- ground turkey or beef cooked with taco seasoning (I use a homemade blend from Miserly Moms)
- romaine lettuce and/or shredded cabbage
- grated cheese
- chopped tomatoes
- green onions
- grated carrot
- black olives
- beans and corn: dice half an onion and saute in a little olive oil. once soft, add one cup of frozen corn and one 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed. add seasonings to taste. I like a little garlic salt, black pepper and cumin. cook a few minute longer to defrost the corn and blend the flavors. cool and store until ready to eat!
- salad dressing: whatever you like! My go-to salad dressing is Good Seasons Italian, so that's what we'll use tonight but my favorite dressing specifically for taco salad is Bernstein's Italian.
- tortilla chips: serve on the side with salsa, or crumble up as "croutons"
Mix and match any of the above ingredients to suit your taste. I love that this meal is totally customizable and also the different layers of flavor that come from the meat and also the bean mixture.
If some members of your family think that salad is not a meal - even a big, yummy salad like this one with lots of protein options - these same ingredients can easily be transfered to a tortilla for a burrito. Just microwave the tortilla layered with meat and beans, then add on the veggies and cheese before rolling.
For younger kids, here's what I do for Little Miss: heat up some meat along with the beans and corn, then stir in cheese and carrot for a one-dish meal. I leave out the lettuce as it's a little challenging for someone just mastering the use of a fork to handle.
This heat is supposed to continue through the weekend here in Southern California, so I hope you'll give this yummy salad a try and let me know what other ingredients you include at your house!