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Healthy Dinner Recipe: The Ultimate Beef Tacos

Looking for a lean, protein-packed meal? Try these steak tacos from New York City chef Aarón Sanchez.

When we asked New York City chef Aarón Sanchez—who you might also know as a judge on the Food Network's Chopped—for his tastiest lean taco recipe, we were surprised when he came back with a steak taco.

But the chef brilliantly uses flank steak, which he trims of all fat and marinates in jalapenos, then adds barely a spoonful of oil to the whole thing. Sanchez scores extra points by making homemade salsa, but to save on time, any fresh, store-bought variety (with a little kick, of course) will do the trick. Here, the full recipe for Aarón Sanchez’s Tacos de Carne Asada. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 cup pickled jalapenos, including the carrots and onions that come in the jar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas 
  • 1/4 cup white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves 
  • 2 tablespoons salsa de arbol (or other hot salsa)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (plus more as needed)

Directions:

1.) Cover flank steak on one side with the pickled jalapenos, then turn over and let sit at room temperature, covered for 1 hour.

2.) Preheat the grill or broiler.

3.) Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper and place on the hot grill or under the broiler. Cook the steak for 5 to 6 minutes on each side (for medium rare), and then chop into ¼ inch pieces.

4.) Heat a small saute pan and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Warm corn tortillas for 30 seconds on each side, adding more oil as necessary. Stack 2 tortillas together, place the meat in the center of the tortillas and top with the onion and cilantro. Drizzle a teaspoon of salsa on top of each taco.

Serves: 4 to 6

Fit Value: Flank steak is an excellent source of protein, and one serving also supplies 15 percent of your daily iron intake. Just don't overdo it on the red meat—be sure to balance beef with other lean proteins, like fish and chicken, at other meals.

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