Olé for Taco Salad
I occasionally observe Taco Tuesday. It gives me an excuse to eat Mexican food on a day other than Cinco de Mayo.
But like meatloaf, every family has their version of the Mexican-inspired salad. No two are quite alike.
I’ve found recipes for Taco Salad that include ground beef (or turkey); iceberg lettuce (and/or romaine); onions (cooked with the meat or not); black beans (kidney or garbanzo, or none); corn chips (taco chips or a shell); black olives, corn green onions, or not; cheese (Colby, Monterey Jack or Cheddar); tomatoes; Catalina dressing (and/or salsa), sour cream (yogurt or guacamole topping).
DIY Taco Bowl
Rather than layering everything in a bowl and mixing it just before serving, I have guests make individual Design-It-Yourself Taco Salads. I set out the bowls of ingredients: sauces, cheeses, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and tortilla chips along with cooked, seasoned beef or chicken.
Everyone creates their own with whichever items they prefer. Some go heavy on the meat, others pile on the cheese or lettuce. DIY Taco Salad works for a variety of taste preferences and ages.
“Senora Jean’s Casa Blend“
I know the quickest way to spice up the beef (or turkey), is to grab a packet of El Paso or Ortega from the Mexican food aisle. That is, until one day I was without and threw together several spices that I had in my kitchen.
Now here’s what I do. I put one pound of ground beef in a skillet and add the following blend: 1 Tbs. chili powder and 1/4 tsp. each of onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano; 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin and a teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Add a 1/2 cup water, or tomato sauce, to the skillet, stir and heat to blend.
That’s it! If you want to kick it up a notch, sprinkle on a bit of cayenne red pepper.