Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lunch Week 13: Tex-Mex Taco Salad

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Tex-Mex Taco Salad
I was inspired to make this lunch first from Dessert Zombie's recent meal then from discussing ways to change it with Feisty Foodie. Hard shelled tacos morphed into taco dip then into taco salad. All the main tex-mex ingredients are still there except for the taco shells. If you haven't noticed, I'm trying to do low carb lunches. It doesn't mean I'm not eating carbs. That's far from the truth. I'm just trying to restrict it from at least one meal per day. And honestly, it has given me results. But this isn't a health/diet blog. Nope, this is a food blog. Now onto the food! (Sorry, forgot to take a picture of the final product.)

First I made the condiments/garnishes since they should take some time to sit and marinate. The pico de gallo or salasa is a simple mix of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers (for extra crunch), jalapenos, red onion, cilanto, garlic, and lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
And of course guacamole. Here I mashed together avocados, jalapenos, cilantro, red onion, garlic, and lime juice. Salt, pepper, and olive oil to season. Into the refrigerator with the salsa it went.
As the salsa and guacamole marinated, I prepped the meat portion. I sauteed some onions until lightly browned, added ground beef and pinto beans. The seasoning was a packet of Ortega taco seaoning (yes I did), salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, mustard powder, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. I used a leaner grind of beef but added olive oil to prevent it from drying out. I tasted the ground beef mixture until it reached a flavor that I wanted. Some may say until it reached the flavor of Taco Bell. Whatever you fancy.
Once the meat cooled off, it's time to assemble. Ground meat on the bottom, then grated cheddar cheese, then a film of plastic, then chopped iceberg lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. The plastic film is there so I can easily remove the fresh ingredients while I place the bowl in the microwave to heat up the meat and cheese. Once warmed through, I slide all the vegetables back into the bowl and mix up. It works really well.
This lunch turned out to be really good. It brought back great memories of when I used to think real tacos tasted like this. I now know that they don't but it doesn't mean that the tex mex version doesn't taste good. It does!

5 comments:

  1. It's like a salad, but totes not.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Nope. Trying to cut down the carbs.

      Delete
  3. Yay, I inspire meals. :)

    And I love Tex Mex/ Americanized Mexican foodz. I never say I love Authentic Mexican. Only like. Ha.

    Pico and Guac FTW!!

    ReplyDelete

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