Vegetarian Taco Salad

250-taco saladIngredients:

1 1/2 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1 1/2 cups salsa (your favorite brand and heat level)
1 1/2 cups black beans, or 1 (15 oz) can rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups pinto beans, or 1 (15 oz) can rinsed and drained
6 cups lettuce, torn
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 large avocado, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 T olive oil or avocado oil
12-24 blue corn taco chips (if calorie counting, choose 12)
Optional and not included in the calories above: cheese, sweet red pepper, corn, jalapenos, serranos, Hatch chilis, more Salsa,Tabasco, sour cream…..

Directions:

Drain and rinse the both kinds of beans – use any combination of beans you love.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the seasonings, salsa, and both beans.

Add the salsa a bit at a time. You do not want the beans to become awash in liquid. The 1 1/2 cups I used were from a very thick salsa If your salsa is thin, use less.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low and allow to heat and blend flavors for 10-15 minutes.

Stir every now and then. If you are adding an ingredient that needs cookery, such as corn, this is the time to add it.

Prepare the lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. Dice the avocado and squish the lime over the pieces. Chop the cilantro.

Prep the optional ingredients of your choice.

Divide the lettuce among four dinner plates. If it looks skimpy on the lettuce, feel free to add more. Lettuce has so few calories you should eat as much as you want. 6 cups is the minimum. Get creative with your lettuces and mix the types.

After the beans have simmered 10 minutes, divide the mixture on top of the lettuce, mounding it in the center of the plate. Leave plenty of lettuce so that the veggies can form a pretty ring around the beans.

Divide the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and avocado in a circle around the beans.

If you are using peppers, arrange them over the entire plate.

Top with a little cheese if you like, but remember there’s a lot of fat and calories in there so be very mindful as to the amount. This plate was my son’s. Obviously he LOVES cheese!

If you would like to eat the salad with chips, arrange them in a pattern on the lettuce or stick one in the meat as if it were a sail on a boat.

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