Cooking alone or as a couple can be a challenge. When a recipe serves six but there’s only two of you, it can be a bore to eat the same thing several days in a row. This is why I devised this recipe that is the perfect size – a hearty dinner salad just for two.
Taco salad reminds me of two things: my mom and my college days in Boulder, Colo. My mom made a mean taco salad with spicy ground beef, lots of tortilla chips, cheese and an interesting dressing that I think might’ve just been a mixture of sour cream and salsa. When I left for college, I continued the tradition, but made mine healthier and vegetarian, reflecting my interests and inclinations at the time. I think at some point there might have even been tempeh (tempeh was in high rotation in my apartment in those days).
This recipe is almost a grown-up version of my college taco salad. It has many of the same components, but I’ve added quinoa for extra protein and whipped up a super creamy cilantro dressing that’s spiked with fresh lime juice and a little salt. It’d be dreamy as a dip for fresh vegetables, and I can vouch for it as a dip with leftover tortilla chips, too. It’s good stuff.
If you like leftovers or have a family of four, simply double this recipe. If you’re planning for leftovers, wait to dress the remaining salad with dressing until you’re ready to eat.
This is the perfect salad for this time of year – substantial enough to be lunch or dinner but simple enough that you’re not spending more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.
Megan Gordon is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a website on food and home cooking.
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