Friday, February 25, 2011

Ole, Amigos! It's Taco Salad Time!

I’ve never been to Mexico, but it’s definitely my favorite place to eat! This new recipe makes it even easier to create a little south-of-the-border action in my own home. Kudos to my boss, Mike, for sharing the recipe and thanks to Mandy for the taco salad idea.

To say that I love, love, love, LOVE tacos and the other yummy things you can make with taco meat would be a serious understatement. Even so, taco seasoning was not one of the first things I tackled when I began eliminating packaged food and making everything from scratch. I thought about it for sure, but I guess I doubted whether or not the homemade version could ever be as good as the stuff in the little packets. Then Mike brought his lunch to work and it just smelled so good. I had to have the recipe and, when I got it, I couldn’t wait to make it.

Fast forward a couple of days . . . . . I was in the kitchen with all my ingredients lined up on the counter and ready to go. I glanced at the recipe, set it aside and began measuring (sort of) all the goodies and dumping them into a bowl. About halfway through, I thought to myself, “This sure looks like a lot. Maybe I’d better double check the recipe.” When I looked at the recipe again, everything was in teaspoons. I was using tablespoons. It was too late to start over because I had just used the last of the paprika. Besides, it’s not like the extra would go to waste in my house. So, basically, I ended up with three times the amount that I was trying to make. Oops.

Here’s what you’ll need to make my version:

3 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of paprika
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of onion flakes
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of ground oregano

Here’s what you’ll need to do it the right way:

4 teaspoons of flour
2 teaspoons of chili powder
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of onion flakes
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of ground oregano

Combine your ingredients well in a small bowl. Use it just like you would the taco seasoning in a packet – brown your meat, drain it, add water then add your seasoning.

¼ cup of my version seasoned two pounds of ground beef. I put the rest in the spice cabinet in a Ziploc bag. Mike used his entire recipe to season 1 ½ pounds of ground turkey. I used a little more than a cup of water. I believe Mike used a little less.

For the taco salad, I layered chopped iceberg lettuce, taco meat, tomatoes, red onion, banana peppers and avocado on a plate. I topped it with my homemade buttermilk avocado ranch dressing.

Here’s what you’ll need for the dressing:

1 avocado
Ranch dressing mix
Juice from 2 lime wedges (or 2 packets of True Lime)

Halve the avocado and scoop the insides into a bowl. Add the mayo but make sure you have a little less mayo than avocado. That way your dressing is more green than white. Mush them together really well. Add buttermilk a little bit at a time, combining well after each addition, until you get the desired consistency. Add your lime and then the ranch mix to taste. Mix well and serve.


  1. Deidra,
    I wanted to reply to your post on my blog about grocery shopping in Germany because I had the exact same thoughts! I cook from scratch as well and I had no idea the different types of ingredients. I have to say though that the ingredients are definitely more seasonal(meaning it's a lot harder to get ingredients/ produce that is out of season), but this just means that they are fresher. There are less preservatives in the products, and the "frozen" section is limited (as compared to the 3 isles in America). Which I find a lot better.

    Thanks for the comment, and love the recipes on your blog! I will be checking them out!

  2. Sounds like easy recipe and it looks amazingly delicious! Could eat this any day!!!

  3. Katie - thanks for the German grocery info.

    Sandra - you are always so sweet! Thank you. :)