Chopped Taco Salad

My mom used to make a version of this salad when we were kids. I remember there being enough salad that an entire bag of crushed Doritos was mixed in! I think there was also most of a bottle of ranch dressing involved. I substituted a handful of Late July organic tortilla chips. Mom would approve of this version nowadays versus the dusty orange, chemical laden Doritos of the past.

Late July chips

Confession: I hid the rest of the bag of chips from my teenage son, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen them again!

chopped taco salad

Served in front of the tv while watching the movie Fury with a side of pickled jalapenos.

Chopped Taco Salad

What it took for 2 nice sized servings:

  • 8 ounces ground sirloin
  • heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • shredded cheddar cheese, (didn’t measure about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced (in the summer I have used chives)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 12-15 nacho chips, crushed
  • Newman’s Own organic ranch dressing  (didn’t measure about 1/4 cup)
  • pickled jalapenos
  • cilantro is amazing in this salad but I didn’t have any

Method

  • Cook ground sirloin until well done and drain. Stir in taco seasoning along with a couple tablespoons of water. After the water has evaporated turn off and remove from heat to cool slightly.
  • In the meantime start preparing the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Start with the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, avocado…then squeeze the lime juice over the avocado (for amazing flavor and to keep the color fresh), crush the tortillas over the salad, add the slightly cooled meat, drizzle with the ranch dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

layering the taco salad

 

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Mexican Chicken Chili

After a couple of lunches and 2 dinners of Christmas leftovers I decided to change it up and make chili. I had plenty of homemade stock from the turkey and of course leftover turkey meat so I substituted those for the typical shredded chicken and chicken stock. Results? Very tasty!! Homemade stock is always better than the boxed stuff (though I do love that too)

Chicken/turkey chili

This recipe is a variation of the recipe that my sister Zandria used to make. I have tried to make it a bit healthier and to all organic ingredients. It was called White Chicken Chili but I decided since it wasn’t very “white” that it needed a new name 🙂

Mexican Chicken Chili

Mexican Chicken Chili

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans organic great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can green chiles
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag frozen organic white corn
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 container organic cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup light organic sour cream
  • Toppings: chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, shredded monterey jack cheese

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 2 1/2 or 3 hours stirring occasionally. You can also cook this in a dutch oven or soup pot. Bring it to a simmer and turn it down low and cook for about 45 minutes.
  • Add toppings to individual bowls for serving.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

It’s taco night in our house! There’s so many reasons to love tacos. Everyone can pick their own toppings, they take no time to make and they can be as healthy (or as bad) as you want! I have a few hard taco shells leftover from another dinner and some soft flour tortillas (for me) so we’ll have a mix of both tonight.

The toppings tonight are: avocado, tomatoes, red onion, jalapenos, lettuce, black beans, Herdez salsa (hot!) and of course cheese and sour cream!

I’ve been searching around for a while for just the right mix to make homemade taco seasoning because the packets that are available at the grocery store are so pricey, especially the organic ones and the “regular” brands have so many mystery ingredients. I think I have finally created our favorite mix! This blend is very bold and flavorful. It tastes like it cooked for hours instead of just minutes.

Taco Seasoning

  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons shallot salt (sold at Penzey’s)
  • 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Method

  • Mix all spices together and store in a glass spice jar (I wash and reuse all of my old glass spice jars). Use a heaping tablespoon of spice plus 1/3 cup of water per pound of cooked ground beef to season for tacos.