From the Fridge to the Plate: Everything Taco Salad

A few weeks ago, amidst one of the most brutally cold days of the winter, I found myself staring into my fridge around 5pm, desperately hoping that I didn’t have to head out for groceries.  I really do love grocery shopping and meal planning, but when I have a ton going on I hate the last minute obligation of it.

Thankfully, I had some of my clutch grocery items, and after a minute of working it around in my head I decided on Taco Salad.  It had been forever since I made this, and the first time without rice or any sort of cheese, so I wanted to make sure I had enough variety to keep me interested.

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The key for me is mild seasoning — I don’t love a ton of seasoning, and never actually liked the packet mixes — so I sifted through the spice cabinet to find some chili powder from Savory Spice shop and got to work.

The basics: onion, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, yellow and red bell peppers, and mushrooms all sautéed in coconut oil until tender, and then add in (local, grassfed) ground beef.

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Enter my beloved Chili Powder and some fresh ground pink himalayan sea salt, and the meat portion was finished and ready to cool.

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The completed product (once cooled) then topped chopped romaine, avocado, and cucumbers.  And I have to say, this is one of my absolute new (old) favorites, remade into a clean and 28 to life acceptable meal.

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Even my most faithful sidekick and kitchen assistant loved it — despite what she may imply with her saucy little face.

Bug

These types of simple and basic recipes are so critical for me and my lifestyle in order to stay on plan, keep things clean, and also allow for the ‘everything in the fridge’ type meal while still being damn good.   It’s also incredible for leftovers and lunch planning — just make sure you package the meat and lettuce separately to  avoid any slimy/gross wet lettuce situations.

Here’s to hoping the coldest of the cold weather is past us, and we can all sail sweetly into a premature spring.   Or at least that’s what I believe when my glass is half full of wine.

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Fall Living: Halloween + Taco Salad

There’s something inherently warm and inviting about the smell of fall air.  I’ve always loved this time of year.  I loved the start of school when i was younger – the supply shopping, the structure of a set schedule, and the feeling of a new beginning.

As I’ve gotten older and school no longer serves as my annual beginning, I still find something undeniable about the change of seasons, and the crispness in the fall air that makes me want to reorganize closets, drink tea, and transition into heartier comfort meals.

I was a little under the weather today, but by this evening I was feeling halloween inspired, hungry, and wanting a mid-level comfort meal with some color to brighten up an otherwise gloomy day.  So, I went with a modified version of an awesome taco salad a good friend made for me a couple weeks ago, and it was awesome.

Savory Seasoning

My first step was to make the taco seasoning — finally utilizing more than just one flavor from my favorite spice collection from Savory Spice Shop, and an awesome DIY recipe I found.

Taco salad!

I was out of chicken, so I went the ground turkey route, with onions of course, and added the seasoning in to the mix.

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Added color came from chopped red and yellow peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms.

taco salad base

I let this simmer for a while to soak in the seasoning, and then set it aside to cool and got to work on the ‘salad’ half of the meal.

Taco Salad

If you’re a grain-lover, this is great with rice or pasta.  If you’re into salad dressing, feel free to add some, but there is plenty of flavor in the dish itself to cleanly top chopped lettuce for a full and complete meal.  Add wine, some friends, and a little halloween candy, and you’ve got yourself a pretty great Thursday night (if I do say so myself).

With all the change in the air – all the new and the old – sometimes you just need a warm meal and a little reminder to keep breathing and appreciate the more basic elements of life – they’re so easily taken for granted, or assumed to be smaller than they are.

drink the wile air

Plus, who doesn’t want to drink in the wild air?  Thick, humid air? No thanks.  Wild air, I’m all in.  Bring it on Fall, I’ve been waiting for you.