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How to make healthy “naked” tacos


Pescado Naked TacosThe underwear-clad, guitar-toting cowboy isn’t the naked thing currently shaking up Times Square. These tacos are, too.

Por qué, you ask? Mexican fine dining chain Dos Caminos just opened a flagship location inside the W Hotel on 47th Street, and almost everything about the restaurant is different from its sister locations.

First, the space was designed by the Brooklyn company behind Rebelle and Black Seed Bagel, so it feels slightly more downtown chic, despite its unfortunate placement on Manhattan’s map. (Bonus: You can’t even see or hear the flashing lights or tourists in the subterranean dining room. You might as well be in Soho.)

And two, the menu is totally unique, bringing to life chef Ivy Stark’s interest in lightening up Mexican food in a new way, with lots of grilled fish, fresh veggies, and tacos that can be ordered “naked”—AKA sans shells with quinoa, a bean salad, greens, and avocado, in a sort of healthy bowl format.

Follow Stark’s lead below, and then add your choice of “protein,” like grilled chicken, steak, grilled mahi mahi, shrimp, or sauteed veggies. Rest assured, you won’t be the only one ordering your dinner naked. Though sipping the Smoke & Ash cocktails, made with mezcal and hibiscus, totally fosters more wise cracks of this kind. —Lisa Elaine Held

Naked Tacos by Executive Chef Ivy Stark

1 cup Ayacote bean salad (see recipe below)
½ cup Lemon herb red quinoa (see recipe below)
¼ diced avocado
1 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 cup baby arugula
4 each orange segments
½ oz julienned watermelon radish
½ oz julienned jicama
1 Tbsp red wine vinaigrette

Place bean salad on the upper right hand corner of the bowl with the red quinoa next to it on the upper left hand corner of the bowl. Mix the diced avocado with the pomegranate seeds and place on the lower right hand corner of the bowl. Toss the arugula, orange segments, watermelon radish, jicama, and red wine vinegar together and place on the lower left hand corner of the bowl. Finish the bowl with your choice of protein.

Naked Tacos - Pollo, Pescado, Vegetales

Lemon Herb Red Quinoa

4 cups red quinoa
4 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup very finely diced asparagus
1 Tbsp toasted ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups pine nuts, lightly toasted
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
½ cup chopped fresh thyme

Place quinoa in a large strainer. Rinse under cold running water until water is clear. Transfer quinoa to large saucepan; add 4 1/2 cups water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer quinoa to large bowl, add asparagus and let sit covered for 5 minutes; fluff with fork. Stir in cumin, oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. Warm quinoa and add pine nuts, red onion, basil and thyme when other components are ready.

Ayocote Bean Salad

2 cups cooked black beans
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup grilled corn kernels
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp minced jalapeño pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp ancho powder
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

For more information, visit doscaminos.com