Taco Salad at the Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 5th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

TACO SALAD!Dinner is served!

Happily, Tex-Mex has swept this country!  Study most any menu in the USA and you’ll find offerings from South of the Border in a wide variety.  The choices are endless, tasty, and varied.

One favorite in the Club House is Taco Salad.  Ours is likely to be very different from the one you make at your house because everyone’s flavor buds are unique!

The salad we have here is a QUICK FIX.  It is highly nutritious, has lots of flavor, and seems to be a crowd pleaser.  Here is what we served to a special house guest last evening.  We had eaten a heavy lunch and the weather dictated something light and fresh would delight our palettes, so this is what graced our dinner table.


1  pound ground beef

1  onion, chopped

Season to your taste:  cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper

3  ribs celery, chopped

1   can, drained and rinsed or 2 cups cooked red kidney beans 

*The Kitchen Police will not arrest you if you use pinto beans, black beans or some other family favorite…

2   medium tomatoes, chopped

1  can corn, drained

1  cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

*Nobody will tattle to the Kitchen Police if you use cheddar, American, or whatever else you like or have on hand

1/2  head lettuce, shredded

Package of corn chips

Your favorite dressing


Brown the ground beef and add the spices and a bit of the chopped onion in a heavy skillet.  While the meat is cooking, chop the celery and tomatoes and layer them, along with the beans and corn in a large bowl. 

*If  it needs to look pretty you can use a clear glass bowl; if you are like Mother Connie, you will pile it into your most favorite bowl! 

When the salad comes to the table you can crush some corn chips in the bottom of a soup plate or dinner plate and pile the salad over the top.  Use your favorite dressing-we prefer a combo of French and Mayo.  Some like to use “Ranch” dressing, or some other combination.

*If you are “flush” enough to have black olives, those are a nice addition. 

If you do not have ground beef, just use cooked rice, combining rice and beans in the skillet and adding the spices.  I have made this meatless salad in this very way and people raved about how well cooked the MEAT was!

Most folks love salsa so you can add that if you like or you can make a dressing of salsa and mayo…are you drooling yet?  grin

There is a lot of info – or is it MISinfo or DISinfo?- about the SNAP program and the EBT cards.  There is the threat of making it less available.  NOT TO WORRY because it is the mission of the Food Stamps Cooking Club to ease your burden when it comes to feeding your family on a restricted budget.  Even if you use food commodities or food pantry food or you just want to manage your food budget in better ways, we want to help you in concrete ways.

We love your messages and thank you for them.  We also love that you are sharing what we have here with your friendsIt’s always fun to find out what YOU are creating in YOUR kitchens…sharing those ideas is great fun and most helpful!

Connie Baum

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  1. WritewhereUr says:

    We make taco salad on a regular basis. You are absolutely right…everyone’s palette is different; even in my own home we like/dislike certain ingredients. How do I solve this dilemma? Easy peasy. I make up the main salad and put it in a large serving bowl. For ingredients that some family member disagree with…I put those around the main salad bowl into smaller cereal sized bowls with spoons in them for them to “doctor” up their taco salad…just the way they like it. Ours includes sour cream…and a taco sauce on the side.

  2. Some mommies would fuss and whine about those different palettes; it seems to me you are one mommy who got busy and solved that problem! GOOD ON YOU, GIRL!

    Let’s have a meet up and make taco salad! SOON…

    Mother Connie

  3. Carol says:

    HI Connie,
    Cinco de Mayo was on our menu tonight as well. While we didn’t have taco salad (salad ingredients remain very expensive out here), I offered beef-bean tacos on soft tortillas, low salt Mexican rice (mix), corn. All ingredients on sale, combined with a cpn when possible.

    My tip/suggestion would be to do what i do for tacos: use whatever ground meat is cheapest for you (for me, it’s often ground poultry)and cook it 50-50 with drained, cooked beans. tonight, I did use ground beef, and mixed it with a can of rinsed and drained pintos. Stretches the meat, reduced cholesterol, increases fiber, and keeps my grocery bill in check while I am feeding 3 teen boys!

  4. kay says:

    looking forward to making this taco salad with you … looks yummy 🙂

  5. Great ideas, Carol! As always!

    You might be too far North to have lettuce growing in your garden but around here there is an abundance of it IF the heat has not slowed it down!

    You are right, tho-salad fixin’s are mighty spendy. And still the number of users of SNAP and WIC continue to rise…today I read that there are actually places where it is ILLEGAL to feed hungry people.

    Let’s hope and pray, Carol, that you and I and Lorraine and Max and Sheila and Kim and all the other Food Stamps Club Members can help alleviate some of the pain of that sort of situation!

    Thanks for chiming in, girl!

    Mother Connei

  6. Kay, I think this might be on the menu the next time you come across the pond! Let’s hope it’s soon!

    Mother Connie

  7. mikemax says:

    I have gotten so I don’t really care for highly seasoned ground beef, either in tacos or taco salad. More and more often, I find myself substituting black beans for the meat in Mexican-inspired recipes. Canned black beans are cheap enough, but if you’re really strapped, you can cook dry beans. Just be sure to cook enough that you have leftovers to freeze!

    The other thing is that often I will use half a pack of taco seasoning with meat. Which makes the packaged seasoning go twice as far, and produces a dish that’s closer to my tastes. On tacos, we just use unseasoned meat or beans, cheese, lettuce (if I have it) and salsa–we get the tomato AND the seasoning in the salsa. Black bean tacos made this way are de-lish!

  8. Oh, it is SO GOOD to hear from you, Mikemax! Your ideas of creating tacos to taste make me wish I could put my toes under your table. Oh, the food discussions we could have.

    Tell ya what–I will bring the coffee and come right by. Never mind all the geography that separates us! grin

    Mother Connie