Layered Taco Salad

A conversation that my mom friends and I often seem to have is the one where we’re always shocked and incredulous over how much food teenage boys can shove in their faces.  And how we aren’t convinced they actually even taste what they eat half the time.  And how we all grocery shop multiple times during any given week yet somehow there’s NEVER ANY FOOD IN THE HOUSE.  Combine the voracious hunger from fall sports practice with the midnight munchies that will soon (if they haven’t already) come from studying in to the wee hours, and the cabinet and fridge had better be stocked.  No one wants to witness the Tazmanian Devil-child coming up empty after a late night kitchen raid … not me, anyway.

So you’re probably thinking, “what teenage boy ever got full off of taco salad?” and that would be a valid question.  Taco salad IS kinda chic food.  But when I make this dinner for the rest of the ‘Fam, I always double the meat mixture.  I separate out half of it and leave it in the fridge for No Thank You Boy to make quick burritos, tacos, or nachos when he’s having a major snack attack.  This has worked quite well.  And if you always keep large tortillas, chips, shredded cheese, canned beans, and plenty of salsa on hand, you’ll be ready at a moment’s notice when hunger strikes the Tazmanian teen that lives in your house, too.

This is supposed to be made in a 9×13 Pyrex pan.  I can’t find mine.  If I left it at your house sometime this past winter, would you let me know?  : )

Have a great week.


1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 fresh serrano chiles (including seeds), finely chopped
1 T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
1 T. Sendik’s olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck (Sendik’s Natural Ground Chuck Value Packs are on sale this week 8/29/12 to 9/4/12)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce (I used Rotel Sauce for a little extra spice)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper

1 avocado, seeded and diced
1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced (iceberg lettuce is also on sale this week)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6 oz) can sliced pitted California black olives, drained

Tortilla chips
Buttermilk ranch dressing, salsa, or sour cream for serving

Cook onion, garlic, chiles to taste, chili powder, and cumin in oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is well softened, about 6 minutes.  Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up lumps, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Spoon off and discard extra fat from skillet.

Add tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to beef and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Peel and pit avocado, then cut into 1/2 pieces.  Spread the lettuce over the bottom of a shallow 4 quart dish.  Spoon beef mixture evenly over lettuce and continue making layers with tomatoes, cheese, beans, avocado, and olives.  Serve salad with tortilla chips.  Pass dressing, salsa, and sour cream at the table.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | August 28th, 2012