Remember last week, when I gave you the jazzy taco meat, and told you how excited I was about the Southwestern Taco Salad it was going in? Well, it’s here, and jazzier than ever. If I had an emjoi for jazz hands, I’d put it here. Why doesn’t that exist, by the way?
I’ve found in pregnancy, especially the later months, I am Lazy with a capital L in the kitchen. Once I motivate myself to have a solid cook day, whether for the blog or not, it’s great – we have food for a week or so. But that motivation is slow to come and quick to leave.
The other day I was in Trader Joe’s, and there was a bagged salad kit for a Southwestern Salad, with a big cowboy boot on the front of it. It comes with all the greenery and veggie fixings, as well as some cheese, tortilla strips, and a soybean oil based dressing. Yeah, we’re on the same train here, and it’s not the paleo one, that seems to have left the station at “lettuce.” But pregnancy laziness got the best of me, and I grabbed the bag of salad and a pound of ground beef and headed home.
I turned the ground beef into taco meat, no problem, using my taco meat recipe . That took about 10 minutes to cook, then I tossed it with the salad mix and the dressing and served it up for dinner. So. Easy.
I’m all about easy these days, but I also want to feel my best – especially when I’m short of breath just from climbing a set of stairs – so I set out to make a paleo version of the Southwestern Taco Salad. And friends, I do believe I have delivered for you.
Again, in sticking with the laziness factor, I wanted to cut up as little as possible. In light of that, I purchased a bag of pre-chopped romaine, as well as a bag of shredded cabbage mix that included shredded carrots. (You could also just purchase a bag of cabbage and a bag of shredded carrots, if your store doesn’t have a combo bag.)
The only thing I cut up were the radishes, and I gave the cilantro a rough chop off the stems. From there I just gave everything a good toss with the taco meat. Topped with an avocado-lime southwest dressing, which you can whip up while your taco meat is browning, this taco salad will take you all of 15 minutes to put together. Note: I am NOT usually a fan of crunchy, tasteless or bitter raw vegetables like cabbage and radishes. I can eat raw cabbage in a really good coleslaw, but raw radishes have never been my thing. I would just like to say here that I don’t actually mind them in this salad at all, and in fact I hardly notice they’re there. Raw veggies for the win!
At this point, your salad is completely Whole30 approved. But, if you want to add a little paleo crunch, and really take it up a notch, get yourself a bag of Siete Grain-Free Nacho flavor tortilla chips. They’re still completely paleo, they just fall in the SWYPO category for Whole30, so they’re off limits there. But crush a handful of those up and mix them in right before eating, and I can’t even begin to tell you about the deliciousness you will experience. (Yes, I just told you to put chips in your salad. Just do it, you won’t regret it, I promise.)
This southwestern taco salad combines crisp veggies, spicy taco meat, and a cool avocado based dressing for the perfect balance.
- 4 cups shredded cabbage mix (about 9 oz)
- 2 cups chopped romaine, packed
- 3-4 medium radishes, chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 lb taco meat
In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the taco meat.
While the taco meat is cooking, combine all dressing ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and combine until you have a smooth creamy dressing. (You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times!)
Remove the taco meat from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
While cooling, combine the cabbage, romaine, radishes, and cilantro in a large salad bowl.
Add in the taco meat and toss well to combine.
Serve with the avocado dressing. If you really want to take it up a notch, add a handful of crushed Siete Nacho Flavor grain free tortilla chips on top!
Totally not necessary, but these chips are a game-changer when added to this salad!