CEimB Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing

by Joanne on December 16, 2010

This week the Ellie group made a chili spiced salad with a deliciously fresh and tangy chunky tomato dressing. The pick was made by Peggy of Pantry Revisited.  Peggy has a great blog.  What I enjoy so much about Peggy is that we tend to think alike in our blogging enjoyments as well as annoyances.  It’s great to have good internet friends. Thumbs up Peggy! Thumbs up

Back to the recipe….what a flavorful meal and so easy to put together.  We had this dinner on Sunday when all I had on my mind was pizza and no fooling around in the kitchen.  But I gave in knowing that making one of Ellie Kreiger’s meal wouldn’t leave me hovering over the stove for very long. 

This is the recipe as I made it:

The  meatless version:


This is the “real beef” version:


Ingredient List (so it’s a little long but seriously, it doesn’t take any time at all and you can make it in part, a day or so in advance).

  • 1. 5 lb lean ground beef (or vegetarian substitute *see below)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans
  • 3/4 TBS chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup water
  • dressing….
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped small
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • salad
  • mixed bag of fancy greens
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces multi-grain tortilla chips w/ sea salt – crushed

Cook meat in a large skillet over medium high heat, breaking it up as you go.  When the meat is not longer pink, add the garlic and beans and cook 2 min. more.  Add chili powder, cayenne, water and stir. Remove from heat and allow to cool. *Can make ahead of time.

To make the dressing… Add the tomatoes to a bowl and mix with the oil, lime juice, pepper and salt.  *Of course you want all the juice from the tomatoes…it’s a dressing after all. Chill until ready to use.

Assembly:  Add about 1  to 1 1/2 cups of greens to a plate.  Top each with 1 cup of beef or vegetarian option, then sprinkle with 2 TBS of cheese.  Add 3/4 cup of the tomato dressing to each plate and top with the crushed tortillas, about 8 chips per serving, crushed.

Vegetarian Option:  


Both Ted and I enjoyed this recipe.  It had a lot of flavor and endless variation possibilities. 


I would have used ground turkey for Ted, but every time I’ve been making ground meat recipes for him lately, it’s been with turkey.  The change was good.


Great pick Peggy!  Hope everyone else enjoyed it.


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  • At 2010.12.16 06:50, Kayte said:

    Looks great in your version…as always! Big hit here as well with all of us. I so wanted to put black olives on top, but I resisted. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone but two of the guys added a dollop of sour cream as well. I resisted and didn’t miss it at all. YUM.

    • At 2010.12.16 14:59, Joanne said:

      Thank you Kayte.

      • At 2010.12.16 10:10, peggy said:

        I wish I had added that dollop of sour cream that Kayte spoke about! I was in such a rush because I am over-committed as I am sure most are. Love both your versions here. I would love to try those meat crumbles you use in place of the beef. I’ll look for those at our store and see what I find. This was easy and quick but just pretty regular to us. Next time maybe I will spice it up more! Thank you so much for cooking with me this week. It makes it more fun. Happy holidays!

        • At 2010.12.16 14:59, Joanne said:

          So right – we are all over committed this time of year.

          • At 2010.12.16 10:11, peggy said:

            I did like the lime, oil tomato dressing on this. Delicious.

            • At 2010.12.16 13:33, Chaya said:

              I love this one. Ellie’s food is simple and delicious. It has a commonality in most of the foods. I made the meat the day before and did the rest, yesterday and then sat down to a real good meal.

              • At 2010.12.16 15:00, Joanne said:

                That’s one of the best features about this dish. So much can be prepared ahead of time. Easy.

                • At 2010.12.16 16:27, Juliana said:

                  Your taco salad sure looks delicious, would love to have as lunch one of this day…love the ingredients in it and I sure would use ground meat 🙂 Great pictures as well!

                  • At 2010.12.16 17:58, Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox said:

                    I love this taco salad! But I might have to serve with sour cream and guac for our crowd. I’ll just keep it off mine 🙂

                    • At 2010.12.16 21:54, Bri said:

                      Yep, just like you said, the simplicity and freshness of this salad make it a real winner. I did use ground turkey in mine, and of course it worked really well. Both your versions look great!

                      • At 2010.12.16 23:09, Margaret said:

                        This was good wasn’t it. Very refreshing. Both of your versions look just perfect.

                        • At 2010.12.18 09:43, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                          Oi, I haven’t made a taco salad in… years! I need to make one again, your recipe looks so tasty 🙂

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