Eating for Life | Skip the drive-thru and make street tacos at home

Updated: 2011-11-02T01:48:28Z


The Kansas City Star

Street tacos are the white-hot trend of the moment.

“In an increasingly fast-paced world, a taco is the quintessential food on the go,” Shelley Wiseman writes in the introduction of her just-released cookbook, “Just Tacos” (Taunton Press, $19.95). “Essentially anything can be enclosed in a tortilla.”

Meat is always a popular filling. But potatoes — known in Spanish as papas — also get their due in Mexico. For instance, Wiseman’s book contains recipes for potato and chorizo as well as potato and Swiss chard fillings.

The Star’s Chile Verde Potato Soft Tacos takes its inspiration from the authentic street versions. We combine tender chunks of Yukon potatoes, peppers, onions and black beans, topped with your favorite brand of store-bought salsa verde and wrapped in 6-inch whole-wheat tortillas.

Boiled waxy Yukon potatoes are a smart nutrition choice because they have less starch than a russet or long white potato. Leaving the skin on adds extra fiber, for a total of 8 grams per serving. The savory wraps also get a sprinkling of authentic queso fresco, a soft Mexican cheese made from skim cow’s milk.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Taco Bell recently introduced an Americanized version of a potato taco. The Crispy Potato Soft Taco Facebook page has its fans, but the potato “bites” are not exactly diet fare. They contain 13 grams of fat and heap on 520 milligrams sodium.

But there’s really no comparison in nutritional value. A home-style version means a larger serving with only half the fat, nearly half the sodium and triple the dietary fiber.

• Shopping tips: Look for queso fresco in the cheese aisle.

Fingerling potatoes are shaped like, well, fingers.

Recipe developed exclusively for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss. To reach Jill Wendholt Silva, call 816-234-4347 or send email to

Deal Saver Subscribe today!


The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here