Friday, July 3, 2015

Mom's Taco Salad

I love to cook. Seriously, it is cathartic for me. And it feeds another love of mine... eating. See what I did there? Feeds, eating... it is the little things in life.

My love for cooking has adapted as I've become a parent. No longer do I have the time to enjoy dicing things into perfect cubes. I don't have hours to spend on Pinterest researching and drooling over new recipes to try. I find time for Pinterest, obviously, it's just in spurts. These days I value quick, mostly healthy, quick and flavorful. I meant to put quick in there multiple times, it is that important.

I love this salad for so many reasons. One being that my mom used to make it for us when we were growing up. Two, I can prepare it in waves... I'll get into more of that later. Three, it is great for the family at home or for a celebration. Four, you can customize it to your families tastes. Five, it is EASY. And finally, it is perfect for the summer because there is no oven or grill to fire up.

Here is my version of my mom's taco salad.

Mom's Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 small can diced green chilies
Romaine hearts
Tomatoes- whatever variety fits your fancy... personally, I LOVE Heirloom
English Cucumber
Shredded Cheese- I use cheddar
Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed
Good Seasonings Italian Dressing- the packet ONLY, prepared according to the instructions

Ahead of time... with all of that free time you have (hee, hee)
Brown the ground beef. Once cooked thoroughly, drain.

Add in the cans of diced tomatoes and green chilies and their juices. You could make life a bit easier by using a can of diced tomatoes with the chilies added in already. Troy doesn't care much for tomatoes in general, so I use the petite tomatoes and a small can of diced chilies.

Just added the tomatoes, green chilies and spices. Now we simmer and wait!

Simmer the meat, tomatoes and green chilies until all juices are absorbed. Or evaporated. Or whatever happens to those juices.

Mmmmm... those juices disappeared!

Put the meat into a container to store in the fridge until eatin' time.

Make your Good Seasoning's Italian salad dressing. I substitute Rice Wine Vinegar for the White Vinegar and Olive Oil for Canola Oil. I have a salad dressing bottle I use but I've also used a large mason jar. Easy to shake and transport.
I guess you could use the prepared bottle dressing BUT at least try making it with the mix one time before resorting to the bottle. There truly is no competition that this is the BEST Italian dressing out there. I usually make a double batch and use it on all my salads. Promise you, it is worth the effort, people.

Put your feet up and relax... ahh!

10 minutes before mealtime
Cut your lettuce with a lettuce knife... invest in one, it's a necessity. It keeps your lettuce from browning! I have this one, Progressive Lettuce Knife

Cut your veggies to your preference. If you have picky eaters, leave the veggies off the salad and everyone can add what they prefer!

Smash your Doritos. I put them into a Ziploc and take my meat tenderizer to it, flat side down. It is very cathartic, especially after a long, trying day. When Emma is older I may share this treasure with her. I imagine it would be a lot of fun for the kiddos to have permission to destroy something!

I put aside some meat, cheese and avocado for Emma. I add fruit to the side of her plate, too. I always offer her tomatoes and cucumber, she tries it and then hands it back to me. Sigh.

Assemble your salad.

Troy is my picky eater, so this is how I attack assembly.
Lettuce, meat, cheese, Doritos, dressing. I toss all of that together. We I can add whatever additional veggies that we I want to finish out our my salad. Sigh.

If you are planning to share this at a celebration. Assemble your salad, minus the Doritos and dressing. Add those right before serving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do... it really is delish. If you have any summer salad recipes your family loves, please share. I would love to add to my recipe arsenal!

1 comment:

  1. Hey girl! I would love for you to guest post about your pregnancy/parenthood/preparing for #2 etc! Whatever you'd like to contribute! email me at



Babbling with the Bogle(s) All rights reserved © 2012

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley