More than tacos and burritos, my favorite Mexican meal is a taco salad. I adore them. I love the fried tortilla, the beans at the bottom, the crisp lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and the range of meats at the top.... Smothered in sour cream and guac... and hot diggity, we're looking at over 1000 calories. 1000 delicious calories.
"It's just so beautiful..."
If I had 1500 extra calories to spare, I would eat this every day. But alas, I do not. So I decided to make my own version of Taco Salad, cut the calories down and add more veggies. I was also inspired by Thai salads, so there is a hint of fusion here.
Obligatory Thai Salad Photo
Now I don't know how much I cut down the calories, because I hate calorie counters and I am not going to spend 15 minutes adding it up for you. Google it. But if I were to guess, I'd say we're looking at somewhere between 450 - 600 calories total, depending on how much sour cream/cheese you use.
I've always thought salad dressings on a taco salad were... heresy. It ruins the entire flavor of the salad. This is not a recipe with a greasy "avocado ranch dressing", nor a soapy "cilantro vinaigrette" but feel free to make those if you want to die a slow and painful death... By my hand because you ruined a perfectly good salad. There are always enough ingredients in the taco salad that it barely needs a dressing at all. I do make one though, don't fret. There will be no dry salad on this day.
Without further ado... I bring to you: The Greatest Taco Salad in ALL the Land!
1 head of romaine lettuce (chopped or ripped apart)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup of cucumber
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 chopped peppers (red/green/yellow)
1 avocado (chopped)
1/4 cup of chopped red onion (optional)
1 can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag of tortilla chips
Lime wedges (optional)
Hot sauce (also optional)
For Taco Meat
1 lb of ground beef
1 packet of taco seasoning
For Salad Dressing
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
2 tbsp Olive oil
1. Brown beef in pan over medium heat until there is no red meat anywhere. Then drain the fat (you can keep this and use it later like bacon fat).
2. Per taco seasoning instructions, add seasoning and water, stir and set aside.
3. Place all the ingredients down to the kidney beans in a salad bowl and toss. Then add the cheddar cheese.
4. Grab two BIG handfulls of tortilla chips, crush them between your hands and toss into the salad.
5. In a separate bowl, mix the salsa with the olive oil and dress the salad. Use as much or as little as you want. Toss and separate into plates or bowls.
6. Top the salad with the ground beef and a dollop of sour cream. Then set a lime wedge on the side of the salad. It serves about four people
7. Eat everything, come back for seconds and then thank your lucky stars you read this post.
8. Leave a comment here about how I changed your life for the better.
All my love,