Cheap Recipe: Quick Black Bean Taco Salad for a Crowd

3 Sep

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

IMG_3963This quick recipe can be thrown together in about 20 minutes and can feed several people for less than ten bucks. Plus, the meat keeps and reheats beautifully, so it makes for great leftovers!

(Just don’t throw it all in one big bowl together if you’re planning on saving some, because you won’t want to reheat the meat together with the lettuce later!)

This dish is also South Beach Diet-friendly and Atkins-friendly; just omit the corn chips and make sure your salsa is low in sugar.

Please note that these directions include using texturized vegetable protein (TVP). Click here to learn about cooking with TVP. If you do not wish to use TVP, you can simply increase the amount of ground meat or leave measurements alone and create a smaller amount of meat/bean mixture without the TVP. If you skip the TVP, be sure to still add between 1/4 or

 1/2 cup water to the cooked meat anyway when adding the seasoning pouch. You can also prepare this using all TVP

Chopping your own head of lettuce saves a lot of money over prepackaged salad mixes!

Chopping your own head of lettuce saves a lot of money over prepackaged salad mixes!

 instead of cutting it with meat.

Begin by coating a large skillet with nonstick spray and warming over medium heat. While skillet is heating, chop 1 head of lettuce into multiple bowls or one large serving bowl.

Brown ground meat well before adding TVP, seasoning or beans.

Brown ground meat well before adding TVP, seasoning or beans.

Place 1 lb. ground beef or turkey (thawed) in skillet and begin to brown meat. Stir often to break up chunks. Cook 5-7 minutes or until no large red/pink portions of meat remain. Drain if necessary.

 Add 3/4 cup dry TVP, 3/4 cup water and contents of 1 dry taco seasoning packet. Stir well.

While TVP and meat cook together in seasoning, drain and rinse 1 can of black beans.

All the flavor you want (seasoning & beans) for a combined $1.50 or less!

All the flavor you want (seasoning & beans) for about a buck!

 Add beans to the mixture and stir again. Reduce heat to low.

Look how much meat mixture this makes! Sure beats 1 plain pound of ground beef!

Look how much meat mixture this makes! Sure beats 1 plain pound of ground beef!

While mixture sits on low heat, chop 2 large tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and add to chopped lettuce. Slice a cucumber if desired and add to salad.

IMG_3960Sprinkle shredded colby or cheddar cheese over each salad. (A 2-cup bag of cheese will do several servings of taco salad.) With a slotted spoon, dish meat/bean mixture over the shredded cheese. (I like to layer the cheese and meat in this order so the hot meat has a chance to melt the cheese a bit before I eat it.)

Top with taco sauce or salsa and a large handful of corn chips. Delicious!

IMG_3964

Don't you just want to reach through the computer screen and steal one of those corn chips???

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One Response to “Cheap Recipe: Quick Black Bean Taco Salad for a Crowd”

  1. redforkhippie September 12, 2009 at 5:45 PM #

    If you have 15 extra minutes and a food processor, you can make your own sugar-free salsa. Just toss two cloves of garlic and a cored jalapeno in with a handful of cilantro (easy to grow in a pot, BTW) and a squeeze of lime. Toss in a fourth of an onion, half a bell pepper, and a couple of tomatoes, process, and stir in cumin and chili powder to taste. You may have to hit a regular grocery store for cilantro and jalapeno, but you could probably substitute canned chiles and dried cilantro in a pinch. Fresh salsa is well worth the extra effort. Make a big batch during tomato season and can it for an awesome winter treat.

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