Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shredded lettuce does not a salad make.

I love Taco Salad, but restaurants almost always mess it up for me. I hate the giant fried shell thing they always insist on using as a "bowl" (Just use a bowl!!), or the meat is too greasy, the beans are too lardy, it's caked with guac and sour cream, or they forget that the base to taco salad should be lettuce. A handful of shredded, limp lettuce like you normally get is not gonna cut it, I'm sorry.

And so, as with so many other dishes I'd rather just do my damn self, I'm generally better off making it at home. I found this recipe on Cooking Light while I was trolling around for shrimp tacos (I got a little sidetracked), and used it for my base, as usual switching things up a lot..mostly out of necessity, since I wanted to use up some ground turkey, only had icky brown cilantro (yet 3 bunches of parsley...?), and was almost completely out of cumin.

This isn't exact... you're making a salad, so top with as much or as little as you want of these toppings. For two of us, we used about a 1/4 of a small onion, two small tomatoes, half an avocado, a handful each of chips (small for me, big for him), a spoonful each of yogurt, and about 1/3 cup cheese. And we had quite a bit of meat/bean mix left over. I'm planning on trying the leftover dressing on spinach tonight, so we'll see how that goes. I'm hoping well...that stuff is awesome. I'm sure it would be good with the cilantro, as the original recipe calls for, but I didn't miss it at all.

Turkey & Black Bean Taco Salad

Splash of olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powder
About 1/2 tsp cumin
About 1 tsp Tapatio hot sauce (optional)
About 10oz ground turkey (half a package)
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained
Bagged romaine lettuce
juice from 1/4 lime
thin red onion slices
tomato slices
avocado slices
reduced fat tortilla chips
0% greek yogurt or sour cream
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese

About 1/4 cup tomato slices or chunks
1 large garlic clove, quartered
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1/2 lime
zest from one lime
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In small food processor or blender, mix all dressing ingredients on high until smooth.

Over medium heat, saute garlic, oil, cumin and chili powder. Add meat, stir until crumbly and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add beans, hot sauce, and lime juice, then saute another minute or two or until beans are hot.

Arrange as much lettuce as you like on a plate, then top with a scoop of bean mix and drizzle with dressing. Top with any or all of the onion, tomato, avocado, chips, cheese and/or yogurt (and more Tapatio, natch).

1 comment:

  1. That looks like my kind of taco salad. I'm with you on the bowl thingy... if I wanted to ingest an extra 800 calories I'd order a burger instead!