Being that yesterday was Mexican Wednesday, we had Taco Salads. Some call Wednesdays, the hump day, however, for me it was the grump day. I was so grumpy and it didn’t help that Sean had to work later than normal and we had a freak snow fall that I had to drive in to take 1 to dance. Even though I took my drivers test in a blizzard, when I was 16, I didn’t care then. I care now. I don’t like snow! I had my heart on going for a run, to keep up on this weight loss journey, but I have to be flexible, because life happens and things can get in the way. For our Connections group last night, I made an old university favorite of mine. I remember when Ren liked Tim. I remember when Tim liked Ren. When all this liking would be going on, I would be in Ren’s parents’ kitchen stuffing my face with the most awesome appetizer in the world, hoping no one would notice the ever decreasing feta cheese spread. To this day, I make this appetizer often. I am forever grateful to Tim for sharing it with me. I prepare it with the fondest memories of my university life friends pouring over in my mind of the countless wine and cheese fondues, over eating of fine decadent foods, and deep conversations of not only life’s mysteries, but of God’s too.
Beef Taco Salads
The great thing about Taco salads, is that they can be made in a whole variety of different ways and always taste great. Most times I use chicken, but in this case, I used ground beef. When I have jalapenos, believe me, my salad is covered in them, but unfortunately, I had none in my cupboard.
1 pound of ground sirloin beef
3 cups Arugula
1/4 cup Red onion, chopped
1/2 cup red, orange, or yellow pepper, chopped
taco seasoning of choice, I like Trader Joe’s, (sometimes I make my own by adding 2tsp chili powder, 1/2tsp sea salt, 1tsp ground cumin, and 1/2 tsp onion powder)
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup organic roasted corn (or organic corn kernels)
1-2 cups grated Monterey Jack and Sharp cheddar cheese
Taco chips (I use Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips)
How To Play:
In a skillet cook beef until no longer pink. Add seasoning and a bit of water if it looks too dry. While beef is heating, in a small sauce pan, melt butter and add corn, heat thoroughly. Prepare salad bowls by adding arugula topped with fresh peppers and onions. Add cooked seasoned beef. Pour favorite salsa over the beef. Sprinkle with corn and cheeses. On one side of the salad bowl add a spoonful of guacamole and sour cream, while the other side has a wall of taco chips. You can really make it any way you want, it is just the way I like to present it, all that really matters is that it tastes good.
Feta Cheese and Herb Appetizer
1 Block of Feta Cheese (just over a cup)
2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
Fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tbsp Olive oil
How To Play:
Heat oven at 350 degrees. Place feta cheese in tinfoil inside a baking dish. You can have the minced garlic placed on top or inserted into the feta, either way is fine, then dust feta with ground pepper. Sprinkle over with basil, oregano, and rosemary, then pour olive oil over top. Close the tinfoil tightly over the seasoned feta and bake for about 20-25 minutes until really soft. Serve warm with crackers or prepared baguette.
To Prepare Baguette:
Cut baguette thinly on an angle. Place onto a baking sheet. Brush each piece generously with olive oil and heat in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.