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taco salad
Healthier Taco Salad

Menu Plan for the week of June 7, 2013: Day 6 Recipes

Healthier Taco salad

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     Taco salad is always a favorite, but that fried taco bowl is loaded with calories and very little else.  I've lightened up the salad and replaced the shell with brown rice. We'll be using more ground beef in salads as the summer progresses; buy 1 lb and freeze 1/2 for another salad. If you have any yogurt left - dollop some on the salad.

Healthier Taco Salad                                     Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes
I like to add rice or quinoa to salads to round out the meal.  You can leave it out and have some crusty country bread, if you prefer.  Add more chili powder, more chiles or jalapeños, Tabasco, whatever, to make it as hot as you like. 

8oz (240gr) ground beef (mince) or turkey  
1/3 cup quick-cooking brown rice  
2/3 cup beef stock
1 onion
1/2 red pepper   
2 cloves garlic
4oz (125gr) chopped green chiles 
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes   about 1/2 cup before slicing
1 avocado    if it's ready earlier in the week, refrigerate it until needed
2 jars taco sauce     hot or mild, or 1 of each
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese - your choice
Lettuce - enough for 2 main meal salads

Cook brown rice according to package directions.
Chop onions and pepper.  Mince garlic.   Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chili powder and sauté briefly (30 seconds).  Add onion, pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, beef and continue cooking until meat is done. 
Drain chiles and stir into beef.  Add taco sauce - you want the meat mixture to be thick so don't add all of the sauce if it's not needed - serve the rest on the side.  Take meat mixture off heat. 
Slice tomatoes and avocado (see techniques).  Tear the lettuce and arrange on plates.  Divide rice and put on lettuce, divide meat mixture and put on rice.  Top with shredded cheese.  Artfully arrange tomato and avocado slices around salad and serve with any remaining salsa. 

Cooking schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
small saucepan with lid, salad spinner, medium skillet
Start to cook rice
Chop onion, pepper
Sauté chili powder
Add onion, pepper, sauté
Mince garlic
Open cans, jars, etc.,  drain chiles
Add garlic, beef to skillet, sauté

Prepare lettuce, spin dry
Add chiles, taco sauce to meat mixture, take off heat
Add any other hot stuff you like, set it aside
Rice done?
Arrange lettuce on 2 plates
Arrange rice on lettuce
Spoon taco/meat on top
Pit, slice avocado, add to salad
Cut tomatoes in half, add to salad
Sprinkle with cheese
Serve all and enjoy

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