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Confession (and taco salad): Good for the Soul

Finished Product - Taco Salad

A confession is in order before I share this recipe. I fully supported the Women’s Liberation Movement and even though I never marched or burned my bra, I believed deep in my heart that I could have it all.

Today, as I sit at the acme of what can only be described as a towering achievement – life as a nonprofit executive director, wife of one, mother of two amazing children, loyal friend to many and community volunteer – I must admit that I am dead-tired most of the time.
I have come to the conclusion that I, myself, need a wife – not in the conventional sense of the word, but more like a live-in assistant, housekeeper, organizer, chauffer, and cheerleader. Basically, I just need another me. Has there been any headway in cloning technology?
If I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, “I don’t know how you do it all,” I would be a very rich woman indeed. When someone says that to me, I’m not quite sure if I’m doing it all so well that it appears effortless or if the person feels really sorry for me and this is an offer of help.
I recently ventured halfway around the world on a fabulous trip to India, leaving my dear husband and mother-in-law in charge of this empire I’ve built. Faced with the possibility of a jet crash or death by stampeding elephants, I felt honor-bound to show Mr. Henderson just exactly how his dynamo of a wife keeps this well-oiled machine running on a daily basis. Suffice it to say that I am extraordinarily organized. I’m also a huge fan of black coffee, lists, my trusty label maker, working lunches, and under-eye concealer, which I lovingly refer to as “spackling.”
As I was walking out the door, I showed him my arsenal of 50+ recipes (encased in plastic page protectors) that I rotate around each month to feed our family. He was mightily impressed. Among those recipes are several easy weeknight meals that can be thrown together in a snap: breakfast for dinner; reuben sandwiches; fried rice; and spaghetti with meat sauce.
Our family doesn’t eat out much. Not only is it expensive, but often the food just isn’t as good as something homemade. Don’t even get me started on the portions and calories of restaurant food!
Today’s recipe is a family favorite and can even be spruced up for company. We refer to this concoction as “Taco Salad Night,” “Super Nachos,” or “Taco Pile-On.” You can choose whichever title you like best to describe it.
Taco Salad Ingredients
To make it, you’ll need:
1 lb. lean hamburger meat
1 package Williams Taco Seasoning Mix
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can Ranch-style beans (optional – my kids HATE beans – they are aliens from another planet)
1 bag corn tortilla chips or Fritos corn chips
4 cups shredded cheese (a mix of cheddar and jack cheeses is really nice)
4 cups green leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
5 scallions, sliced thinly
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, diced into chunks
8 oz. sour cream
Salsa or taco sauce, to taste
Brown the hamburger and drain any excess oil. Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and beans to the pan. Heat through on low heat. Meanwhile, open the bag of nachos. Place shredded cheeses in a bowl. Shred lettuce and place in a bowl. Chop scallions and place in a bowl. Chop tomatoes and place in a bowl. Dice avocado and place in a bowl. Open sour cream and salsa or taco sauce. Place all items on the table and let your family build their own. You can also add jalapenos, French dressing, or any other toppings you enjoy. Leftover chili is also great as a replacement for the taco meat. It’s a very versatile recipe.
Sometimes, I will double or triple the meat recipe and freeze it down for another night. There is a fair amount of clean-up involved because of all the bowls. In moments of supreme laziness, I will sometimes arrange everything on a large tray for extra-easy clean-up. I also wear my leopard-print pajamas while cooking so that I can go right to bed afterwards.
This is how I roll.

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