21 October 2010

Frito Taco Salad & Reading Food Labels

Last night I had the idea to make Frito Taco Salad, a throwback to my teen years. The recipe required Taco Seasoning and Ranch Dressing. Here's where the troubles started. I've mentioned Maltodextrin here before. It's a cheap sweetener and found in thousands of processed foods. If you frequently crave sugar and often feel tired and run down you might want to read about why Maltodextrin and an abundance of sugar are not so great for you.

Most processed, packaged food will have Maltodextrin in it. Start checking labels. Almost any seasoning packet will have Maltodextrin in it. So I had to find a homemade taco seasoning recipe that I can whip up. Here's the recipe I used. I was happy that I had all but one ingredient, which I remedied in a quick visit to the grocery store.

Then I had to deal with the dressing. Have you ever looked at salad dressing labels? I spent about 15 minutes going through the salad dressing section at my neighborhood grocery store reading labels. I was pretty disappointed. It's amazing how many foods considered Organic or All Natural have Maltodextrin and other unhealthy ingredients in them. Don't fall for marketing baloney. Lots had Maltodextrin and every one I looked at on the shelf had MSG in it along with other preservatives that aren't so great for the digestive system.

I almost gave up until I saw the refrigerated dressing section. Because these dressings are refrigerated they do not have as many preservatives and other chemical additives in them. I was happy to find Bob's Big Boy Ranch dressing was made from real food ingredients and was pretty clean. We ended up not using it because the Taco Seasoning was plenty of flavor for the salads.

So with a little work I was able to pull together some great alternatives and not long after enjoyed a delicious frito taco salad for dinner. Check your food labels and ingredients. It's an incredibly educational experience. And you'll eat better and feel better for it. Happy eating. 

I'll follow this post up tomorrow with more on healthy, tasty salads your family, even little kids, will eat.


Kar said...

Yum! This sounds so good! I may just make this salad this weekend!

Kelly said...

Thank you for posting this. There are only 2 seasoning packages that I really use, but I've been trying to find recipe replacements for them. (It should just be a bunch of spices, right?!)

Kim said...

that's the spice recipe i have been using for a long time and we love it. when i go elsewhere i can tell they've used a package. :)

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