer. What you may like to put on your tacos, your significant other or children may like something else altogether. Plus, if you haven’t had the chance to try a Mexican pizza before, hold on to your socks because these little guys taste great!

Equipment Needed

– 2 pots with lids
– 1 skillet
– 1 baking sheet

Prep Time

– 10 minutes

Cooking Time

– 20 minutes


(4-6 servings)
– 2 pounds lean ground beef
– 1 cup rice
– 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
– 1 16oz. refried beans
– 1 tomato
– 1 white onion
– 1 head of lettuce
– 1 tbsp. minced garlic
– 1 chicken bouillon cube
– shredded cheese of your choice
– salsa of your choice
– olive oil (or other type you have on hand)
– seasonings: salt, pepper and 2 bay leaves (optional)

For Mexican Pizzas

– Flour tortillas
– 1 10oz. can of red enchilada sauce


1. Since the rice will take the longest to cook, let’s start there. On medium temperature, add 2 tablespoons of oil to your rice pan/pot then the cup of rice. Allow to brown stirring occasionally for a couple of minutes. Add the entire can of tomato sauce and stir in well. Finally add 1 1/2 cups of hot water, two bay leaves, and one chicken bouillon cube and bring to a boil stirring frequently to help dissolve cube. Once boiling reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Set timer for 20 minutes.

2. Next open package of lean ground beef and put on a skillet on medium heat. Dice up 1/4 of the onion and add to the meat along with 1 tbsp of minced garlic with pinches of seasoned salt and pepper. You can always mince garlic using a food processor saving you money and it’s more fresh. Mix well with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula making sure to cut meat into very small pieces. Cook thoroughly until desired wellness is reached (about 10-14 minutes).

3. For the refried beans, all that’s needed is to open the can and put contents into small pot on medium/low temp. You can add a 1/4 cup of milk or some hot sauce like Tapatio to spice them up and make the beans a bit more “watery”. Cover and stir every few minutes for a total of 12-15 minutes.

4. Once you have everything on the stove cooking you can dice and chop up the lettuce, the remainder of the onion, the tomato, and get the shredded cheese ready. This way once the food is done cooking you will have your taco-making assembly line ready to go.

5. Carefully remove items from the stove and have serving spoons ready. Take one taco hard shell and first put a spoonful or two of refried beans. Then add a spoonful or two of the lean ground beef. Use the spoon to carefully push the meat down into the beans so that you’ll have more room to put the other items of your choosing.

6. As you can see in this meal example, only lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and a bit of Tapatio hot sauce was used, but you’re free to use any toppings you’d like. Olives, jalapenos, pepperchinis, and green peppers are just a handful of other possibilities you may want to consider when making tacos at home.

7. Two hard shells tacos along with a serving of Spanish rice and a large glass of water will bring this delightful meal total to only around 500 calories. Enjoy!

Healthy Leftover Idea: Mexican Pizzas

If you ever had a Mexican pizza from Taco Bell, you already know how delicious they taste so why not make one for yourself since you have more than half of the ingredients already in made. All you will need additionally are flour tortillas and a small can of red enchilada sauce.

Add a bit of oil to a skillet on medium temperature. Place one flour tortilla and allow to brown for 45 seconds to a minute. Use tongs to flip to the other side and then remove from heat and place the tortilla on a paper towel to help soak up any residual oil. Repeat for the other tortilla. On a baking sheet place one of the tortillas and spread a thin layer of refried beans all across the top and then spread some cooked lean ground beef. Cover with the other tortilla then spread a few spoonfuls of red enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle shredded cheese along with some diced tomatoes and any other toppings you want to add. Place baking sheet in the oven on broil. Should only take about 4-5 minutes for cheese to melt. Carefully remove and cut into quarters.


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