Taco Salad – Easy Weeknight Meal

I know it’s not technically a “week-night,” but I’ve been so busy!  I actually made this on Monday or Tuesday … hell, I can’t remember.  Silly Mommy Brain.  I swear that once I got pregnant my memory got worse.  It was already on shaky ground, but The Boy’s term in my belly set it on full-tilt & then after he was born I couldn’t just blame it on “pregnancy brain”, no, now it was called “mommy brain.”

The Husband has a new gig & that means late nights again. And not to mention the fact that I’m on my own for the end-of-the-day routine.  So, I need quick, easy, healthy + light meals that will satisfy a hungry husband.

easy weeknight meal

taco salad

This is my Grandmother’s recipe tweaked just a little bit.  I follow in her footsteps in many regards, but one in particular is that I go to the grocery store pretty much every day for one thing or another.  I never understood why she did that until I became a mom.  And I’ll never forget the time (my brother was 4 and I was 7,) we were running late & she was speeding and we got pulled over, and my brother cried because we got busted by the po-po & he was scared, poor baby.

Grandma didn’t meal plan & that’s why she went to the store daily: to get the stuff we needed for dinner, whatever she decided at 3:39pm.  Me, I meal plan, (most of the time anyway,)  and still have to run to the store for something … which turns into 3 things, which turns into 5 things, which turns into $20.  Anyway … On with the easy recipe.

Texas Taco Salad

Ingredients:
1 lb ground lean ground beef (you can omit if you are a vegetarian & just quickly sautee the garlic in a little olive oil then toss in the tomatoes and beans & the rest of the ingredients.)
1 15 oz can of kidney beans, drained
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 16 0z can of tomatoes, undrained
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt & 1/8 tsp pepper
4 cups bite-sized / torn salad cuttings of green leaf & romaine lettuces
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, sharp (optional)
1 6-8 oz package of corn chips
1 cup chopped green onions
1 medium avocado, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small can of sliced or chopped olives (optional)
1 dollop of sour cream (optional)

Method:
Sautee meat & garlic in a saute pan (that has a lid) for 10 minutes or until cooked.  Drain fat.  Add chili powder & cumin powder.  Then add the kidney beans, chiles, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  Mix.  Cook over medium heat uncovered, 30 minutes.  You can make this mixture ahead of time to make it even easier, just heat before serving.  Scatter your corn chips on the plates, top with the lettuce, then the meat/bean mixture, then the cheese, (if using,) then the onion, the diced avocado & the diced tomatoes.

Top with sour cream, the sprinkle some sliced black olives on top.  Add the hot sauce of your choice, (mine is old school:  Crystal, The Husband likes to put his favorite pineapple salsa on all things Mexican.) Delish.  Cap with an ice cold Corona Light or other light beer, or a crisp Sauv Blanc, like Franciscan Sauvignon Blanc 2010.

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