Tonight we have a family favorite–Taco Salad night. It really provides me with a fast meal that gives all around family satisfaction. It also ranks as one of those easy meals for the novice cook.
Here is how I do it:
1 package frozen soy crumbles (“ground beef”)
1 can refried beans or black beans (In the case of black beans, drain and rinse)
1 pkg taco seasoning (I get the low salt kind. If you want to make your own Owlhaven’s Family Feasts for $75.00 a Week will tell you how)
3/4 cup of water
Mix that together in a large saucepan. You can add a can of tomatoes or some frozen corn if you wish.
The thinking behind the mixing together is that I don’t need to heat the beans in the microwave while I cook the rest AND with it mixed together, everyone eats more beans than they did when the taco/burrito/taco salad items were all separate.
While that cooks, chop enough lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onion (if your family likes onion) for your family. Grab the salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream out of the fridge. Drain (and slice if necessary) a can of black olives. Don’t freak out if you are out of one of these ingredients or someone doesn’t like them. (Other possibilities: shredded carrot, green pepper, jalapenos, green chiles, etc.)
Grab the bag of tortilla chips out of the cupboard. Then call for the family.
Hand them a plate or bowl. A few chips crushed at the bottom, lettuce on top, then each member of your family can create their own taco salad. A tip: Add the tortilla chips first if your child may over do it on the chips and skip the veggies. A teaspoon in the sour cream rather than a tablespoon helps limit sour cream overdose as well.
There you have it– Zero to dinner in less than 15 minutes.
Note: I use the same process for “Burrito night” and “Taco Night”, substituting tortillas, soft taco tortillas, or taco shells on those nights. I am not keen on taco night. Heating the shells adds a step and no one seems to eat as many veggies.