Christina Clark 35 min. 5 min.

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I know very few people who dislike taco salad. What’s not to like? Lots of vegetables=healthy, and of course there’s the delicious southwest seasonings coupled with crunchy tortilla chips, salad dressing or salsa, and last but not least, cheese! This version is no exception. Don’t be deterred by the addition of pineapple – the tangy, juicy fruit is used in many Mexican dishes and pairs quite nicely with the spicy seasonings and black beans. If you are nervous, you could leave them out, but…it just wouldn’t be the same!

It’s a good thing for my family that this taco salad is really tasty! I have been attempting to post this recipe for the past 3 weeks, but every time I prepared it, I ran out of time to take any pictures. Yesterday when I told my husband we were having taco salad for the third week in a row, I asked him if he was tired of it yet. He said, “Actually, no. I think it would take me a long time to get tired of it because it’s really good!” Score! It’s also pretty easy and fast, so I just might continue making it every week.  Win, win. I hope you like it too!

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Black Bean Taco Salad with Pineapple

Serves 4
Prep Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

1 head lettuce
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, or 1 large tomato
8 oz olives
1/2 onion
1/2 sweet bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
10 oz canned pineapple
1 can or 1-3/4 cups cooked black beans
1 avocado
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips
Salsa and/or salad dressing*, as desired

Instructions

Wash and dry the lettuce, then chop or tear it into a large bowl. Heat the corn in the microwave or on the stove. If you are using grape or cherry tomatoes, halve them, or chop a large tomato. If you have whole olives, slice them. Make salad dressing* if you need to (you should try it…).

Chop the onion and bell pepper, and smash, peel, and mince the garlic. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, pepper, and garlic for 6-8 minutes heat until soft, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, open the can of pineapple (or chop a fresh pineapple if you are lucky enough to have one!) and drain, reserving the juice. Measure the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper into a small bowl. Squeeze a lime or have some bottled lime juice ready. Rinse and drain your beans if needed.

Add the seasonings to the pan and saute for about 30 seconds. Then add in one tablespoon of pineapple juice and 2 tsp lime juice and stir around to deglaze the pan. Add the pineapple and beans, and stir to coat. Heat until warmed through. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.

Shred the cheese, slice your avocado, grab your bag of chips, and mix everything together in one glorious, messy salad! Alternately, if you want it to look pretty (or if you have picky eaters who will selectively choose from among your toppings), serve all ingredients in separate small bowls for a salad bar. This way creates more dishes, but it make my kids happier. 🙂

*I would highly recommend my FAVORITE homemade dressing for taco salad: Beth Moncel’s easy Taco Ranch Dressing. It is so worth the extra 5 minutes it takes to whip up! I never eat taco salad anymore without this dressing!

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