And nope, I’m not talking about those iconic London double-decker buses — ‘though those are pretty fun, too. 😉 I’m talking about double-decker tacos…for once I introduced hubby to double-decker tacos one night, years and years ago now, they are the only way he wants to have tacos when we declare it to be “taco night” at home (which it will be for us tonight).
These double-decker tacos are a healthier take on the double-decker tacos that Taco Bell offered some years back. (No offense meant to Taco Bell, of course — it’s just that by making them at home, I’m in control of the quality and type of ingredients.) The are simply a crispy shelled and filled taco placed inside a flour tortilla that has been spread with refried beans — kind of like a soft bean taco that has been filled with a crispy shelled taco.
Tacos are one of our favorites. It doesn’t heat the kitchen up, making it a wonderful warm-weather meal, ‘though they’re tasty year-round. They’re fun to make and eat. If I take advantage of commercially-prepared shells and tortillas (‘though I have made my own flour tortillas — I’ll discuss that in another post some time), along with pre-made guacamole and salsa, it comes together pretty quickly and easily. It’s easy for everyone to eat how much or how little they like — and making double-decker tacos gives everyone choices between double-deckers, hard, or soft tacos (and I like choices myself and like for my
guests friends to have choices, too!). Leftovers are great for lunches, snacks — even an unconventional breakfast!
I “healthy up” this dish by using
- lean meats (93/7 or greater);
- carb-balance flour tortillas (Mission Carb-Balance is my favorite — great texture and flavor) — which are high in fiber, thereby making them lower in carbs while also boosting the fiber added by the refried beans; and
- reduced-fat cheese and reduced-fat sour cream.
Usually, when I make up taco meat, I make more than I need, as the leftover meat is easy to use on such things as taco salads, Mexican omelets, nachos, breakfast tacos, and the like. The seasoned meat also freezes well, making it handy for quick and easy meals and snacks later on.
Note to Vegetarians: Use your favorite vegetarian meat substitute for the seasoned ground meat in this recipe. While I’m not familiar with all of them, I know I’ve seen vegetarian sausage, burger patties, and, I’m fairly sure, even a taco-seasoned vegetarian substitute in the produce section of my grocery. And, of course, make sure you use vegetarian refried beans. 🙂
Double-Decker Tacos (Makes 10 to 12 tacos)
- One pound lean (at least 93/7) ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken) (I’ll cook up two pounds to assure I have plenty left over for other uses)
- Favorite taco seasoning (or season meat to taste with a splash of vinegar, splash of Worcestershire, splash of Tobasco (if desired), and chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano)
- Package of crispy taco shells (we like the “stand and stuff” taco shells)
- Package of fajita-sized flour tortillas (we like Mission Carb-Balance tortillas)
- Can of refried beans
- Favorite condiments to taste: lettuce, diced tomato, sliced green olives, sour cream (I use reduced fat) or yogurt (fat-free Greek yogurt is creamy enough to sub for sour cream), shredded cheese (reduced-fat — and I prefer to shred my own), guacamole or sliced/diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, salsa…whatever makes you happy 🙂
- Brown ground meat. Season according to taco packet directions (if seasoning to taste with your own spices, add in some water or beer after seasoning and allow it to cook down, as one would with a packet of taco seasoning). (BTW, beer can be tasty in place of water when seasoning with taco seasoning, as well, and it will help tenderize the meat — something to consider when using leaner meats.)
- Heat taco shells according to package directions.
- Heat refried beans.
- To assemble a double-decker taco: heat a flour tortilla (I like to place the tortilla(s) between damp paper towels and “steam” them in the microwave). Spread lightly with refried beans. Place crispy taco shell at the center of the flour tortilla and fold the sides of the flour tortilla up the sides of the crispy taco shell. Fill crispy taco shell with seasoned meat and favorite condiments. Enjoy!
It’s so yummy, you’ll be singing the “Taco Song.” 😉 (Go on, check it out — you know you want to! I find it annoying — especially the (no doubt intentional) mis-pronunciations and compelling at the same time! 😉 )