Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Composed Taco Salad

A Composed Taco Plate is more  stylish than plain old tacos - and is so quick to assemble.

     If you like to entertain but live with arthritis or other painful problems, three words should become your new mantra: Lower My Standards. 

     Really, it's OK - even if you have enjoyed a reputation as a terrific cook - to make very simple dishes. Better to cook easy stuff and  still have people over rather than to avoid guests because it takes too much energy to prepare/serve and clean up.
    Instead of spending a lot of time fussing in the kitchen, pay more attention to the presentation of food.    
    For instance, plain old tacos on a plate looks pretty ordinary; arranging the components of taco on a large white plate looks more stylish - like you put a little thought into it.
   The following "recipe" for a Composed Taco Plate is a sure thing to serve for a casual lunch or light dinners. Unlike the traditional taco salads that call for a ton of crushed tortilla chips, this version  is healthier, so suitable for friends who are watching their weight, who avoid gluten or who like to eat lower carb.  Kosher keepers can sub soy crumbles for meat.


  • Lean ground sirloin or turkey, cooked and drained, or soy crumbles ( a pound will serve 4-6)
  • Taco seasoning spices (or use a seasoning packet)
  • Shredded reduced fat Cheddar (from a bag, of course :) )
  • Bagged romaine lettuce
  • Taco Shells (one per person)
  • Optional garnishes: sliced avocado, black olives, reduced fat Catalina or Ranch Dressing


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put taco shells in loaf pan or regular pan, and bake for 5 minutes.
3. On large plate, scatter Romaine lettuce leaves, leaving a margin of about 2 inches from edge of plate.
4. Put about 1/2 cup meat/meat substitute over center of the leaves.
5. Scatter beans on lettuce and meat. Add halved cherry tomatoes.
4. Top meat-bean-tomato mixture with shredded Cheddar.
5. Add optional toppings of black olives, chopped onions or light sour cream.
6. Break up taco shell into large pieces. Put around edge of plate.

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