When I was in high school, my mom and I often made taco salad together. Recently, I had a craving for it and decided to deviate from the classic rendition, substituting ingredients more in line with my current way of cooking and eating.
I swapped in buffalo for ground beef (because it’s leaner), black beans for kidney (never liked them), and tarted up the French dressing with fresh lime juice. I also changed out the iceberg for Romaine lettuce and added green onions and black olives to the mix.
The result? It absolutely satisfied my craving for taco salad, a strange and fulfilling alchemy of crunchy, sweet, and spicy tastes and textures. (True confession, though: I missed the crunch of iceberg.)
|1||lb. ground buffalo|
|1 to 2||Tbsp. chili powder (see Note)|
|2||garlic cloves, minced|
|~||Salt and pepper to taste|
|1||can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained|
|1||bottle (8 ounces) French dressing (I like Annie's)|
|1||bunch green onions, sliced|
|2||ripe tomatoes, diced (or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved)|
|1||head Romaine lettuce, washed, drained, and chopped|
|4||oz. sharp Cheddar, grated (about a heaping cup)|
|1||can (2.25 ounces) sliced ripe black olives, drained|
|2||cups tortilla chips, lightly crushed|
To make your own chili powder: Combine 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika, 3 teaspoons ground dried chile (I like chipotle), 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 3 teaspoons ground cumin, and 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled. Stir together until blended. Store any extra spice blend in a clean glass jar with a lid.
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