I plan to include many diabetic-friendly recipes on this site and for my first foray I thought I would blog about a favorite home-cooked meal – my version of the chicken “soft” taco. Because Dr. Bernstein’s diet does not include carbohydrates of any kind – outside of vegetables – taco shells are not an option for this diabetic. But I have found that substituting a lettuce leaf for a tortilla is a healthy and delicious way to enjoy the Mexican treat.
To begin, dice up 1/4 of a white onion (only a small amount of onion should be used, as the bulbs are, unfortunately, high in carbs) and sauté it with a bit of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Then, cut chicken breasts (one breast for every person who will be dining) into long, thin pieces. Once the onions are translucent in color, toss in the strips of chicken and sauté them until they are brown on both sides. You can also toss in some mushrooms, if you are so inclined.
Next, cut large leaves of either romaine or iceberg lettuce to be used as your taco “shells”. The outermost leaves are usually the biggest and therefore work the best for this recipe. For accoutrements, I typically serve grated cheddar cheese, sliced avocados, sliced olives, cabbage, and sour cream, or some variation thereof.
And voila, you have a delicious taco that you do not have to feel guilty about eating. This quick and easy meal can also be made using beef, steak or ground turkey.
The lettuce-as-a-tortilla trick can also be used when making fajitas and – as an added bonus – can sometimes be employed at restaurants. Marix Tex Mex Café (Jennifer Aniston’s favorite restaurant) in West Hollywood is happy to substitute lettuce leaves for tortillas on their fajita orders, which are fantastic by the way!