Reclaimed Taco SaladI nearly named this This is Not Your Mother’s Taco Salad, but really, it’s Not MY Mother’s Taco Salad and that didn’t sound as good. Instead, it is now  Reclaimed Taco Salad, because I’ve rescued Taco Salad from the bad-food-from-my-childhood file and given it new life. The under-seasoned ground beef and watery iceberg lettuce I grew up with are nowhere to be found. Instead, flavor is amped up by spicy Carne Asada, pickled jalapenos and a hot-sauce lime dressing. Cabbage, romaine and green onions make a lovely base for black beans, grape tomatoes and crumbled cojita. A sprinkle of black olive and tortilla strips later, you’ve got a protein-and-vegetable-packed salad that bears little resemblance to the monstrosity that graced the family table circa 1982. Replacing the beef with more beans makes this a great Meatless Monday dinner. Finding something that satisfies everyone in our house isn’t easy, but this is one of those meals that always pleases and the Cholua-stained recipe, now tucked into The Bagel Bitch’s Cookbook is there to stay.

Recipe below the fold:


  • Ingredients

  • ½ lb Carne Asada (minced)
  • Ultimate Taco Spice Mix (below)
  • 1 romaine heart (chopped)
  • 2 cups green cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 cup White Corn
  • ½ can black beans (or more if you’re going meatless)
  • 12 Grape Tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 oz. Cotija Cheese (crumbled)
  • 8 Green Onions (diced)
  • 1-2 T minced Black Olives
  • ½ minced jalapeno (de-seeded)
  • Juice and zest of one Lime
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Cholua Lime Sauce
  • Fresh Gourmet Santa Fe Style Tortilla Strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 For the Marinade

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Ultimate Taco Spice Mix
    • 1 Tbsp Mexican chili powder
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp each salt and fresh cracked pepper
    • ½ tsp each paprika and oregano
    • ¼ tsp each cayenne, onion, garlic powder


Mince Carne Asada and marinate in oil and spices. Cook over medium high heat until just done through. Cover and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, halved tomatoes, minced jalapenos and diced green onions. Chop and add Romaine and cabbage (pieces should be no larger than the tomatoes). In a small bowl, combine hot sauce, salt, pepper, lime juice and zest with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Whisk or blend with stick blender. Pour half the dressing into the bowl with vegetables and mix well to coat. Assemble bowls with dressed vegetables. Top with meat, olives, crumbled cheese and tortilla strips.






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  1. Abby says:

    I am so glad this is not the recycled salad I expected from the title.

  2. Laurustina says:

    Oh noes! Perhaps Not My Mother’s Taco Salad works after all.

  3. Debbie says:

    Sounds awesome. I will try this. M is vegan and I’m vegetarian. I do a 1982 version with Boca Crumble, but this sounds sooo much better.

  4. Laurustina says:

    Oh yes, the Boca Crumble would season up nicely!

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