Thai chicken pizza, tandoori burritos and Cajun pasta are part of the American melting pot.
When two distinct ethnic food influences collide to create a hybrid dish, chefs call it fusion cuisine. The fusion doesn’t necessarily mean it’s lean, but it does provide a nice jumping-off point for creative cooks. Take something familiar and turn it into something new by making a few healthy substitutions.
The Star’s Greek Tacos take the standard Mexican-style taco — a hard or soft shell stuffed with ground meat and layered with lettuce, tomato and cheese — and gives it a spin using a whole-wheat pita. Puffy mini pitas are a great way to exercise portion control, but if you can’t find these small flatbreads, a regular flat whole-wheat pita will work.
At the meat counter, choose lean ground round. Hamburger can contain up to 30 percent fat, but ground round contains no more than 15 percent fat, and in some cases as little as 5 percent fat. Less fat can mean less flavor, but choosing assertive condiments will trick your taste buds. Choose a sprinkling of Greek feta instead of a mound of cheddar and a dollop of low-fat yogurt dill sauce instead of sour cream.
Finally, instead of iceberg lettuce, opt for spinach, a darker green with a bigger nutritional punch. Add grape tomatoes and get a dose of beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene, antioxidants that may protect against cancer, heart disease and vision loss.