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Recovery Recipe: Mexican Street Tacos

Quick, easy recovery recipe for the time-crunched athlete and the entire family.

Protein is important for muscle repair after exercise and for overnight recovery. (1, 2) This recovery recipe is a household favorite that can be adjusted easily for everyone on the team or in the family. Double (or triple) the recipe for easy meal prep for the week!

Perfect for training recovery and muscle repair.

Tacos are one of the easiest meals to adjust for different training loads and training season goals. To top it off (literally and figuratively), this recipe is easily modified to meet a wide variety of preferences.

Mexican Street Tacos


  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or organic coco aminos
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1½ lb skirt steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 whole grain street taco corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • ¾ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • sour cream, optional
  • avocado, sliced, optional
  • pico de gallo, optional


  1. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
  2. In a gallon-size ZiplocⓇ bag or large bowl, combine soy sauce mixture and steak; marinate for at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and marinade, and cook, stirring often, until the steak has browned and the marinade has reduced about 5-6 minutes, or until desired doneness.
  4. Serve steak in tortillas, topped with onion, cilantro, and lime.

Tip: Consuming protein in doses is more effective than overconsuming protein in one meal. (3) Tacos are a great restaurant option for the traveling athlete–they can be shared or divided to be eaten for another meal or snack promoting more effective muscle growth and repair.

Recipe Modifications

Swapping chicken for beef is an easy way to reduce calories if weight management is a  goal. Otherwise, beef is an excellent source of iron and vitamin B12 important for athletes. Weight loss is best managed during the off-season with the consultation of a sports dietitian.

Vegetarian athletes can substitute fortified tofu or tempeh as great sources of protein and vitamin B12. (3)

Exchange tortillas for beans and rice to make a bowl for a different variation, or make it a low-carb meal as a taco salad (without the shell).

Add fat with avocado or sour cream to increase satiety and support hormone regulation – but hold off on the fat if you are eating tacos in the hours before training or competition.

The options are endless!

Food cost is also a consideration for many with the rising cost of living. This recipe can easily be modified to accommodate individual food preferences and budgets. Skirt steak is a thin cut of meat that marinades easily and is a popular choice for tacos, but any meat preference can be substituted.

Meal portion size measured by hand. Hand drawn raster illustration.

Portion Size

Aim for one to two palm or card deck size amounts of protein and adjust carbohydrate amount based on training needs and goals.

Aim for one or two fists of carbohydrates if weight management is a goal, or up to four fists for full muscle recovery. Every athlete has different calorie and macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) needs, and it is best to consult with a sports dietitian to assess your personal needs based on training and goals.

Recipe Tips

Always wash produce before preparing. Soaking cilantro and limes in cool water with vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes is a quick, easy way to reduce pesticides, bacteria, and surface dirt. Drain the water mixture and rinse before cutting.

Marinating food in glass or stainless steel is an earth-friendly way to promote nutritional health, and food safety, and cut cost.  Plastics absorb odors and release chemicals harmful to our health.

If you are looking to improve the nutritional value of this dish, opting for USDA organic spices, produce, and oil is one way to minimize exposure to pesticides that contribute to metabolic dysregulation. Swap soy sauce for organic coco aminos and street taco tortillas for Siete tortillas, taco shells, or chips. Personal favorites include Big Tree Farms Organic Coco Aminos All Purpose Seasoning Sauce, Kasandrinos olive oil, and Siete Cassava & Coconut Tortillas or homemade Spanish rice and organic pinto beans.

Add this recovery recipe to your next menu rotation, and consult with a sports dietitian if you are unsure of your individual exercise recovery needs.

Disclaimer: This recipe was adapted from Damn Delicious® Quick & Easy Meals for the Home Cook. Victorem Performance Nutrition discovered this recipe through an independent internet search and is not affiliated with this culinary team or any of the recommended product brands.


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Meet Jena Brown

Jena founded Victorem Performance Nutrition to help endurance athletes define and achieve their own brand of victory. Over the course of 15 years, she has partnered with hundreds of athletes by leveraging data-informed custom nutrition plans and non-restrictive nutritional counseling.

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