Taco Salad

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I have been making incredible amounts of ice cream, sorbets and frozen yogurts lately (don’t worry! those recipes will come soon!).  In order to make them, I have to store my ice cream maker in the freezer.  It’s a KitchenAid attachment bowl and it makes churning ice cream very easy.  However, it takes up a fair bit of space in my freezer.  A few days ago, it got in the way of the freezer door while we were in bed, meaning the door was open with the fridge running all night.  I awoke to frozen milk, icy peppers and three Romaine hearts that had frozen solid!

I had to stop by the grocery store on my way to work that morning to pick up more lettuce because this salad is just too good to pass up.  Eating a tuna sandwich when I could have a pile of lettuce with grape tomatoes, avocado, peppers, sour cream, salsa, seasoned ground beef (warmed!) and melted cheddar cheese just wasn’t an option.

Most people think it’s too much work to bring a salad this awesome to work, but it’s actually doable.  You just need a container large enough to hold your shredded lettuce and any of the other ingredients that will keep when sliced.  I even put the mini container of dressing right in the lettuce container.  I have my other condiments in separate containers and I take a couple of minutes in the lunch room to assemble the whole thing.  I find it worth it to have a delicious, huge and guilt-free lunch.

Note: if you’d rather cook the beef mixture with a package of store-bought taco mix, I’m sure that would also turn out amazingly well.  Also, I did not use corn or black beans in mine, but they would add to the “taco” feel of the salad.

Taco Salad (from Looneyspoons)

Makes 6-8 servings

What you need:
Beef Mixture
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (I used about 1/3 of a pepper)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups quartered grape tomatoes
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Salad
12 cups torn romaine and iceberg lettuce
1 cup canned whole-kernel corn, drained
1 cup canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 cup packed shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 small ripe avocado, sliced
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa

What to do:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the beef, onions, jalapeño pepper and garlic.  Cook and stir until beef is no longer pink.  Add chili powder and cumin.  Cook 1 more minute.  Add grape tomatoes, ketchup, salt and pepper.  Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and set aside.  This can definitely be done in advance – just reheat the mixture before serving the salad.

To assemble the salad, spread lettuce over bottom of a serving platter or divide it up between individual serving plates.  Top with beef mixture followed by corn, beans, green pepper, cheese, tomatoes, green onion and avocado sliced.  Top with sour cream and salsa and dig in.

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