Taco Salad with Homemade Taco dressing

I was making tacos for my kids the other day, ( they’re fans of Mexican food) and had some taco meat left over, I had to use in some way and that’s how I came up with this salad.I am really picky about what goes in my food and what my family eats,so when ever my kids ask me if they can have a taco or a cheeseburger,when passing a fast food place,I just tell them , OK… I’ll make it for you. Seasonings and dressings are full of preservatives and salt .I try to avoid buying them unless I know the ingredients are natural and real.Same thing with hydrogenated oils and corn syrup  if its on the label then it goes back on shelf. That’s why I like to make my own seasonings,sauces and dressings.Of course If you’re not picky as I am, then go ahead use store bought and enjoy it with your family or friends.

Ingredients for the salad:
¼ iceberg lettuce shredded
1 hearts of romaine lettuce shredded
½ avocado diced
1 tomato diced
1/3 can of pinto beans
taco meat (recipe follows)
2 tbsp. Green onions finely chopped
2 tbsp. Cilantro finely chopped
½ cup cheddar cheese shredded ( or Mexican cheese)
Olives sliced (optional)
Taco dressing (recipe follows)
Crushed tortilla chips
Taco sauce dressing:
2 tbsp. Plain yogurt
1 tbsp. Sour cream
2 tbsp. Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
4 tbsp. Taco sauce (recipe follows)
salt and fresh grated pepper to taste
Directions: whisk everything together.
Taco Sauce ( Adapted from lynnskitchenadventures.com)
8 ounce tomato sauce
¼ cup water
¼ tsp.chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. Onion, chopped
1 tbsp white vinegar
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp.salt (I used more)
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. ground red pepper ( I used Cayenne)
Mix everything together in a blender. Pour the sauce into a small sauce pan and cook over med-low heat for 15-20 min. ( i cooked for 10 min.) don’t skip the cooking part, flavors blend together when heated up.
Taco seasoning- enough to season 7 pounds of meat. (adapted from browneyedbaker.com)
4 tbsp. Chili powder
3tbsp.+ 1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp. Cumin powder
1 tbsp+ 2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in small bowl.
Heat 1 tbsp. Oil on medium heat. Add fresh ground beef ( I used almost 2 pounds).cooked until the meat is no longer pink. Add 4 tbsp. of seasoning and salt to taste. Cook meat covered with lid on low heat for about 8-10 minutes.
Salad:
Arrange lettuce on salad plate.Sprinkle taco meat and pinto beans on top of lettuce, then tomatoes,avocado,green onions,cilantro, and cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips.

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