Taco Salad (Build Your Own)

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Recipe adapted from MyDearMom

TACO MEAT:
2 pounds ground beef (I used 9% lean)
1/2 C onion, chopped
1 Tb garlic, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Mexican Stewed Tomatoes
2 Tb taco seasoning
1/4 ts sugar

SALAD TOPPINGS:
1 head romaine lettuce
1 bag tortilla chips (Fritos or Cool Ranch Tortilla Chips are also fabulous)
Mexican cheese blend
black beans
red kidney beans
grape tomatoes
red or green onion
olives
avocado
sour cream
salsa
Cilantro Lime Dressing recipe HERE, or Ranch Dressing

1. To make your taco meat, heat a skillet up over medium high heat. Add 2 pounds ground beef and 1/2 cup chopped onion. Add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic and hit the whole thing with a bit of salt and pepper. 
2. Cook until the meat has browned and the onions are soft (should take about 10 minutes). Drain the grease from the pan. If you are using super lean ground beef you most likely won't need to drain it. 
3. Grab a couple of cans Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes. If you have diced tomatoes that would be fabulous. If not, just put some scissors into the can and give everything nice chopping. Add the entire contents of the can into the pan. 
4. Add 2 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Give everything a nice stir to incorporate. 
5. Cover the pan, with lid on sideways so some of the steam can escape. Allow it to simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Longer, if you have the time. 
6. Gather your topping ingredients while the meat is simmering on the stove top. You'll want some great looking tortilla chips.
7. Add some hearty, flavorful meat to your chips sprinkle on a bit of cheese. Top it with some chopped romaine lettuce and whatever else your little heart desires. Tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans, red onion, salsa, avocado and sour cream are all good choices. 
8. Pour some Cilantro Lime Dressing (recipe HERE) over the top, or use regular Ranch Dressing. What ever you like best. 
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