Sunday, May 10, 2009

Taco Salad

I was in the mood for Mexican food (what's new) but I didn't feel like making a huge dinner. I grabbed some ground beef at the store and decided to make a taco salad. I used a bunch of different spices to flavor the beef. I threw in whatever vegetable I had in the refrigerator along with black beans and sweet yellow corn. I chopped up some tortillas and baked them for a nice crunchy texture in the salad. I topped with salsa and sour cream but it's also really good with the cilantro lime vinaigrette (recipe below). This was an easy dinner that tasted great. We all loved this meal, even the kids.Taco Meat:
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 1/2 lbs of lean ground beef (96/4)
Dried oregano
Onion powder
Chile powder
Fresh cracked black pepper
Ground cumin
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Note: I didn't measure spices. I sprinkled to taste.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the onion and stir frequently for 3-4 minutes; add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds. Add the ground beef to the onion and garlic mixture and break up the meat really well with the spatula. Add the spices and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beef is thoroughly cooked. Taste, re-season if necessary. Set aside and let cool.
  • Salad Ingredients:
    Head of Romaine, cleaned and chopped
    1/2 cup of black beans, rinsed and drained
    1/2 cup of frozen sweet corn, thawed
    1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
    1/2 cup of grape tomatoes, diced
    1/2 cup of black olives, sliced
    1/2 cup of red, yellow or orange baby bell peppers, sliced
    1/2 cup of green onions, diced
    1/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, diced finely (more if you desire)
    2 avocados, diced
    6 corn tortillas, chopped into bite size pieces
    Sea salt, to taste
    Cooking spray

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Chop the corn tortillas into bite sized pieces then place on the baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray and add sea salt to taste. Place in the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes; remove from oven and flip the chips over, return to the oven and bake for an addition 3-4 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

    Dressing Ideas:
    Sour Cream
    Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (recipe below)
    Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
    1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp oregano
    Use am immersion blender or a regular blender to blend the dressing. Combine all ingredients, toss and serve immediately. Enjoy