Taco Bowls – Fast and Easy Allergy Friendly Dinner

Now that school is back in full swing, so are all of my kids activities which means, at least in this household, the chaos of getting all of the kids fed a well balanced dinner for our on-the-go schedules, is a struggle.  Like many moms experience, sometimes my kids activities are all at different times after school so anything I can get made fast and ahead of time is a winner for me.  Taco bowls are perfect!  I set up a “Taco Bar” with anything I can think of and then let the kids line up and fill their bowls with whatever combination of food they like.  This isn’t really a recipe, it’s more of a dinner concept that I use and adjust based on whatever I have in the fridge.  And this is the BEST crowdpleaser because most of the “fixings” are gluten free, dairy free, and just overall allergy friendly. Teens love it, adults love it and picky eaters love it because they can control what goes into their bowls.  I mean Chipotle, Moe’s and Qdoba have made millions off of this simple concept and my kids LOVE those places so I just brought the idea home!

THE BASICS OF A GOOD TACO BOWL BAR:

1) Start with your base: my standard is to put out rice of some sort or quinoa.  That acts as the base that soaks up all of the flavors and juices from everything else.

2) Next I always have beans of some sort; black beans, pinto beans, lentils, whatever floats your boat or whatever you have in your pantry.

3) Then the protein.  Now beans have alot of protein so if you don’t want to add meat, you can add tofu or just a bunch of grilled veggies here. If I have a chicken breast leftover, what am I going to do with one when there are 5 of us?  Well, I save it for the taco bowl night and chop it up as a potential topping along with other bits and pieces of leftover proteins.  I have even used scrambled eggs if I don’t have any meat leftover or just don’t want to take the time to cook any!  Tofu is also good here if soy isn’t an issue for you.

  • Here is where my girls who can have cheese, add their shredded cheese. And of course, you can add non-dairy cheese.  No rules!

4) Veggies.  I always like to add some sort of grilled vegetable.  A favorite is cubed broiled sweet potato.  Or you can throw in grilled onions and mushrooms, squash, corn, anything works here.  Spinach, Kale, whatever!

5) The last few toppings are the best part in my opinion because they are the bright “freshness” in the bowl.  Here is where I add the sliced avocado (or guacamole), chopped cucumber, sour cream if you can have it or non-dairy if you can’t, and my favorite flavor infuser, the salsa! I make homemade salsa and then keep a large amount of it to add to anything I can so here is where I dump it on and use it as my salad dressing.

6) Lastly, if you want to show off, you can put a little plate with chopped cilantro, chopped green onions and olives.

These are always a hit in our house, so much so that we have them every single week.  They are a great way to get rid of bits and pieces of things like a few tomatoes here, a lone chicken breast there, a can of black beans in the cupboard, and so on.  And this meal is both super healthy but also very economical!  So enjoy; let your kids feel like they made their own dinner and clean out your fridge at the same time!

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