Photo by Heather Cowper, Flickr commons
If you’re looking for a quick summertime lunch or dinner idea then a taco salad could be just the thing. It provides you with most of the key nutrients and food groups that you need while having the versatility to cater to most diet types. The meal only takes about fifteen minutes to prep, but it is a household staple that you’ll want to try over and over again. Below are the basics of how to begin making this salad.
First you will need lettuce, ground beef (ground chicken and turkey both work well as supplements), cheddar cheese grated or block (if you prefer to grate your own), diced tomatoes, taco sauce or seasoning packet, olives, guacamole, sour cream, and either taco shells or plain nachos.
First you want to place your meat into a skillet and cook it thoroughly. If you’re using ground beef, once the meat has been cooked you will need to drain off the excess fat to prevent the meal from begin overly greasy. When using ground chicken or turkey, chances are there will be no grease to strain. Once it has been strained you should use your taco seasoning packet to add a bit of spice to the meat. Typically the instructions will tell you to add about ¼ cup of water to the meat and include the sauce packet allowing it to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Wash your lettuce and chop it up as finely as you would like. Some people prefer shreds while others prefer average cut lettuce. Place the lettuce on serving dishes or in a large salad bowl if you’d prefer. Then take the ground meat and sprinkle it on top of the lettuce.
Now add your other toppings such as your diced tomatoes, grated cheese, olives, beans, and whatever else you decided to add to your salad.
Last on the list is to break up the nachos or taco shells into smaller pieces and sprinkle them on the top of the salad. You can now add your guacamole, sour cream, and salsa to the top which acts as your dressing for the salad.
Now this is just a basic recipe for taco salads. If you have gotten the hang of this of course there are plenty of things that you can do to spruce it up and call it your own. For instance instead of using a ground meat you could also opt to purchase steak or chicken and simply cut it into smaller sections, you could also use a nacho bowl instead of breaking up nachos which makes a nice personalized salad for all your guests, you could serve it buffet style meaning that each ingredient is in its own serving dish and you allow your guest to add what they want to their salad. Vegetarians might add nuts and more veggies to replace the consistency of the meats. This recipe is so versatile and so easy that just about anyone could doctor it up and make it taste great.