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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Summery Taco Salad

I always look forward to the warm weather of the spring and summer, not only because I grew up in the desert of southern California, but also because meals become simpler.  Although I enjoy the comfort foods of winter, summer cooking steals my heart.  I love the simplicity of what you can do with fresh ingredients--throwing together a salad is one of the simplest and freshest ways of cooking in my book.  I was excited last week, then, when my husband requested the first salad-as-a-meal of the year--taco salad.  This is the salad I grew up eating, and although I've changed up the ingredients somewhat, it's really my mom's recipe.  Thanks, Mom!

Taco Salad
Serves 4-6
Cook's Note: This is more of a guide than a flatout recipe.  Don't like ground beef?  Use chicken!  Do you have some fresh veggies from the garden?  Throw them in!  You get the idea... :-)

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon of your favorite taco seasonings (I use Penzey's Bold Taco.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 avocado, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2-1 cup pepperjack cheese

For toppings:
Crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream

Cook the ground beef along with the taco seasoning, salt and pepper until well browned.  Strain the grease and set the ground beef aside in a bowl lined with paper towels to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, kidney beans and cheese.  Place a serving of salad in a wide bowl and top with a handful of ground beef and crushed tortilla chips.  Dollop a bit of sour cream and some salsa on top, and mix until the salad is covered with the dressing.

Serve immediately.

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Mom,  April 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM  

Ahhh, thanks for the mention Mindy!! You're right, it is a great salad-for-dinner and now I'm hungry for it! We like to add a few other ingredients, and since everyone in our house has different likes, we just put them out in bowls to add as they please. Dad loves kidney beans in his, I add garbanzo beans and avocado. Mmmmm, sounds like a little trip to the store for me!

Mindy April 3, 2012 at 3:57 PM  

Mom, I completely forgot to put the avocado and kidney beans in the recipe...they're definitely in the salad pictured above! What a day...I shouldn't be blogging when I'm this tired! :-)

Peggy April 4, 2012 at 8:18 AM  

Props to your mom! This salad sounds so good - taco salad is definitely on my Top 3 salads list!

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