Deep Fried Taco

On this episode of Recipe Rehab we meet the Vega family.  They are crazy for their authentic Mexican deep fried tacos!  Unfortunately, these tacos have a crazy amount of calories which amount to over 1800 calories.  Our two chefs will battle it out to see who can rehab that recipe and make it more nutritious, but just as delicious.  Who will win over the Vega family with their healthy recipe?



Serves 8

Cook Time 30 minutes

Prep time 15 minutes



2 6 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups quinoa

3 cups water, divided

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

4 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons dried oregano, divided

¼ teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt

½ teaspoon plus 1 pinch freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 15 oz. can no salt added black beans, rinsed well (Eden organics)

1 clove garlic

2 avocados, cut into slices

1 small jalapeño, roughly diced

16 small corn tortillas

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped



Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Rinse the quinoa.  Add the quinoa to a large pot with 2 cups of the water, 2 cup of low sodium chicken broth, and tomato paste.  Stir the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot and lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, is red in color, and is light and fluffy.

Season the chicken breasts with the kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and cumin. In a large cast iron pan on medium heat, place 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Sear the chicken on both sides for 3 minutes per side or until each side of the chicken is nicely browned. Add the remaining cup of water to the pan, and place the skillet in the oven.  Allow the chicken to cook for 20 minutes, or until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 165° when tested with a meat thermometer. Set aside to cool.  Once the chicken has cooled, shred it with your hands or with two forks.

While the chicken is in the oven, in a food processor add the black beans, garlic, the diced jalapeño, one of the tablespoons of oregano and freshly ground black pepper.  Turn the processor on and mix until a chunky paste forms.

Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and add a pinch of salt and pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of oregano. The quinoa should have a nice red hue.

To char the tortillas, turn on one of the burners on a gas stove.  Using tongs, hold the tortilla over the flame until it begins to develop a nice char. If you do not have a gas stove, on medium high heat, place a grill plan on the stove, and grill the tortillas in the pan.

To assemble the tacos, spread 1 tablespoon of the black bean paste on the bottom of the charred tortilla, followed by two tablespoons of the quinoa, two tablespoons of the shredded chicken and finish the tacos off with a slice of avocado and chopped cilantro!


Nutritional information: (per serving)

Per serving (1/8th recipe / 2 tacos)

Calories:          380

Total Fat:         10.7 g

Saturated Fat:     1.634 g

Cholesterol:       27.2 mg

Protein:           21.9 g

Carbohydrate:      51.5 g

Dietary Fiber:     10.8 g

Total Sugars:      1.739 g

Magnesium:         156.4 mg

Potassium:         952.4 mg

Sodium:            189.4 mg

Vitamin C:         11.4 mg

Beta-carotene:     626.9 mcg