Let’s cool things down! Whew! It is hot out there…and when it’s hot outside I want an easy, cool, refreshing, and yet filling meal. One that is easy to put together that the whole family will like. This is that meal!
When my kids were younger the mere mention of salad caused their faces to contort into all kinds of hideousness. It was down right frightening! However… I knew they loved tacos…and being the exceptionally brilliant mother that I am (cough, cough, hack, wheeeezzzz! Add teenage eye roll!) I decided to take all those taco ingredients and make my version of taco salad! I was even smart enough to add black beans to the ground beef for a little extra protein! (Honestly…I should receive the Nobel Prize! lol)
It is still one of our very favorite family recipes! I place all the ingredients in containers and allow everyone to build their own salad. This way there is no complaining! Oh, I know…every Mom just LOVES to hear complaining after she’s worked hard to put a meal on the table. We live for it! It brings us joy and happiness…(Yes! This is laced with sarcasm…it’s hot…my sarcasm richter scale is off the charts!)
I did have a few rules back when the nest was full and they were younger. You had to have lettuce, you had to have meat, and you couldn’t take all the “crunchies” …as the kids liked to called them. Other than that…game on!
I use romaine lettuce or green leafy lettuce. That way you’re getting more nutrients and let’s face it…Iceberg, sweetie, you’re a nice head of water! I brown a pound of lean ground beef, then I add one can of well drained and rinsed black beans. (Sneaking in that protein) To that I add taco seasoning. For toppings… diced and seeded roma tomatoes, diced avocado, grated cheddar cheese, sliced black olives, sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro and the favorite…fried corn tortilla strips. Top it off with Ranch dressing or Fiesta Ranch Dressing! If you really want to kick it up a notch make my recipe for fresh salsa. You can find it here. And….Bam! Dinner is done…finished…finito! If you really want to knock dinner time out of the park you could serve Fried Ice Cream Cake for dessert! You can find that recipe right here. (It’s okay… you just had salad…lol!)
This is a very flexible recipe! If you don’t like beef, mix it up a bit…do shredded chicken, pulled pork or shredded beef. I’ve actually done all of them and they are equally good. Also, if you don’t like black beans you could use pinto or kidney beans. If you don’t want to fry up the “crunchies” you can just take your heat frustrations out on a bag of tortilla chips and smash away! It is really about personal preference and what your Nester’s like!
We always bring this to our family reunions when it’s our night for dinner. It’s nice because you can make everything up ahead of time and then just set it out. Great meal for camping too! However, on days like today when the sun could fry the back off a lizard…this is down right perfect!
What’s your favorite summertime “cool” down easy meal? I’d love to hear your ideas! Have a “cool” day!