Sometimes I really, really miss taco bowls from this big Tex-Mex fast food chain. Yeah, you know which place I’m talking about. They are loaded with beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, fajitas and all inside a fried corn? shell. They used to seem like such a “healthy” choice when compared to other fast food joints, but more than half of the stuff in that bowl now makes me sick. I was really craving one of these bowls so I decided to make my own. I promise you this salad is the most satisfying salad you’ll ever eat. It’s so simple to make and is sooo good.
Fajita Taco Salad Bowls
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients for fajitas:
1 pound beef skirt steak
2 tsp salt
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp EVOO
Ingredients for salad:
2 cups of frozen (or fresh) strips of red and green bell pepper and onion
4 cups of romaine lettuce, chopped
2 large avocados, mashed in a bowl with juice of a small lime (guacamole)
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp EVOO
Chopped jalapeno (optional)
Spicy salsa (optional)
1. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and add EVOO.
2. Season meat on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
3. Place the meat on the skillet and cook each side for about 5 minutes until desired doneness. (5 minutes on each side comes out medium well)
4. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
5. In the same skillet, add 1 tblsp of EVOO, bell peppers and onions and sauté for 4 minutes on medium-high heat.
6. Compose each salad in a bowl with lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, fajitas and a hefty scoop of guacamole.
Please excuse this crappy picture. I took a couple of really quick pictures because I couldn’t wait to eat.
I think pork and zucchini are so great together, especially with salsa. I thought this salsa verde was pretty spicy, but my husband said it was not spicy at all. You be the judge. 😉 Either way, we both thought it was delicious. Speaking of delicious things, I tried a new Mexican seafood restaurant this weekend. Twice. I also had menudo, corn chips, french fries, bbq and mango shaved ice. I think I had a little too much deliciousness this weekend and I’m paying for it today, feeling very sluggish and grumpy. I barely made it through my cycle and core class this afternoon. Here’s to a week of eating strict paleo and sticking to a strict workout routine!
Pork Chops and Zucchini in Salsa Verde
Makes 4 Servings
4 pork chops
3 Mexican zucchinis, sliced
1/4 small onion
2 jalapenos, sliced open and seeded
3 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp EVOO
4 cups water
1. Add water, tomatillos, onion, jalapenos and garlic to a saucepan and boil on high for 20 minutes. Turn heat off and put tomatillos, onion, jalapenos and garlic in a blender along with oregano, cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 cups of the liquid used for boiling and purée. Set aside salsa purée.
2. Heat cast iron over medium heat and add 1 tblsp of EVOO. Season pork chops with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper and place in skillet. Cook each side for 8 minutes and remove chops to a plate.
3. Add 1 tblsp EVOO and zucchini to skillet and sauté for 4 minutes.
4. Add pork chops back to skillet and pour salsa verde over zucchini and chops. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.
I LOVE avocados, especially guacamole and that “green sauce” they serve you at restaurants. There’s one particular Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston that serves the best “green sauce” and I swear I could eat a gallon of that stuff at one time. The problem with that sauce is that it probably contains sour cream and a whole bunch of other bad stuff, not to mention it’s served with addicting corn tortilla chips. I’ve managed to make a close dairy free version of this beloved sauce. It goes well as a dip, for plantain chips or veggies and is also amazing drizzled over grilled chicken, fajitas, casseroles and tons of other dishes. It’s super creamy with a little bit of a kick from the peppers.
1 ripe large Hass avocado
1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed
10 green chile piquín peppers (add more if you like it really spicy)
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (coconut milk could be substituted)
1/2 tsp salt
1. In a blender, add all the ingredients and purée until it reaches a nice, creamy consistency.
2. Pour in a bowl and serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to two days in the refrigerator.
When I think of a picadillo, I think of my dad. My dad was and still is the cook in our family. He made dinner every night of the week growing up. I attribute my love for cooking to him.
Picadillo was a staple in our household, my dad kept it in our weekly meal rotation. There are many different kinds of picadillo, but basically it is a ground beef hash, similar to a chili. My dad and grandparents make picadillo with white potatoes and ground beef and a side of tortillas. Since white potatoes and tortillas aren’t in my regimen, I’ve paleofied my dad’s recipe for picadillo.
Makes about 4 servings
1 lb grass fed ground beef
3 turnips, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces tomato paste or fresh puréed tomatoes
1 1/4 cup unsalted or low sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1. Cook ground beef on medium heat until lightly browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
2. Add in garlic, onion and spices and cook for 7 minutes.
3. Stir in tomato paste and then add the turnips.
4. Pour in chicken stock, stir to combine everything and lower heat.
5. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until turnips are tender.
Serve picadillo in a bowl and eat like chili or serve it with a side of my Mexican Cauliflower Rice.
I LOVE cauliflower. It’s one of the most versatile vegetables I can think of, from burger buns to mashed “potatoes”, there are endless possibilities. I have never been good at making Mexican rice. Like, never. I always overcooked or undercooked the rice. I guess I’m just not meant to eat rice. Cauliflower rice, however, I have mastered. 😉
Makes 4-5 servings
1 head of cauliflower
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 oz tomato paste or fresh puréed tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup no salt or low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1. Remove stems and leaves of cauliflower and cut florets into large pieces. Grate the florets by hand with a cheese grater (or throw into the food processor) until it resembles rice.
2. Heat the olive oil on medium in a large pan and sauté the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes until they become soft and translucent.
3. Stir in all the spices and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the tomato paste and cauliflower and combine all ingredients.
5. Add chicken broth, cover pan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until rice is soft.
Serve your rice alongside your favorite Mexican dish or eat it by itself right out of the bowl.