I love to eat taco salads in the summer; you know the kind where you take tortilla chips and crunch them up with the salad for extra saltiness and crunch? Yum. And I love the tortilla chips so much that I don’t bother with seasoning the beef too much. I leave that to either salsa or Ranch Dressing. A heavenly concoction, I must say. Okay, so that part is off the table but I still had a hankering for the taco salad (even without the crunch).
It didn’t matter to me that it is the heart of winter (it actually snowed in Sedona 2 days ago). Summer was in my taste buds. And I also knew that without the tortilla chips and Ranch dressing to help flavor this dish, I’d have to showcase the flavor of the meat. Ole!
And it was flavorful. And next time, I might just increase the amount of cumin and chili powder and try smoked paprika.
Luckily, I made some Minestrone soup a few days ago, which also only uses 3 TB of tomato paste, so I had just the right amount left over for this dish.
Whole30, Paleo, Low-Carb
1 lb. ground beef
½ sweet onion (diced)
1 TB Cumin
1TB Chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ can green chilis (drained)
3 TB tomato paste
Grated cheese (optional)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
Salsa (I used Pace Picante, no sugar in the ingredient list)
First, mix all the dry ingredients together so they are ready to add to the beef mixture.
Next, in saucepan, crumble and brown the ground beef and onion. Once the ground beef is halfway browned, add the tomato paste and mix well (mix like you mean it) with the ground beef. Then add 3 TB of the dry ingredients. Stir together well. Continue cooking. Add the green chilies and mix with the mixture. If needed, add more of the dry ingredients to adjust the amount of flavor. Also, add in about 2Tb of Coconut oil, so the meat mixture is juicy.
While the meat mixture is cooking, cut up the lettuce, tomatoes, and olives and place in your serving dish (a plate or a bowl). Then, when the meat mixture is finished cooking, scoop out the meat mixture and put on top of the lettuce. Top with cheese, if desired, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocados.
There should be flavor and juiciness to eat as is, or you can top with Pace Picante Sauce, any other sugar-free salsa, or dressing of your choice.
Let's face it, the chili powder and the cumin are the key seasoning ingredients here. If you don't want to take the time to add in the other seasonings, this dish will turn out just fine. Feel free to add thyme or even some sweet basil. Or try some ancho chili powder or chipotle chile powder. When I had all the ingredients out on the counter, it was a little overwhelming!
Also, I had leftovers and it was fine to heat up the meat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, but the meat wasn't as juicy the next day, so I added extra Pace Picante Sauce to my salad.