Waste Not Want Not Taco Salad
Let's #Tacobout wastefulness. My grandma Decker was incredibly frugal and saved every last thing that she could to reuse in some sort of fashion. Grandma now has Alzheimers disease and her saving of random things is extreme. But all throughout her life her saving and repurposing was so creative and on a WNL (whole notha level!) Things like washing and reusing ziplock baggies, washing her tin foil to carefully fold and reuse later 😳. She saved old milk cartons and stored them in the freezer for a "soup scrap container!" When she finished off a bunch of celery or the last few choppings of carrots and onions she would pop them into the washed out milk carton in the freezer for later easy soup dinners. She was an incredible penny pincher and knew exactly where every dime went in her budget. Everything had a purpose and was carefully planned.
I ended up carrying on some of her great lessons like rewashing my baggies. I think it's kind to the planet and my budget. Even though sommmmme of my family members like to make fun of me and call me neurotic 😂. I found this bamboo rack to dry my baggies on several years ago at our local health food store in town (Good Natured Collective)... and these reusable, washable baggies on trusty ol' Amazon.. to help with my sanity. ALSO I only rewash once or twice as the baggies are actually permeable and with time wear down and are less able to keep the air out! Just sayin'... before you get all, "she's a weirdo" on me. Now, this brings us to TACOBOUT TACOS! I have more random ingredients in my home for tacos and asian food than anything else under the sun! My favorite thing about taco night is that I can make it incredibly delicious all while purging my fridge AND cabinets AND pleasing all of my family members right down to the baby! #Winning
I mean who doesn't feel good about a full on spring cleaning of the darkest depths of their shelves? All while leaving the dinner table with a healthy gut and minimal guilt.🤷♀️ So, let's begin. This waste not post was created entirely around THIS👇🏼
That crumbled up crunched up left over bag of corn chip bits at the bottom of the bag. I refuse to throw anything away. Mom brought this bag over for a pot luck one night and they have been hiding in the back of the cabinet since. I refrain from grains as much as possible but this is one dinner that I allow. I mean, when I yell "Dinner's ready! We’re having chips tonight!" The boys come running! Now, if I said, "We're having taco salad tonight" I can promise you my next sleep that they would all immediately whine and complain. Key word being salad.
Maybe you're not like me and you don't have all the essentials stashed somewhere. So, you may need to pick up a few things.
Begin by throwing your veggies into the skillet with a tablespoon of butter or oil. Sauté the veggies until they're soft.
Here is also the point that you will add your ground burger... I was chasing my kids while cooking and forgot this very important step 🤷♀️. So, I added it later as you can see in my photos.
Don’t forget to season every step of the way. I add salt and garlic at the very end but spices need to flavor each step. DYK that you should always add your fresh garlic at the very end of cooking? Fresh garlic has the ability to build your immune system like WHOA, so keep the components as fresh as possible for it do it's magic. I added lotsa links for you to do your very own research.
If you added really juicy tomatoes like I did than you'll need to let some of the liquid cook out or use extra tomato paste to thicken your sauce.
Stir it all together until you have a nice thickened sauce.
Add your spices,
Cumin, garlic, onion powder, paprika, pepper, salt, and chili powder and herbs. Add crushed red pepper or cayenne here. I actually hold off on those because I have toddlers. I just sit them on the table along with the hot sauce and salsa and let the adults add the spice to taste.
OHHHH.. let me tell you a little secret! The packet of taco seasoning that you can grab in the spice isle.. well, it's so tasty because it has malodextern other weird ingredients made in a lab and sugar loaded into it. 😲 So, the the ingredient that makes this taco dish pop is a touch of sweetness!
Once you got each ingredient into the skillet let everything marinate together as you assemble the salad portion for the table or buffet bar.
In my opinion shredded lettuce is a must! It's your foundation. Once it's on the plate you're ready to pile on the fixin's! Get creative and clean out that fridge!
Things like fresh herbs, citrus of any kind and left over veggies of any kind are great additions!
For the dressing, fresh limes and salsa are my favorite! For my son, I used plain Greek yogurt and herbs to create a “ranch” Sauce.
I’m sure you can see the differences in our photos. I don’t use any corn chips and I load on the spicy stuff! My son loves the chips and cheese. And my husband... well, he likes it all in a portion to feed two NFL linebackers 😂. I periodically let go of the nagging and give him freedom over his dinner plate. He works so hard during the day and often goes without eating a lunch. In the summer he works in 90plus degree construction zones and has zero appetite until he gets home and demolishes what’s on the table.
Get creative and make it your own. Just remember to add Whole Foods. The corn chips are certainly a cheat. And of course you don’t have to use the left over chips, you can buy really good ones too. Here are some of my favorites: are Gardin of Eatins “Red Hot Blues” 🤤. Gardin of Eatin also makes grain free versions.
Seite's grain free versions are the healthiest choice. But you can't always find them in our local grocery stores, which stinks.
I also love Beanitos. Their nacho chips are perdy tasty. They're also higher in protein than most of the other chips. I'm not a fan of the tapioca starch but whatever... They're a much better choice than regular corn tortillas. In case you didn't know-I love my farmers. BUT, corn and soy are among the top genetically modified and fertilized crops on the planet. So, educate yourself and make wise choices. Now..
What are you waiting for? Go clean your fridge! ✌🏼