Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Taco Salad Gets a Makeover

Taco Salad.
To me, taco salad conjures up a host of foods that I never took part in.
Things like Hamburger Helper, Velveta Shells and Cheese with sliced hot dogs mixed in, Rice a Roni , Bisquick casseroles and anything made with canned, cream of mushroom soup.
Am I a food snob?
I'm afraid so.

You can blame my mother.
She would never let Hamburger Helper pass her lips, or sit on her shelves.
My mom is a great cook.
She makes amazing meals and that was the food I grew up eating.
We ate lots of fresh, real food and very little pre-packaged.
In fact, when my dad was away on business trips, we'd beg mom to let us get a tv dinner.
She'd give in those times but the rest of the time we ate real food.

It is this food heritage that forces me to pop my own corn rather than eat microwaved popcorn.
Because of her, I take food seriously.
And if you think I'm picky, you should meet my brothers.
My sister however, likes Hamburger Helper.
We don't know where she came from.

Back to the taco salad.
You know the kind; greasy meat, pasty kidney beans, stale chips, tasteless iceberg lettuce and watery tomatoes.
The only reason you liked it when you were a kid was because of the chips.
I thought taco salad could use a makeover.
It worked.

Because of my current dietary restrictions, there isn't a lot I can eat.
But tacos, made with corn tortillas, are on the list.
We had tacos for dinner Sunday night and I wanted to use up the leftovers today.
In order to keep myself from consuming more fried tortilla shells, I decided to give taco salad a try.
Here's what I came up with.

Taco Salad Face Lift
Romaine Lettuce (no iceberg lettuce!)
Ground beef seasoned with a spice mixture such as this  (homemade is easy and so much better than that packaged stuff.  its full of sodium and chemicals)
Pinto beans (i don't like kidney beans which are the bean of choice for old school taco salad.  i used my pinto beans instead and they were wonderful.  here's my recipe for pinto beans)
Grated carrot (i'm telling you, grated carrot is wonderful with Mexican food)
Fresh cherry tomatoes
Fresh, sweet corn (sliced right off the cob--i put fresh corn in all my salads all summer long.)
Crispy corn tortilla chips

Of course, if you have no dietary restrictions, you can add more traditional items like grated cheese, avocado, salsa and even a bit of sour cream.
But even without these treats, the salad still tasted amazing.

If you use fresh, quality ingredients, you don't have to try to make your taco salad taste better by adding things like Doritos.
Although, I admit, I did have some taco flavored Doritos while pregnant.  
Do you remember that flavor?
I can't be held accountable for anything I eat while pregnant.
Because I thought the Doritos tasted good.
Right now, the thought of them makes me sick to my stomach.
So instead of Doritos, I'm going to go polish off my second bowl of watermelon of the day.
Love from,


Debbie said...

Looks delish! I've got to give it a try, thanks for sharing!

Adrienne @ Whole New Mom said...

Thanks for the link to my taco seasoning! Glad you liked it! If you are so inclined, you could include the words "taco seasoning" in the link. It helps bloggers like us get better Google ranking. For example, write -- Here is the recipe for TACO SEASONING that I used--and then link the words "taco seasoning" to my site.
Thanks again and nice to "meet" you!

Tara Beaulieu said...

This really does sound good! We are having tacos for dinner tonight (kids choice) and I usually don't eat the shells but make a salad with mine. The fresh corn added is a great idea, as it the carrot- I'm going to try both, thanks!

farmgirl said...

The tacos look great... but what I really loved was the link back to your bean recipe! I've been meaning to ask you how you prepare beans since I know your family eats them a lot. Do you have any other fave bean recipes to share? The idea of beans simmering in a crock pot as the weather cools sounds lovely. Oh... and where do you buy your beans? Do you get them in bulk? Thanks, Greta!

hannah singer said...

yep. we bought those doritos! the cute retro bag just couldn't be resisted.
we love baby greens, chips, beef, tomato, salsa, sweet corn, black beans and colby shredded cheese for our taco salads!
can't wait to try your version! xoxo

annettethebrunette said...

That's pretty much how I make it, too! But I also add black beans, avocado, crumbled cotijan cheese and cilantro leaves. Yummy!