Taco Salad

Well salad days are here.  I love taco salads but usually they are so high in calories and fat that I almost NEVER order them.  I have come up with a great recipe for a beautiful to look at version not to mention delicious.  You start with making the “taco shell”.  Goodby Taco Bell!!
You will need a large muffin pan.  You can either steam the corn tortillas or heat on a cast iron skillet.  If you decide to steam them, all you have to do is wrap them in a towel, put them in a steamer, steam for 1 minute and let sit for another 10 minutes.  Or you can heat on a cast iron skillet and put them in a styrofoam tortilla warmer to steam up.  Once they are nice and pliable, spray them with oil (Pam) and mold them in the muffin pan. If you make a small slit on each side of the tortilla it is easier to mold in the muffin pan. You can see the picture below.  Crisp them up in a 400 degree oven for approximately 12 minutes.  You can tell by looking at them if they are crisp enough.
Then for the filling you will need: For 6 generous servings.
2 teaspoons canola oil
20 ounces 7% ground beef
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic
1 package of Taco Seasoning (or you can make your own) I have a recipe at the end of this posting.
1 cup corn (fresh from the cob is best)
1 can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 can 4 ounces diced green chiles
salt and pepper
Avocado is optional and not included in point count.
Saute the onion, garlic, ground beef in the canola oil until it is no longer pink.  Add the taco seasoning, corn, beans, green chiles and saute for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.  It will take this amount of time for all the flavors to “marry”.  Add the tomato and saute another minute or so.  You don’t want the tomatoes to get mushy.  If the mixture seems too dry you can add a little bit of water, 1 tablespoons at a time.  Just before serving, add the scallions and cilantro.  
Make a salad of chopped romaine and sliced white onions (yes it’s a lot of onion but really good).  Mix salad with a vinagrette.  I found a great olive oil that is infused with lime.  This was perfect for the dressing.  You could also use a good salsa.  Place the tortilla cup on the salad greens and fill with the meat mixture.  
If you use extra lean ground beef you are looking at 7 points per serving.  The points do not include the vinagrette you will be using on the salad greens.  But this is about 2 points.  If you use salsa in place of the salad dressing you save the 2 points.  It is a very filling salad.  And you get to eat the taco shell!!!!  
If you use ground turkey the points go down to 5!!!!
You could also use TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) then the points are 7.  BUT, the fat is now 1.5 and the fiber is 21.7grams.  See you have a choice!!!
this is enough to make 8 to 10 tacos
2 teaspoons instant minced onion, dry
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.  This will make about 2 tablespoons, the same as in a packet of taco seasoning.  
Taco Salad
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Mold steamed tortilla
in muffin pan
Ingredients needed
Meat, onions, garlic
sauteing in pan
meat mixture in pan