The Sauce: Taco Seasoning – Combine a few tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning with 1 cup of water for a fresh, no-fillers added Taco Meat sauce. The dry mix has a long shelf life and you control the heat.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Deliver some love
Let’s say you’d like to deliver dinner to a family or some friends. Maybe they’re moving, maybe a parent or child is in the hospital, or maybe they just welcomed home a new baby. Here’s a diversion from the typical casserole. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables, meat and cheese. It has crunchy chips and homemade tangy tomatillo sauce. Everyone gets to choose the ingredients to build their own salad. Eat it without reheating in an oven. I’ve delivered this Taco Salad Kit on more than one occasion and always get rave reviews.
And speaking of choosing, this is the perfect picky-eater dinner for kids or adults ‘cuz each person gets to select their ingredients, add the sauce and eat it their way. It’s fun for kids to open a box, bag or container and explore their cache of ingredients imagining ‘What’s lurking inside that colorful bag?’. Serve it in the comfort of your own home or pack it to the park, canyon, or summer outdoor symphony for a gourmet ‘ready to eat’ picnic.
Recipe: Taco Salad Kit
Prep Time: 20 Min | Cook Time: 13 Min | Yield: 4 Servings Salad & 1 2/3 cups Taco Seasoning | Level: Easy
- 1 lb taco meat, recipe below
- 3/4 cup Creamy Tomatillo Sauce
- 1 head Romaine lettuce
- 3 green onions, finely sliced white and tops
- 3 tomatoes
- 6 oz grated cheddar cheese, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 15-oz can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz bag tortilla chips
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 Tbsp Taco Seasoning, recipe below
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 1/2 cup paprika
- 6 Tbsp cumin
- 3 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Special Equipment – food processor or blender, medium sauté pan
1 Brown the ground beef in a medium sauté pan, 4-5 minutes.
2 Meanwhile whisk all the taco seasonings in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Place in a pint jar or airtight container.
3 Stir in 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, salt and 1 cup of water to the meat. Simmer until all the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 5-8 minutes.
4 Meanwhile shred the lettuce, slice green onions, dice tomatoes, grate the cheese and rinse the beans.
5 Individual Assembly Place one-fourth of each taco salad ingredient in lunch or snack size baggies. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the tomatillo sauce into 4 small containers. Pack the ingredient bags in individual paper cartons, containers, brown paper bags, bento boxes, or festive gift crates.
6 Family Assembly Place each ingredient of the taco salad in quart or lunch size baggies. Spoon the tomatillo sauce in a medium container. Pack the ingredient bags in a box, container, carton, large paper bag, or on a bamboo tray.
To make the Creamy Tomatillo Sauce, click here.
This kit could also include salsa and guacamole.
Save gift bags, cookies tins or small boxes to reuse for Fun Taco Salad Kit containers.
Take along Taco Salad Kits to the park, canyon, or summer outdoor symphony performances.
Share some fresh food by delivering an individual or family Taco Salad Kit to people you love.
Serve this salad family style by tossing all the ingredients in a large bowl and pass the Tomatillo Sauce.
- Exchange Romaine for iceberg lettuce or other crunchy lettuce.
- Exchange cheddar cheese for Monterey jack, colby-jack, or Mexican cheese mix or a combination of jack and cheddar.
- Exchange light red for dark red kidney beans or black beans.
- Exchange tomatillo sauce for ranch dressing.
- Exchange tortilla chips for Fritos.
- Exchange green onions for diced red onions.
- Add more or less cayenne to the Taco Seasoning for desired level of heat and spiciness.
Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: February 17, 2013