Weekly Winner: Sometimes, You’ve Got to Kick It Old School – including the iceberg!

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I like to save Sundays for my serious, extravagant cooking.  I have made it a point to bring back the Sunday Supper to this house.  That means a meal that possibly takes all day to prepare, fills the house with an incredible aroma, and to which one must seat oneself at a properly dressed table (even if you’re wearing jammies). And then there was THIS Sunday.

First of all the weather was totally chaotic here.  I am a stong believer of matching meals to weather.  Hot and Humid?  A nice cool entrée salad of some type.  Cold, drizzly and hopefully snowing? Definitely braises, soups, or stew weather. This Sunday….in Chicago….in mid-November…. we had close to 70 degree temps, 70 mile an hour winds, and tornado warnings.  Crazy!  So the day called for something equally unexpected for dinner.

Taco SaladThe result?  My Mom’s Taco Salad!  This is honestly a meal I have not had in perhaps eight years.  And I guarantee that the last time I had it, it was summer.  This just always seems like a summer dish to me.   However this past Sunday, here I was, in short sleeves watching torrential rains sheet across our living room windows craving Mom’s Taco Salad.  I actually have no idea where she got this recipe but it was a regular summer meal growing up.  Obviously the recipe is open to adaptation and perhaps substitutions, (I have even changed the original kidney beans to black beans to suit my preference) but I do think there are two absolutes in this recipe.  The cheddar has to be extra-sharp and cubed, and the onion has to be red, raw and thinly sliced.  Other than that — go crazy and have fun.  Without further ado, here is Mom’s Taco Salad straight from Beavercreek, Ohio.

Mom’s Taco Salad

Serves a bunch


1 lb ground beef

1 taco flavoring packet

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 bell pepper of any color

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

6 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Catalina French salad dressing

Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos (as much as your conscience will allow), crushed

chopped iceberg lettuce

sour cream for garnish


Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning mix along with 1/4 -1/2 cup of water – simmer until liquid is absorbed.

In a large bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cheddar and slightly cooled ground beef.  Toss with enough Catalina dressing to generously coat.  Add crushed Doritos and stir again.

Serve on chopped iceberg lettuce with a dollop of sour cream.


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