I spent quite a while racking my brain, trying to think of a good lunch idea for yesterday afternoon. One of my really good friends was coming over for a long overdue playdate and I wanted to make sure that I made something that she would enjoy--and something that would be easy to eat, with five kids, ages four and under running around! I finally decided on this taco salad recipe, as it has always been a huge hit! My mother-in-law first made this shortly after my husband and I started dating and since then, it has been requested for quite a few get-togethers that I have attended and is CONSTANTLY requested by my husband's co-workers, every time they have a pitch-in at work. It does take a little while to cut up all of the veggies, but it's well worth it...trust me! You can put this together ahead of time (ie: the night before) and wait to add the Doritos, Italian dressing and cheese until right before serving. It's really good leftover, but just a suggestion...if you're making it for your family (as opposed to taking it to a pitch-in or get-together), my husband and I have found that it works out well to mix all of the ingredients together, minus the Doritos, Italian dressing and cheese and then just add each of those three ingredients to each person's individual bowl--that way, you avoid having an entire bowl of taco salad with soggy Doritos! If you are serving it for a get-together or pitch-in and have some leftover, we found that just adding some fresh Doritos "perks" it right back up! (I apologize for the picture...I took it after 11pm last night, when I finally got back home after running my errands and had a chance to sit down and eat my dinner!)
1 large head of lettuce 1 large green pepper, diced 1 large sweet onion, diced 1 cucumber, diced 4 Roma tomatoes, diced 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 1 bag Doritos (crushed into small pieces) 1 bottle Italian dressing 1 bag shredded mild cheddar cheese (optional)
In a large bowl, break apart lettuce. Add green pepper, onion, cucumber and tomatoes. Brown ground beef; drain fat and allow to cool. Add meat to salad mixture. Add Doritos, Italian dressing and cheese and mix well.
Note: We double the recipe if we're making it for a large group and it makes a good-sized bowl! Also, we have found that "off-brand" nacho-flavored chips often do not taste as good as the Doritos. By no means am I a "brand-snob"--I'm all about buying generic brands, but I am particular about a handful of things! I would suggest trying it for the first time with Doritos and then experimenting with other brands if you so desire. We have used the nacho-flavored chips from Aldi's and they honestly weren't bad!
If you were to look up the word "picky" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my husband off to the left. Growing up, I was exposed to all sorts of different foods and encouraged to experiment with different flavors, but after meeting my husband, I somewhat locked myself into an eight to ten meal rotation and was reluctant to deviate. I have since given birth to two of the least picky eaters on the face of the Earth, thus inspiring me to transform my cooking style. I know many people, like myself, lead such hectic lives, so I strive to find recipes that are quick and easy--especially those that you can whip up with ingredients that you ordinarily have on hand!
A bit about me...I married my husband, Marcus, on June 1, 2003 and we welcomed our son Jacob on March 22, 2005. Our daughter, Madeline, was born on March 1, 2008. I stay home with the kids for the most part, but also work occasional shifts as a registered nurse at a local hospital. I truly hope you enjoy my blog. A special "thank you" to my sister, Sarah, for giving me the idea! Her creativity is hard to live up to, but I'm a very determined person and hope to make her proud :)