I know many families that love to have a Mexican food night. Tacos, nachos, and burritos are popular in our house too. Where ever you are in your food adventure, this simple southwestern taco salad with rice and beans can be adjusted to fit any diet.
You can make everything on the same evening that you want to eat it but you can save some time by cooking the rice and meat (optional) ahead of time.
For the sake of this post, I have listed the ingredients and steps for the salad I made that day. It has cubed, roasted chicken with rice and black beans. It’s a starting point. You can make this salad however you like.
How do I make it?
Step 1: Cook the rice. You can use any type of rice (or omit if you aren’t eating starchy food). I make Mexican rice.
Step 2: Roast the chicken. Once cooled, cut into bite-size chunks. Alternately, you can buy a roasted chicken and shred it.
Step 3: Layer the warm rice in a large serving dish, or on individual plates.
Step 4: Open a can of black beans and rinse. Sprinkle over the rice.
Step 5: Add lettuce, tomato, corn, red pepper, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, and lemon wedges.
Step 6: Drizzle the Chipotle dressing or your favorite salsa over the salad.
This recipe can be altered. Leave the meat out, or add shredded cheese. Staying away from corn? Try cabbage with lime juice instead. On a low-carb diet? Remove the rice. Add fresh seafood for additional omega-3 fatty acids. For a vegan option, add bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms to make a fajita-style salad.
I found I preferred to warm up the rice and beans before adding the other ingredients. If you don’t want to warm up your lettuce and other ingredients, pack the ‘hot’ items separately for lunches to making heating easier. Then assemble.
Have fun and enjoy!