Chicken tacos with Pinto Bean Salad. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

Tacos are becoming one of our favorite sandwiches. Tacos, tortillas folded in half and filled with meat and vegetables, are usually made with fried corn tortillas, though soft flour tortillas are also used.

Many restaurants also serve tacos flat as an open sandwich. Either way, they make a simple dinner. I soften corn tacos in the microwave and use cooked boneless, skinless chicken strips or cubes. So there is no cooking needed for this dinner.

To save preparation time, use fresh diced tomatoes and celery ready prepared from the produce department in the market. Packaged shredded cheese and lettuce also save preparation time.

SHOPPING LIST: To buy: 1/2 pound boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast strips or cubes, 1 small bottle orange juice, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 small bottle hot pepper sauce, 1 package 6-inch corn tortillas, 1 package shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, 1 package shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce, 1 container fresh diced tomatoes, 1 container fresh diced or sliced celery, 1 bunch cilantro,1 small container reduced-fat sour cream, 1 lemon, 1 can pinto beans. Staples: Olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Chicken Tacos

  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast strips or cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Several drops hot pepper sauce
  • 6 corn tortillas (6-inch diameter)
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (see note)
  • 1 cup shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Note: Any type of shredded cheese can be used.

Mix cumin, orange juice and hot pepper sauce together. Add chicken and marinate while preparing the remaining ingredients. Wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel. Microwave on high 45 seconds. Remove and gently fold in half into taco shape.

Divide the cheese among the 6 tacos. Remove chicken from marinade with slotted spoon and divide among the six tacos. Sprinkle a little hot pepper sauce over chicken. Add lettuce and tomatoes to the tacos. Top with a spoonful of sour cream. Serve hot pepper sauce on the side.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 430 calories (23 percent from fat), 11.1 g fat (4.4 g saturated, 2.9 g monounsaturated), 103 mg cholesterol, 38.6 g protein, 45.4 g carbohydrates, 6.1 g fiber, 302 mg sodium.

Pinto Bean Salad

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup rinsed and drained canned pinto beans (see note)
  • 1 cup diced or sliced celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Note: Any canned beans can be used such as black beans or red kidney beans.

Mix oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the beans and toss well. Add celery and cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 194 calories (47 percent from fat), 10.1 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 6.8 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 6.3 g protein, 20.7 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g fiber, 254 mg sodium.

Quick Fix is a Tribune News Service column from Linda Gassenheimer. She is the author, most recently, of “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook,” “Delicious One-Pot Dishes” and “Quick and Easy Chicken.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email: linda@dinnerinminutes.com.

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