Learning to Cook Healthy: Mango-Habanero Crunchy Baked Shrimp Tacos
Laaaawdy Loo!! 🙌🏾🙄😩 Let me tell ya’ll about my attempt to improve one of my taco recipes. Now they were not particularly unhealthy per se, but they could have been cleaner. Keep in mind I’m learning and experimenting with improving my take on recipes (like that’s the entire purpose of this blog…and YouTube whenever I finally get to that, but I digress). My goal is to make things that still taste good but also provide the most out of the foods used. Now these tacos I speak of, they were mighty delicious, let me tell you. So much so that the boo thang asked me to make them again the next day which isn’t something he often do. He’s one of those guys that’s just happy to be fed and don’t ever have a taste for anything in particular.
So I free styled this recipe and tried my best to use whole wheat, zero added sugars, and minimal salt. But at the time I didn’t realize how quickly these ingredients add up. After calculating the nutrition information with the serving size being two tacos, I concluded that they contained absolutely WAAAAY too many calories. Well for an inactive student such as myself. If I were out here in the gym and burning half my meals off a day, it’d be nothing (hopefully before 2018 closes I’ll be that but until then…) I mean two tacos were a total of 726 calories. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s a bit much, especially for dinner, without any sides.
Creating recipes is an easy task for me, almost second nature EEEEEESPECIALLY when I’m hella inspired and in the zone. I also naturally feel the need to eat better and feel better BUT putting them together is another story. I’m hoping as I progress through school and learn more and more about human dietetics and nutrition, doing this will be almost second nature to me. But it Was a great learning experience.
So even though whole wheat its better than white, you have to be mindful of possible hidden calories. If I had read the package of panko I would have seen there was added sure in it (why? Why do they need to add sugar to breadcrumbs? 🤦🏾♀️ 🤷🏾♀️) and I most likely would have reduced my panko and used another grain, like maybe quinoa, for the crunchy shrimp.
I will do this next time.
I could have used corn tortillas instead of whole wheat, but one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Both provide whole grains but for my personal goals the corn had less sodium (10 mg vs. 130 mg), but they did have more calories. So if you are more focused on reducing your calorie intake, then the whole wheat (80 cals/serving vs. 120 cals/serving) would be a better option for you. This is off subject, but this is another example of how meal plans and diet plans should be custom made after a nutritional assessment.
Anywho’s here the recipe if you want to try it anyways. You may see some other places improvements can be made, and if you do, please let ya girl know.
Crunchy Shrimp Tacos with Mango-Habanero Sauce
Crunchy oven baked whole wheat panko shirimp, spicy mango sauce, whole wheat tortilla, and slaw
Mango Pepper Sauce
- 1-2 whole habanero roughly chopped with seeds removed unless you want a super spicy sauce
- 1 c. mango fresh or frozen
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic smashed or roughly chopped
- 2 whole limes juiced
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 1 whole tomato diced
- 1/2 c. green onion chopped
- 2 c. red cabbage shredded
- 1 whole medium cucumber thinly sliced with seeds removed or use half of a seedless English cucumber
- 1 c. carrots shredded
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a large bowl toos to combine the cabbage, cilantro, carrots, cucumbers, green onion, red onion, and tomato. Set aside.
Take 3 shallow dishes (I used cake pans) and in 1 place the flour, the second the egg white mixture and the third the breadcrumbs. Season the flour and the shrimp with the salt and pepper.
Roll the shrimp in the flour and dust off the excess. Then dip them into the egg wash, and then the breadcrumbs.
Place shrimp on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; spritz shrimp with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 8-12 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and coating is golden brown, turning once.
While your shrimp is cooking you can start the mango-habanero sauce. Heat oil in small pan over medium-low heat and cook the peppers and garlic just until soft, without browning.** In a blender combine the oil, peppers, garlic, mango, lime juice and vinegar and blend until you have a smooth sauce.
You could toss your slaw mixture in the sauce or put the sauce ina squeeze bottle like I did.
Warm your tortillas in a dry skillet for about a minute on each side, place 3 cooked shrimp in the center and top with about 2 Tbsp. of the slaw mixture. Finish with a drizzle of mango sauce and enjoy.
**If you have a really good blender that pureès well you can skip the step where I softened the peppers and garlic in oil. I only did that because my little blender/food processor-chopper thing sucks.