Ellie Krieger's Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing

Growing up, I know I was a real pain in the neck when it came to certain types of meals.  We would have Sunday dinner every week where we would all end up at the table together.  These meals often would rotate between spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, or something on the barbeque when the weather was warm.  I know there were other meals, but those are the one's that stick in my memory. 

Whenever it was a taco dinner, I would be the least excited of everyone there.  I just didn't like eating the hard shells with all the stuff inside.  My mom would make some very simple bean and cheese burritos - no sauce, thank you very much - that were about the only thing I would eat that sort of resembled Mexcian food.  Now, I'm all grown up, and I love, love love Mexican food.  I'm still not a huge fan of the hard shell tacos, but there are so many other things I crave that have the Mexican flavors.  So, to those mom's out there who are frustrated with what their kids won't eat now... one day they WILL grow out of it and begin to discover all the amazing flavors that are out there.
This all leads me to tonight's dinner.  I picked up a copy of Elllie Krieger's So Easy a couple months back and have been going through it marking recipes to try.  I just couldn't find the inspiration to get started using it until this week.  I chose her recipe for Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing and loved the idea that it's basically a taco without having to pick up a hard shell that ultimately falls apart on you!

This has to be one of the simplest meals to make and for busy weeknights that is definitely a plus in our house.  She gives some tips that you can make the dressing and the meat up to 2 days ahead and just keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  I don't always think ahead like that, but those are very helpful tips. 

I made just 2 changes to the recipe.  We don't care for black beans so I used pinto beans and rinsed them very thoroughly.  I also thought that the meat mixture needed more seasoning, so I added about 1 teaspoon of aleppo pepper to kick it up. 

My Husband ate the meat as part of a soft taco and was not impressed with the flavor.  I ate the salad as described in the recipe and found that if you include all components, it works very well together.  I would definitely suggest adjusting the seasoning to your personal tastes as Ellie has gone pretty light in that respect.  This was a very filling dinner and I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

You can find the full recipe HERE at Food Network.  Do give it a try, it's a great alternative to traditional tacos with the weather getting so nice and warm.

Note:  The link to Ellie Krieger's cookbook will take you to Amazon where you will find additional information on the book and be able to purchase if you choose to.  I receive a very small referral fee if you do purchase via that link.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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Jamie said…
We would rather have soft than hard shell tacos as well. I love easy weeknight meals and this salad looks like it fits the bill.
Aggie said…
Great dinner salad Patsy! It looks so fresh! I just started discovered aleppo pepper recently and am addicted to it. I really love the chunky tomato dressing! I can't wait till my cherry tomatoes start coming in.
Barbara Bakes said…
I was a picky eater growing up too. Nothing green and definitely nothing squishy for me. Funny that we both ended up food blogging.
Sook said…
I love Elie Krieger's recipes! I have tried several recipes of hers and liked all of them so far. This taco salad looks fab. I will have to try it sometime!
Lacey said…
Mmm, looks good. Reminds me of the taco salad my Mom would always make while I was growing up! All of us kids loved it and beg her to make it today still.

Thanks for a great post!

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