Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Taco Salad - A "Go-To" Meal

Somebody. And I'm not going to mention any names here...Got a hold of my camera again.

I'm not sure what's going on here. Looks like some sort of sneaky situation to me.

I thought I would start sharing of a few of my "Go To" meals. Which means I "Go To" them in a pinch. Or they might be a family favorite. Or it might be a meal that never fails to please. And my taco salad is one of those meals.  This particular recipe I have used my whole married life (over 20 years). In fact, it was one my mom fixed when I was at home. It is easy and versatile. I have used it for a quick meal on a weeknight, potluck dinners and for casual nights with company.

Here is what you need.

1 head of lettuce, chopped (I just use a inexpensive head of iceberg)
2-3 small tomatoes, chopped
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 can of sliced olives
1 bag of nacho chips
1 pound of hamburger, cooked and seasoned (I usually just use a package of taco seasoning)
I can of beans (kidney, black, pinto...I didn't get them into the dish this time around...I was out)
1-2 cups of shredded cheese (how much I use depends on what serving dish I am using)
sour cream, salsa, guacamole (to serve along side)

First I chop the lettuce like I would for a regular tossed salad. This go around I used handy dandy paper plates to keep my ingredients separate for the time being. Very important at this stage of the game (to keep everything separate...not the paper plates ;<)

I did the same with my tomatoes and green onions. I also sliced my olives. The large can was cheaper in the long run...and Josiah loves black olives.

I browned my hamburger and added the taco seasoning according to the package. You can use any kind of ground meat you want. I use ground turkey quite a bit in my cooking. But as a personal preference I try and use ground chuck or ground round for this dish (or any tacos). I like the texture better. Another light alternative would be to use cooked and shredded chicken seasoned with taco seasoning.

At this point I would also open, drain and rinse my cane of beans and set aside. Instead I went straight to the "make sure your boys haven't snacked away your nacho chips" step.

In a large serving bowl I then layered my chip, hamburger (beans next), lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, green onions and olives. In that order.

The beauty of this dish is that it is so forgiving. When I make it for my family I just use one of my larger mixing/serving crocks. When making it for company I use a particularly large Pampered Chef salad bowl I have (which I didn't get a picture of).

This was my plate for the night. I realize my ratio of sour cream/guacamole to taco salad is a bit off.
That's how I roll.

At least I don't pick out all of the nacho chips to eat first....like a ten-year-old boy I know.

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