I had planned on writing this whole thing about how there are a lot of Americans who don’t eat good Mexican food… citing examples like the caulking guns they use at Taco Bell to serve their bean and guacamole pastes, their strange octagon shaped taco sandwiches and of course the role they play in the evil axis that is Yum! brands.
But to be honest – Taco Salad isn’t really Mexican food. It is more Mexican inspired but that’s not to say this isn’t one of the best recipes in this project thus far. Betty is so my Yoda.
But enough lallygagging. . . there are quite a few steps so let’s get going.
4 Cups of Vegetable Oil (for frying Tortilla Shells)
4 Tortilla Shells (10 inch Flour)
1 Package of Gimme Lean Ground Beef (really you can use any fake ground beef substitute – this is just what we happened to have)
1/2 Large Red Onion (diced)
1 Can Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed – keep the can)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Dashes of Liquid Smoke
1 Tablespoon Texas Pete Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (ground)
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Vegan Poultry Seasoning or Seasoning Salt (most are vegan but you need to read the label to makes sure)
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1 Head of Romaine Lettuce (chopped into bite size pieces)
1 Cup of Daiya Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
2/3 Cup Black Olives (sliced)
1 Avocado (pitted and pealed. . . we made ours into guacamole but it would have been just as good in slices)
Vegan Sour Cream
Green Onions (chopped)
Remove the label and both ends from your empty Kidney Bean can.
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat Vegetable Oil to a boil. Place 1 tortilla at a time on top of the saucepan. With long handled tongs, place kidney can in the middle of the Tortilla and VERY SLOWLY and GENTLY push the Tortilla into the Oil. Count to 5 and remove the can – if the Tortilla hasn’t set into a flower cup – hold for another 5 seconds. remove Can and fry Tortilla for 1 to 2 minutes longer – turning the Tortilla till it is crisp and golden brown.
Carefully remove the Tortilla Shell using the tongs and place on a paper towel on a plate to soak up excess oil. Let cool and repeat with the other Tortillas.
In your loyal cast iron skillet, heat on medium heat the Olive Oil. Stir into the Oil the dashes of Liquid Smoke and Hot Sauce . Add defrosted Fake Ground Beef (broken into bite size or smaller crumbles), chopped Red Onion and Kidney Beans and then mix in Braggs, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic Powder, Poultry Seasoning and Cumin. Make sure everything gets mixed thoroughly and everything gets an even coat. It should take around 10 minutes for it to finish cooking. . . but it will take a different amount of time for different types of Fake Ground Beef. Some types of fake meat are thicker than others. Remove from heat once the Fake Ground Beef is browned and the Onions are caramelized.Be sure and let the Fake Beef mix cool before serving.
Now you can build your salads!