I am finally back to blogging after a long hiatus. Those of you who aren’t ‘likers’ of Homemade, Healthy, Happy on facebook will have no idea where I disappeared to or what is going on, so let’s play catch up quickly. My Grandma passed away unexpectedly just over 2 weeks ago. We were extremely close and I have been really struggling to cope with her passing, hence my disappearance. Ordinarily, I probably would have coped (or ignored my lack of coping) by flooding you all with more posts. However, I was also in the middle of uni exams and had to make the difficult decision to step back from the blog to try to grieve and study simultaneously. I am through exams now, I am slowly getting through the grief, and I am back!!!!!
Much to my Grandma’s dismay, I spent a few years in the US growing up (she missed us terribly, and hated the US because it ‘stole’ first my uncle from her, then us). I had some great experiences in the US though, one of which was Taco Salad! Mmmmm, taco salad!!!! I’m not really a salad fan, to be honest, but THIS is the kind of salad that I can get into! I like to think of it as a healthy variation on nachos. More lettuce, less corn chips (or none!) – that’s really about all the difference.
I only had taco salad a couple of times when we were living in Virginia. Tyler’s dad, Aaron, lives in Spokane, Washington and we usually get back there every couple of years for a visit. Tyler’s Grandma, Terri, makes a mean taco salad and we would have it at least two or three times over the space of a couple of weeks when we were visiting. Of course, so many of the ingredients have been struck off the list for me since discovering my intolerances and embarking on a wholefoods journey. I just had to come up with a good take on taco salad, minus the additives but full of flavour!
I have tried some published recipes for taco salad, but the meat has been far too runny or seriously lacking flavour. Or both, which was just a disaster! There’s a lesson in there somewhere… forget the recipes!!! When you know what you want in a dish, don’t go looking for someone else’s take on it – make it how you want it!
So here we have my scrummy (flavoursome, waterless) Taco Salad!
2 cloves garlic
200g red capsicum (approx. 1 large capsicum)
300g cubed meat (i.e. rump steak)
40g oil (coconut oil, macadamia oil, extra virgin olive oil…)
100g tomatoes (1 small-medium tomato), cut into eighths
1 tsp ground coriander
1 heaped tsp cumin (approx 1.5 tsp)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 head of cos lettuce (enough lettuce to feed everyone! cos is my lettuce of choice, it’s also fine with iceberg or those purply lettuces… really, anything will do!)
corn chips (optional; approx 1-2 handfuls) – you could make them yourself ahead of time
2 tomatoes, diced
big ol’ handful of grated cheese (can pre-grate in TM… I forgot, so grated the old fashioned way while the meat was cooking!)
2 avocadoes (we love avocado in this house… work on 3/4 of an avo per person, we normally go with 1 per person!)
chilli flakes or cayenne pepper or sweet chilli sauce (optional)
1) Put onion, garlic, capsicum and meat into TM bowl. Mince by pressing turbo for 3 short bursts.
2) Weigh oil and tomato into TM bowl. Add spices and cook for 17 mins, reverse, speed 1 with the rice basket on top of the lid instead of the MC (this allows juices to boil off but stops splatter).
3) Fluff around for a while, have a cup of tea? Or set the table. Definitely set the table. When the meat has about 5 mins to go, rinse the lettuce and cut into strips. Place this in the bottom of a wide serving dish.
4) If using corn chips, crush the corn chips gently and mix through the lettuce.
5) When the meat is finished, pour it into a bowl or thermoserver (you want to keep it separate from the lettuce right until serving so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce).
6) Rinse the TM bowl (you don’t have to be very thorough). Scoop the avo into the TM bowl and squeeze in the lemon juice, add chilli (if using). Mix on reverse, speed 4 for 5 secs. I like my guacamole kind of chunky, but if you want a smoooooth avo, don’t use reverse and do it for a bit longer.
7) Put meat on top of lettuce, sprinkle with cheese, dollop with avo and sour cream, and sprinkle diced tomatoes over the top. (See messy picture below – good luck getting it to look perfect!!!)
8) Devour!!! 🙂
Thank you all for your patience and support over the last couple of weeks. xoxo