Fully Loaded Taco Salad

I absolutely love salads. But not just any old salad, though. I love salads that are fully loaded with lots of toppings. Some people may think of just cutting up some lettuce and topping it off with some croutons and dressing. No way! Make them fun and exciting. There is absolutely no reason why they should be boring. Besides, making them well rounded also ensures that you are getting a lot of nutritional value out of it. (Protein, lots of veggies, dairy, etc.)

Growing up, this taco salad was a common go-to recipe for my mom and I from the spring through the fall. Super simple, super easy and oh so tasty! If you have more time available you could make your own thousand island dressing but for convenience, I usually just use the bottled variety. My mom and I would always joke about how we didn’t make salads unless they had five different toppings on them. People probably thought we were joking or crazy but we weren’t!

Ingredients:

·      1 lb. ground beef

·      Romaine lettuce

·      Black olives

·      Corn

·      ½ tomato, diced

·      Kidney beans (I accidently grabbed a can of red beans but it still works

·      Nacho cheese Doritos

·      Cheddar cheese, grated

·      Salt and pepper to taste (for the ground beef)

·      Thousand Island dressing

Adding in half an avocado or hard boiled eggs make great toppings as well. Get creative with it! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any this time but hopefully I will next time. It adds in a lot of flavor. If you’re looking for something that makes this even more filling, you can substitute the lettuce for jasmine rice and turn this more into a burrito bowl.

Directions:

·      In a skillet, cook the ground beef on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper

·      Once fully cooked, drain the fat and mix in the can of kidney beans (drained). Let cool.

·      Dice half a tomato, half a head of lettuce and black olives. Grate cheddar cheese to desired amount. (I personally like a lot of cheese on my salad.)

·      Crush two handfuls of Doritos.

·      In a bowl, place the lettuce in first topped by the corn, black olives, tomatoes, ground beef mixture and Doritos. Top it off with some Thousand Island dressing and combine.

During a previous internship where I worked in an office for 40 hours a week, I was confronted with the task of finding recipes for lunch that didn’t necessarily look like something I brought to school in the fourth grade. Oftentimes, I would bring leftovers with me. And this was one of them. After you have assembled your salad for dinner, put each of the components in a separate Tupperware container. Either the night before work or morning of, assemble your salad with everything except the Doritos. Crunch up a handful or two and stick in a Ziploc bag so they do not get soggy. Also, place the dressing in a small container so the lettuce does not go limp.

Cheers,

Bri