Want a Taco…. Salad?

The kids are at it again. This time we made tacos… or something like them. Actually we made taco salad. Which since my kids end up with all the taco stuffing all over the table, chair and themselves we might as well start that way, right? Right.

My assistant for this dinner was my 9 year old. He seems to be the one that enjoys this the most. For this meal he was in charge of chopping onions, cutting tomatoes and making the refried beans. He did a great job. Now I’m going to warn all you parents out there. It can be really hard to watch your children cut things with a knife. Ok it is really hard to watch, but as long as you teach them how to properly hold the knife and their other hand (we call this the guide hand in the culinary world) everything will be fine and there will be no digits lost.

You may not be able to see it very well in this picture, but the hand that is holding the onion is holding it in the shape of a claw, with the thumb safely in the back. He is also using a steak knife for his cutting tasks. I have taught him how to use a chef knife, but I still prefer he use a smaller knife. It’s that mom in me.

One of the things I love about taco salad is its simplicity. Chop a few vegetables, cook some meat and you have a meal. Quite a tasty one at that.

And here is my rendition of taco salad…. Keep in mind I am making this for 7 people.

Taco Salad
Ground Meat

2 lbs. Ground Hamburger (beef)

1 tsp. Season Salt

1 tsp. Chili powder

1 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning.

In a large skillet cook ground beef with the above seasonings until the meat is cooked completely through. I cook it over a medium high heat. Make sure you taste it as you go so that you can make any adjustments in flavorings.

While I was cooking the beef I had my son work on the beans.

Refried Beans
3 15oz. Cans Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp. Butter

2 Garlic cloves, minced

½ C. Onion, minced

¼ C. Low sodium Chicken Broth

½ C. Shredded cheese (any kind)

¼ tsp. Kosher salt, if needed

In a medium sauce pan place the beans, butter, onions and garlic. Cook until the beans have pretty much absorbed the butter. Then add the chicken broth. With a potato masher begin to mash the beans.

If the beans are dry, you may have to add a little more chicken broth. Once the beans are good and mashed add the cheese, stir until melted. Now taste. This is the point where you decide whether or not you need to add salt. If you used salted butter you may not have to add any salt at all. It depends on the cheese and butter. And bad-a-bing you are done!

*A side note about the garlic and onions in the beans. Not only do they add flavor, but mashing them into the beans is a great way to get your kids to eat them if they don’t like them. I use this method to hide all sorts of vegetables and flavorings.

Now get your favorite tortilla chips pile them on a plate and overload them with all your favorite toppings. We used the ground beef, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and salsa. But you can use anything that you want.

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