Hey everybody! How’s everything with you today? I hope you’re enjoying gorgeous weather like we are here in Southeast Texas.
Beautiful weather always makes me think about beautiful salads. How about you? I love coming up with all kinds of different salads. They’re really fun, and there are many different types. And not surprisingly, a favorite type around here is Taco Salad. Taco Salad’s are delicious, and very versatile. There are so many variation possibilities that they’re never boring to make (or eat). I can go with whatever I have on hand, or sometimes they are thoughtfully planned.
This particular Taco Salad that I made last week was a very quick and simple meal planned for the holiday week. When there is a lot going on, like during the holidays, I like to make sure that we’re still eating healthy, so it’s nice to have quick and easy (and healthy) options.
So, for this salad, I knew that I wanted to use pinto beans. I sometimes go with a black beans, those are a great choice as well, but this time I wanted to go with pintos, and also decided on using red onions for their sharpness. Green onions are also very good, as are white onions. So many fabulous choices! Now, for the pinto beans, I went with canned ones…. I know…. But this was for a holiday week night quick and easy meal, right? First, I drained the beans. You can rinse them also. I added water and my own seasonings to give them the flavor I’d like. I added garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and I have a seasoning combo blend of cilantro, garlic and lime. That was it! You could add chili powder to make them more of a chili bean flavor.
I made a small batch of fresh guacamole – See, I did make something from scratch! I used 1 avocado for me and Hubby to share. I also used 1 Campari tomato. I like to squeeze the juice from the tomato into the diced avocado and then dice the tomato itself and add that in as well. I sometimes add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and I sometimes add lime juice. It just depends on the flavor profile I am wanting. I also added the cilantro, garlic, and lime seasoning mix to this. You would not believe the flavor in this mixture. It’s fabulous and bright! It tastes like I added fresh cilantro, so that is a great time-saver right there. And voila’, a quick and easy guacamole to top my salad. Yay!
And of course we had to have some tomato. I used a medium vine ripe tomato, cut it in half and then sliced.
For the lettuce I used Romaine. I sometimes do a Romaine/Iceburg mix, so just whatever you prefer.
So, we’re ready to assemble our salads — But I forgot to mention that I added chicken fajita meat to my Husband’s salad. He wanted meat. No problem. I got some frozen chicken fajita strips (check the label for best ingredients), heated those up – fast and easy dinner night, remember? Okay, now we’re ready to assemble!
First comes the lettuce. I just eyeball the amount for each plate. I always give Hubby a bit more than me. 🙂 I sprinkled shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top of the lettuce, then dropped pinto beans here and there around the salad. I cooked the pintos down while I was preparing the rest of the ingredients. I like for them to thicken up. I also let them cool just a bit before adding to the salad so all the greens will not be wilted.
Next, the sliced purple onions. These look really pretty and add a great pop of color as well as great flavor. I added the chicken fajita strips to Hubby’s (cooled a bit as well). I then placed the tomato slices around the salads. Looking great!
I always like to arrange tortilla chips (unsalted) all around the outside of a Taco Salad for a really nice presentation, so that’s what I did. I then added half the guacamole atop each salad, and popped a tortilla chip in the guacamole for a final touch.
I served each of our salads with a small bowl of our favorite salsa. We could then drizzle salsa on our salads and also dip our chips.
And there you have it! A very pretty (and easy) Taco Salad! Ta-da!
I am actually planning another salad for our dinner tonight. A BLT, blue cheese, with avocado, maybe a boiled egg? I’ll let you know how this one goes!
Here is an ingredient shopping list if you’d like to try my Pretty Taco Salad with Pintos and Guacamole (for 2):
Romaine Lettuce, or Iceburg and Romaine
1 Can Pinto Beans
Frozen Fajita Chicken Strips (Optional)
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Small Red Onion
1 Medium Tomato
1 Compari Tomato
Tortilla Chips (Salted or Unsalted)
Your Favorite Salsa
Cilantro/Lime/Garlic Seasoning Blend
Cheers! I hope you enjoy!