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Happytizer: Tummy-Trimming Veggie Tacos

Ladies and gents, bathing suit season is almost upon us so it's time to start thinking about changing our winter style diet. No more heavy stews, rich fondues or roasts - otherwise I'm not booking that plane ticket to Cabo San Lucas. Luckily, the seasonal foodie offerings of upcoming March will help with these changes; hundreds of vegetable and fruits will be available!

In an attempt to get prepared for the warmer days, I hit the mall the other day to find some spring attire and the dressing room mirrors (with their horrible lighting) reminded me quickly that it was time to start getting back into shape. Diet time. UGHH. And now I may have to give up my cocktails? No way. You'll soon see some skinny drinks recipes come your way too.

My boyfriend and I love tacos, but the tortillas can be heavy and fattening so lately we have tried replacing the tortillas with lettuce. Using the lettuce as a shell for tacos helps us cut down on carbs and just feel lighter. We would also use ground turkey meat, but I knew there had to be a better way to get my taco fix without having to cook up a bunch of meat or using a flour-filled wrap...

The following Sunday, I hit my local West Hollywood Farmers Market and began searching for fresh produce and seasonal ingredients. I went home, washed up all of my produce and created a healthy snack that immediately made me feel that I was doing my body good: Tummy-Trimming Veggie Tacos. These taco "lettuce wraps" are crunchy, tangy and satisfying. With the exception of the optional shelled edamame beans, this lettuce-wrapped "taco style" dish is also fat free - AND it's gluten free!

If you don't use all of this yummy mix at once, you can save it for later and toss into your salad mix for extra crunch and flavor. Just set aside 15 minutes to prep your mis en place and then add a few ingredients and you are set. Place you quick-pickled ingredients in lettuce wrap and you will enjoy a guilt-free appetizer that will help kick-start your slim, summer tummy. I also added a dollop of sour cream to my tacos, but that is up to you! If you want additional protein, you can add grilled whitefish to your tacos. Check out my "Makin' it with Maren" video recipe for this dish below. Enjoy!