Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Loaded Taco Salad....
I have been craving tacos something fierce lately, and it’s not just tacos. Enchiladas, fajitas, 7-Layer Dip, Nachos, re-fried beans, fresh tomatoes, and avocados, salsa, cilantro, olives, and of course salads. When summer rolls around I fall into something of a salad frenzy. For days I’ve been craving this ridiculous barrage of foods and so yesterday when lunchtime rolled around and my tummy started a grumblin’ I decided something must be done about this insatiable desire for Latin inspired food. I had everything on hand necessary to make tacos, fajitas, or enchiladas, but to do so simply for my own lunch didn’t seem worth the trouble. I considered a burrito but it just seemed lacking and so I came up with this fully loaded, and super delicious salad. I’m telling you, it really turned those taco cravings upside down, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It’s quick, easy, and relatively low-fat. The Guac is really the only ‘fatty’ ingredient but I believe we’ve had this conversation about avocados and Guac before. Of course if you are one of those people who absolutely dreads and fears the addition of an avocado into your meal by all means opt out, use a low-fat guac, or use my Easy Lima Bean Guac instead. Trust me when I say though that this salad just wouldn’t be the same without the creamy, garlicy goodness of a good guac.
Loaded Taco Salad
1- 1 1/2 heads romaine lettuce chopped
7 oz can refried beans (or to taste)
½ cup Organic corn fresh cooked (leftover is great) or frozen (thawed) (or to taste)
1/4 red onion diced (or to taste)
½ red bell pepper diced (or to taste)
2 ½ oz can sliced black olives (or to taste)
2 Organic corn tortillas
1 medium tomato chopped (or to taste)
1 Recipe Guacamole in a pinch (recipe follows)
3-4 Tbsp your favorite Salsa (or to taste)
These things are not necessary but they are recommended if you have them. They are all delicious additions, and the micro greens are an especially pretty touch.
Finely chopped cilantro (to taste)
1-2 small handfuls Micro Greens
1/4 C sliced green onion
2 oz can diced green chilies or fresh diced jalapenos (or to taste)
1/4-1/2C Shredded non-dairy Cheddar Cheese
*** Note - This salad yields enough for one humongous salad, and when I say humongous I’m not exaggerating. However you can always split this up into two more workable salads to serve with a nice side dish at dinner or for a light lunch. You could also split this salad up even more and turn it into four small side salads. However if you split the salad into 2 or 4 I recommend adding an additional 7oz of re-fried beans, and doubling the amount of guac. I also recommend doubling your salsa, and tortillas as well as a few of the veggies to ensure that everyone gets enough. Or you can do what I did which is sit down and eat the whole damn thing in one sitting. It really is that good! ***
- Slice or chop your lettuce uniformly, and place in a large bowl.
- Cut your tortillas into strips and spread over chopped lettuce. (For an extra flavor flair you can toast your tortillas first)
- Chop Tomato, red onion, and red pepper uniformly in small dice, then sprinkle over top of salad. Then add in the corn, sliced olives, and any of the additional add-ins.
- Place re-fried beans in microwave safe container and heat for 45 seconds or until warm. You don’t want it to be too hot.
- Scoop your re-fried beans to one side of your bowl, beside it line up your guacamole and your salsa, for a lovely presentation.
*** Note - If you’re a sour cream person then by all means add in a little non-dairy sour cream next to your beans, guac and salsa. ***
- To eat mix everything thoroughly together so that all ingredients are coated with re-fried beans, guac, and salsa. Enjoy!
*** Note - Once everything is mixed together it might not be all that pretty but it sure is delicious! The great thing about this salad is that it’s so creamy and full of flavor and yet there is no dressing. No dressing is required because the beans, the guac, and the salsa serve as a dressing.***
Guacamole in a Pinch
1 tbsp lime juice
garlic powder (to taste)
onion powder (to taste)
dried oregano (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
sea salt (to taste)
A pinch of white pepper (Optional)
A dash of smoked paprika (Optional)
- When it comes to quick and easy guacamole, yielding just enough for me I like to make it with my mortar and pestle, if you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can just dump all of these ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy.
- If you do have a mortar and pestle it’s very simple. Half your avocado, peel away the skin and remove the pit. Place into the mortar with your seasonings and grind with your pestle until the guac is smooth and creamy.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. I never measure how much seasoning I add into my guac, that’s what makes it quick. Generally speaking I just add a few dashes of everything, taste, and if needed I add a few more good dashes. I do however recommend airing on the side of caution at first when adding in your seasonings, as you can always add more, but once the spice has been added you can’t take it away.
*** Note- Gluten and Soy-Free if not using non-dairy cheese or if using Gluten-Free or Soy-Free non-dairy cheese ***