The Meal Planner


I know my husband is the one who is ALWAYS in the mood for Mexican, but lately it's been ME. My tummy is always craving the tangy butteriness of guacamole, or the combination of sweet corn and creamy black beans, or the refreshing coolness of sour cream on a hot day.

So the fact that ALLLLLL of those flavors combine into one hearty summery salad it makes me weak in the knees.


Recipe adapted from Eat, Shrink & Be Merry
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Serves 4-6


Beef:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup salsa
Salt & pepper

Salad:
1 head of romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 diced red or green pepper
1 cup light old cheddar, shredded (surprisingly, you can't even tell it's lower in fat/calories. The cheese flavor is really bold)
4 green onions, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
2 whole wheat tortillas, cut into strips

Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing:
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lime, zested
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add your ground beef, onions, jalapeno and garlic and saute until cooked through. Stir in chili powder and cumin and allow to cook for about a minute. Add the grape tomatoes, salsa and salt and pepper and cook for two minutes until the flavors have combined and the tomatoes soften. Remove from the heat and set aside.

While the beef is cooking, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut two tortillas into strips (I like to use kitchen scissors) and throw onto a baking sheet. Toss them with a little bit of oil or spray with cooking spray and place in oven until crispy and brown. This will only take a couple minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, blend all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into a resealable glass jar.

To assemble the salad, arrange the lettuce on the bottom of a serving platter (or individual plates). Top with beef, corn, beans, red pepper, cheese, green onions and avocado slices. Pour on the dressing and top with a few crispy tortilla chips.

Click here for printable version of Nacho Ordinary Taco Salad with Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing
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THE RESULTS?
The creamy sweet dressing combined with all the flavors of the salad makes this the best taco salad I've ever put in my mouth. I loved the beef mixture and think it would taste fabulous in tacos....much better than just plain ol' ground beef and a package of taco seasoning. I'm all about contrast of texture in my salads, so the crunchy tortilla bits on top are perfect. By baking them yourself instead of adding crushed tortilla chips from a bag, you save on a lot of fat and calories. This salad is over the top delicious.


For an alternative dressing to the Creamy Lime Cilantro try Chipotle Ranch Dressing

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8 Responses
  1. Carla Says:

    This is one of my favourite recipes out of that book and we use it a lot!


  2. I can see why! It's sooo good. They use a mixture of salsa and sour cream for the dressing (which I'm sure is a bit more figure friendly) but the creamy lime cilantro dressing is REALLY delicious. Give it a try sometime :)


  3. Simply Life Says:

    This looks DELICIOUS! Your blog is SOOOO creative - I love it!!



  4. April in CT Says:

    I'm going to make a version of this tonight for dinner! I was already planning a similar salad (no meat, we ate super heavy all weekend), but the dressing for this sounds really good & I can't wait to try it.

    I just spent a couple days going back through ALL your archives and must say I'm hooked on your blog. You make everything look so easy, your posts are funny and I wish we were neighbors! LOL


  5. April in CT - Wow thanks for the huge compliment. I really appreciate it :) Let me know how the dressing turns out on your taco salad.


  6. Amy Says:

    I made this tonight and it was awesome! The dressing is really good!


  7. MammaDar Says:

    I have hit a dinner slump. I went back to working outside the home after years and I just couldn't keep up. I have subscribed to your blog for a while but it got buried under all the other ones. I found it this morning at 6am and I already know what I am making for dinner this week. I am so excited I found your site!