New Jersey Bariatric Center
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NJBC Eats: Karen's Healthy Taco Tuesday

By Karen Kelly, R.D. | March 26, 2019


When you have a busy schedule, it’s hard to find quick and easy ways to cut back on extra carbs and calories. As a working mom of 3 boys, I try to keep up with family traditions like Taco Tuesdays but with a healthier twist. How do I make Taco Tuesdays healthier? The answer is easy - red bell peppers!

Red bell peppers are a great substitute for flour tortillas and fried taco shells.

Here’s how to make it:


  • Cut two or three peppers in half and scoop out the seeds. They will look like little bowls once all the seeds are cleaned out.
  • Pop the peppers in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • While the peppers are in the oven, prepare the rest of your taco fixings. Use a lean protein like ground turkey. Brown and season the ground turkey with some taco seasoning, then dice up come fresh tomatoes and avocado.
  • When the peppers are out of the oven, fill them with all your taco fixings.

This is a carb and gluten free recipe that you and your family can enjoy without too much prep work.

If you’re wondering how much less calories, carbs and fat you’re avoiding, see the chart below.

A whole red pepper has 37 calories and 7 grams of carbs, and by cutting each pepper into half, the total calories and carbs are even less.

So go on, start a new tradition with your family and enjoy your Taco Tuesday by trying this simple swap for less calories and carbs!



Karen Kelly, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Sparta and Totowa, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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