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Playing Laila Ali's Loaded Ground Turkey Tacos


  • 1 zucchini, large (about 1 pound) or 1/2 small head cauliflower or a combination of both
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, large, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound turkey, ground
For the taco seasoning:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • cayenne pepper, (optional)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • coconut oil cooking spray, Unrefined
  • 12 corn tortillas, soft
Optional toppings:
  • Jack/cheddar cheese, Grated
  • romaine lettuce, shredded
  • tomatoes, Chopped seeded
  • Tomato Salsa, Roasted
  • Green salsa
  • Simple cabbage salad or shredded cabbage
  • Gochujang Guacamole
  • cilantro, Chopped fresh
  • Lime wedges
  • Hot sauce


Serves: Makes 12 tacos


Coarsely chop the zucchini or cut the cauliflower into small florets. Transfer half to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (for cauliflower, the goal is the size of grains of rice). Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining zucchini or cauliflower.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the turkey and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 7-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.

Add the taco seasoning mix to the skillet with the meat and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, reducing the heat and/or adding a tiny bit of water or oil if the mixture starts to stick. Stir in the zucchini or cauliflower and cook until it has softened, about 5 minutes, again adding a tiny bit of water or oil if the mixture starts to stick. Stir in the scallions.

Heat a separate medium skillet over medium-high heat and spray it with cooking spray. Add a tortilla and heat, pressing down on it with a spatula to keep it flat, until malleable, about 30 seconds on each side, or a little longer if you’d like your tortilla slightly crispy. I like to keep my tortillas flat, but feel free to fold them if you like. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding cooking spray to the pan as needed. To keep you tortillas warm while you are cooking the rest, place them on a baking sheet in a preheated 200°F oven as each is heated.

Fill the tortillas with ground turkey mixture and finish with any toppings you wish.

Excerpt from Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food from My Table to Yours! by Laila Ali. Copyright © 2018 by Laila Ali. Used with permission by St. Martin’s Press. All rights reserved.