After recently watching my 4 and 6-year-old daughters gobble down some “Cobb Salad” I decided to apply that very same idea to this “Taco Salad.” Who doesn’t like to see all the choices laid out beautifully so you can pick and choose what you want (like a taco salad platter)? And what mommy doesn’t like to see a few pieces of lettuce accidentally slip into the mix on her kids’ plates? :) Now I’d be lying if I told you that my younger (and pickier) daughter didn’t put up a little fuss about eating some of the green stuff in this dish. But I helped her roll some of the meat, cheese, and sour cream that she looooves inside a few bigger pieces of lettuce, and it helped things tremendously. She knew she had to take a big bite right into the lettuce if she wanted the goodies on the inside. I, on the other hand, just thought this was such a refreshing and fun twist to the traditional taco dinner. So this meal was a big hit in my book.
- 1 head lettuce, washed and chopped, any variety
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or butter
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ½ lb ground beef, preferably locally raised grass-fed beef
- ½ cup kidney beans, or pinto, or black beans
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin, + extra for tortillas
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated (+ extra for tortillas)
- 2 tomatoes, diced (or pico de gallo, which is diced tomatoes mixed with onion, cilantro, chili peppers, and lime)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 lime
Turn the broiler in your oven on high.
Melt the butter/oil in a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat on the stove. Add the onions and cook for several minutes until they start to soften.
Add the beef and beans to the pan. Break it up with a spatula while the beef browns. Season the meat mixture with the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Place tortillas on a large, ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle them with cheese. Put a few dashes of cumin on top of the cheese. Put them under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes or until lightly brown.
While the beef and tortillas are cooking, spread the lettuce out over a large serving platter then top it with rows of tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream.
Add the cooked ground beef mixture in a row on the serving platter. When the tortillas are done and have cooled slightly, slice them (kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter work great for this) and add them to the platter as well.
Sprinkle entire dish with fresh cilantro leaves and some fresh-squeezed lime juice. Serve immediately and enjoy!