Do any of y’all still meal prep? I kinda/sorta do. I don’t usually prepare entire meals for multiple days anymore but I do tend to prepare a couple things for the week so I don’t come home exhausted/starving and easily convince myself that a handle of chips and a Babybel cheese wedge qualifies as a well-balanced meal.
I also tend to go through phases of preparing foods – I’ll be super into quinoa for a few weeks, then I’ll never want to eat it ever again. Sometimes I can come up with a million different ways to incorporate baked chicken breasts into my meals and other days I can think of nothing I would like to eat less.
With that being said, lately I’ve been on a ground chicken kick (as evident from my Chicken Chili Quinoa Bowl and now this Chicken Taco Salad)! I like ground chicken as it’s usually quite cheap (2 x 1lb packages for $12 at my local Walmart – yes, I am one of those people that still eats non-organic food – and I’m still alive) and it’s easy and quick to cook up. Not to mention, it really soaks up the flavours of whatever seasoning or marinade that you use. I also like that you can mold into it meatballs or burger patties or just keep it as lean ground, whatever you feel like!
So I cooked up a pound of the ground chicken using taco mix seasonings and scavenged the fridge for something fun and tasty to add to my salads for the week. It’s been super gloomy, rainy and overcast for months in Vancouver so I had to make a meal that reminded me of sunnier days. Tossing bits of mango, chopped avocado and Tajin sprinkled cucumber slices did the trick! You could also sprinkle some toasted, shredded coconut over top – yum. That’s what I like about salads, you can literally add anything to them and come up with endless variations of the same ol’ dish. Try this next time you need to break out of your salad rut!
What You Need:
1 lb extra lean ground chicken
1 package taco mix of choice (Old El Paso happened to be on sale)
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salad stuff: romaine hearts – chopped, persian cucumbers – thinly sliced, mango – chopped, avocado – chopped
Just for fun: homemade candied pecans
Seasonings/Salad toppers: Franks Red Hot, taco sauce, salsa, Cilantro & Avocado Bolthouse salad dressing, Tajin seasoning, Shredded Parmesan & Asiago
What To Do:
Start by sautéing up your onions and garlic (and in this case, whatever left over veggies you feel like throwing in the mix – I had already chopped up mushrooms and scallions that I didn’t want to go bad)
Once the onions/aromatics are all nice and soft and golden brown, add the extra lean ground chicken to the pan. Break apart with a wooden cooking spoon and cook over medium heat until no more pink is visible.
Like so –
Add the taco mix (dissolved in boiling water as per package instructions) Franks Red Hot & taco sauce. Ooh and I forgot to mention – add a squirt of ketchup, it gives a nice sweetness to the end product. Once the majority of the water has cooked off, turn down to low and let simmer until sauce has thickened.
Set the chicken aside to cool and set up your salad mise en place:
I like to toss the salad greens (in this case, Romaine) with the salad dressing and shredded parmesan, separately so that the flavours stay nice and accentuated – not all drowning in dressing. Add the other ingredients on top and behold your masterpiece!
Who said salads have to be boring?! Nom nom nom nom nom.