A Super (Taco Salad) Bowl

Once upon a time, dinner inspiration came from flipping through the pages of a cooking magazine. Or cravings coalesced in the supermarket aisles. Now, though, a meal idea is just as likely to come from an old friend who is thousands of miles away mentioning on Twitter that she happens to make a mean taco salad. It sounded so good, I got chopping.

And though the tomatoes available in New York these days are depressing, and there aren’t any fresh corn kernels in January (eep—February!) to add to the mix, it turns out I make a mean taco salad too. It’s a great recipe to have up your sleeve for a hearty but healthy Super Bowl meal. Feel free to double—or triple—the recipe and serve in several huge salad bowls.

This salad is full of delicious things: cheddar cheese and chips, tangy lime dressing, fresh veggies. But it’s really all about the meat. Even though I used turkey instead of beef, the warm spices—chipotle in adobo, chili powder and cumin, paprika and garlic—blended into a quick saute of meat and beans make this salad far more satisfying than my usual vegetarian version.

I carefully layered the chips and greens on the plate, with fresh red peppers and cooked chopped poblanos, lovingly spiced turkey and creamy kidney beans, and scattered a handful of shredded cheddar on top. It was the right thing to do for the photograph.

In real life, though? Don’t do that. Toss it all together, even mashing it up a bit, so the hot meat and beans melt the cheese a little, so the chips get a little lime dressing on them, and each bite has bits and pieces of everything, spiced with chile and cumin. It ain’t pretty, but that’s not what we’re here for.

(Try it with a beer, if you’re into that—maybe Ballast Point Brewing Company’s tasty Calico Amber.)

Need more Super Bowl food? We’ve got you covered. How about spicy nut mix to snack on? Then maybe some chili? We got green and red.
Not a chili fan? I love these easy open-faced turkey meatball sandwiches
and it doesn’t get any easier than slow-cooker bbq ribs.

Turkey Taco Salad
serves 2-3

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
Juice of 1/2 small orange
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin

For the meat:
cooking oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
1 poblano pepper, cut in 1″ chunks
1/2 lb ground turkey, preferably organic
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder blend
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 chipotle (from a can with adobo sauce), diced
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chicken broth

For the salad:
1 head escarole
1 red pepper
2 scallions
2 baby cucumbers
1 tomato
6 ounces cheddar cheese
1 ripe avocado
1 cup corn chips, crushed slightly

Garnishes:
lime wedges, salsa, hot sauce, additional chips, additional cheese, pickled jalapenos, slicedblack olives

Directions:
Mix the dressing ingredients and set aside. In a large saute pan, heat cooking oil over medium-low and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add poblano pepper and turkey and let cook a few minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, chipotle, and adobo sauce and mix thoroughly. Turn heat down slightly and add beans and chicken broth. Let cook while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Remove outer leaves of escarole if tough and discard. Wash escarole and tear into smaller pieces, then place in a large salad bowl. Slice red pepper into thin strips and add to salad bowl. Slice scallions thinly and add. Dice cucumbers and tomato and add to salad. Grate cheese and have ready.

When turkey is cooked through, slice avocado. Add one quarter of it to the dressing and mash until dressing is creamy. Add the rest of the avocado to the salad, then the chips, then toss with the dressing until everything is coated. Add the warmed meat mixture to the tossed salad and top with cheese. Toss to mix and serve immediately, with garnishes to choose from.

In Uncategorized, mexican, salad

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