Turkey Taco Salad


Serves six.


2 lbs ground turkey, 93% lean
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t Mexican oregano
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1 t dried cilantro)
8 oz salsa (your favorite brand and heat level)
1 (15 oz can) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can sweet corn
6 cups packed lettuce, torn
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, seeds removed and sliced
1 large avocado, diced or scooped with a spoon
2 limes, sliced
24 blue corn taco chips
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Optional: jalapenos, serranos, Hatch chilis, frijoles instead of black beans, more Salsa,Tabasco, sour cream….. If you can put it on a taco, it can be added to this beautiful salad.


Put the olive oil in a large skillet or pan. Heat over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the turkey, stir and cook until the turkey is fully cooked, breaking the larger pieces as you go. Drain any excess fat.

Return pan with turkey to the stove and stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic, oregano, and black pepper. Saute about a minute or two. Do you notice a change in the fragrance of the seasonings? Delicious. Sauteing the seasonings a bit brings out the flavors.

Add the cilantro and salsa. The turkey should be saucy but not excessively so. You want to be able to push the meat to one side and not have rivers of juice running all over. If you used extra lean turkey, you may need to add a little more salsa. Go right ahead and do so.

Heat it to a simmer and then keep the meat on a very low.

Drain and rinse the black beans and add them with the canned corn to a small pot. Sprinkle a pinch of Mexican oregano and ground black pepper on top, heat to a simmer, stirring every now and then. Keep warm.

Prep the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper. Slice the avocado. Quarter the limes. Squish one quarter over the avocado to keep it from turning brown. Prep the optional ingredients of your choice.

Divide the lettuce among six dinner plates. If the lettuce looks skimpy, feel free to add more. Lettuce has so few calories you should eat as much as you want. 6 cups is just a minimum guideline to follow.

After the meat has simmered 10 minutes, divide the mixture on top of the lettuce, mounding it in the center of the plate. Leave plenty of lettuce so the pretty veggies can make a lovely colorful ring around the turkey.

Divide the tomatoes, onion, pepper, and avocado around the mounds of meat. If you are using jalapenos, arrange them over the entire plate, including the meat mountain.

Spoon the black beans and corn over the top.

Sprinkle with a little cheese.

If you would like to eat the salad with chips, arrange them in a pretty sun ray pattern around the lettuce.


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