Healthier Taco Salad

taco salad

There have been times in my life when I lived on taco salad for weeks. Weeks. It’s a slippery slope: I’d buy some lettuce, cheese, beans and corn chips and think, hmm, maybe instead of tacos I’ll do taco salad, just for a change. And then I’d eat it for every lunch and dinner for like, two weeks straight! I don’t know what it is about taco salad that appeals to me, but I think a big part is that I’ve only ever had my own homemade version. Ugh, why can’t restaurants do a veg version of it? It would be so easy to omit the beef and just do beans. Or nothing! Sometimes a girl just wants some lettuce, cheese and salsa, ya know?

taco salad

This is my attempt at a healthier version. Instead of my usual iceberg lettuce (taco salad standard), it has kale! This is largely because Will noted conversationally that he felt like we weren’t eating enough veggies. Well, if that’s how he feels, we can eat green veggies as every meal! That’ll learn him to try and be healthier (slash bust my tomater).

taco salad

And this is the kind of recipe where I buy the basics and then just throw in whatever we have. I think I used to make it with sour cream for the dressing? But since I’m using kale, I thought I’d just do a really simple oil and lemon juice dressing. Then I added avocado, along with leftover beans from last night’s quesadillas, grated old cheddar cheese, crumbled corn chips and a diced red pepper.

taco salad

Healthier Taco Salad

  • 1 bunch kale, shredded into ribbons (just slice the bones off first, then use a knife or kitchen shears to cut into ribbons)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • A handful of corn chips, crushed
  • (optional) 1 small diced tomato (I skipped because they’re not in season and hot house tomatoes are always kind of flavourless)

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start by chopping and washing the kale. Set it aside while you prep the other ingredients. Drain and rinse the beans, then place in a bowl and add crushed garlic, ½ tsp cumin and ½ tsp chili powder. Mix well and set aside. Once you’ve cubed/diced/grated the other ingredients, make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a measuring cup.

Now make your salad! I tried to make it pretty by dressing the kale on the plate, then adding the other ingredients on top, but you could also just toss them all together if you’re prefer. Voila! Now go eat a super un healthy dessert, because, come on, you had raw kale for supper! You can totally justify it.

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