Recipe: Taco Salad

Taco salad is not, of course, an authentic Mexican dish. It’s one of my favorite dinners nonetheless.


8 good flour tortillas OR tortilla chips
2 large heads lettuce
2 carrots
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 ripe avocados
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced into rings
(olives, roasted peppers, cucumber, jicama, etc.)
1 cup grated cheese
2 cups pinto or black beans, heated
8 oz. cooked meat, tofu or veggie burger
sour cream
salad dressing (see recipe below)

Use the smaller amount of oil if you like a tart dressing.
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp. rice syrup
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. very finely chopped onion
1 tsp. fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 cup olive oil


Very lightly butter 1 side of 4 flour tortillas. Place one butter side down in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Place unbuttered tortilla on top; put buttered tortilla, butter side down on top; continue layering in this manner. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip stack so cooked side is up. Swap cooked tortilla for next one down in layer. Continue cooking, flipping and exchanging tortillas while you make the salad until all tortillas are nicely browned and crispy. Cut tortillas into wedges and serve with salad.

Wash lettuce and tear into bite sized pieces. Scrub carrots and use a vegetable peeler to make long strips; toss with lettuce. Arrange lettuce in 4 large bowls; make a well in center. Cut up tomatoes and avocados and toss over lettuce. Add onion and other vegetables as desired. Place 1/4 cup grated cheese in bottom of well. Add 1/2 cup hot beans. Top with meat, cubed tofu or un-meat and a spoonful of sour cream. Serve at once with salsa and salad dressing.