Prep-time: 40 minutes
Healthy (+): Umm… some vegetables
Healthy (-): Beef, cheese, tortilla chips, sodium
Cost: about $20
Feeds: 4 people at sensible portions. 2 ravenously hungry women.
I worked hard yesterday. I sweated. I saved my calories. I deserved meat! After powering a super walk up the mountain and pushing myself through an hour and a half of kendo, my muscles were crying for protein. Alex put the idea of taco salad into my head yesterday at work, and there it bloomed, a delicious promise to myself if I could just get through the rest of my day. Sadly, kendo went overtime and by the time I got home, all the supermarkets were closed (cry). So there was no yummy taco salad yesterday. Today, though, by God I was going to have a taco salad and nothing was going to stand in my way.
How I made it:
– 1 head of iceberg lettuce
– 1 white onion
– 1 red pepper
– 4 firm tomatoes
– 6 sprigs of Italian parsley (cilantro can go to the devil)
– 1 bag of avocado cream cheese corn chips
– 1 lb of ground beef
– shredded mozzarella cheese
1) Slice iceberg lettuce into thin strips. Or to specific taste. I prefer thin strips. Add to large bowl.
2) Cut onion in half. Ponder the strange green spots inside onion. Consult partner about said spots. Cut and throw out spots from onion, and chop the rest* finely and add to bowl.
3) Dice the parsley into unidentifiable flakes of green goo. Ponder how herb chopping skills could correlate with body hiding skills. Add goo to bowl.
4) Chop tomatoes into fine cubes. There are lots of blogs out there that will tell you how to cube a tomato. This is not one of them. Add goo to bowl.
5) Hollow, slice and dice red pepper. Add to bowl. It should look like Christmas. If not, you’ve done something wrong.
6) Rescue taco seasoning from a year-out-of-date box of Old El Paso hard taco shells.
7) Ponder the viability of probably expired taco sauce. Consult partner about said taco sauce. Ultimately throw out taco sauce, but use seasoning.
8) Follow directions on Old El Paso box:
- Brown beef in a skillet.
- Drain beef.
- Add one cup of water and taco seasoning to beef.
- Let simmer for 7-8 minutes or until most of liquid has boiled off, stirring often.
9) Beat the bag of corn chips like it owes you money.
10) Portion out salad into individual bowls.
11) Sprinkle corn chip crumbs onto salad.
12) When done, add beef to top of salad, to taste.
13) Sprinkle on cheese quickly. QUICKER! It won’t melt, otherwise!
This was a bit of an experimental salad. I mean, I know intuitively (and from experience) what a taco salad is supposed to be, and what it’s supposed to taste like, but not how to make one. There isn’t any place to buy real tacos or corn chips around here either, except for the expensive foreign foods store that only sells them in big bags. That’s dangerous. So, like most instances involving me cooking, this was improvised. It turned out pretty damn good, all things considered.
* It is the opinion of the partner, and my indigestive stomach, that half an onion is the optimal amount of onion for this salad. We’re going to be sleeping facing away from each other for a few nights.
How it’s supposed to be made.