Sarah-Jane’s New South Fiesta Taco Salad with Sriracha-Cilantro Ranch Dressing
For the salad:
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean or leaner)
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
3 tablespoons yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons Mexican-style chili powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (15.5-ounce) Latina-style pinto beans (look for ones without partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients)
16 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded carrots
½ large cucumber, chopped
1 container cherry tomatoes, quartered
56 yellow corn tortilla chips
8 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 medium ripe avocado, diced
16 tablespoons salsa, optional
For the dressing;
12 tablespoons ranch dressing (look for a lighter version made with yogurt in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (or more or less depending on taste)
To make the salad:
Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it begins to brown and break-up, add the red onion, fresh garlic, and yellow bell pepper. Continue cooking and stirring frequently, breaking the meat up with the spoon.
Add the seasonings (Mexican-style chili powder through salt) and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the beans (including the liquid in the can) and cook, stirring frequently until everything is incorporated and heated through.
Remove from heat and keep warm.
Divide the lettuce among 8 plates (2 cups each) top each with equal amounts of the carrots, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes.
Top each salad with 7 crumbled tortilla chips, 1 tablespoon each cheese, and 1/8 each of the chopped avocado, as well as 2 tablespoons each salsa, if using.
Next, make the dressing:
Combine the yogurt-ranch, cilantro, and sriracha sauce in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Drizzle an equal amount over each salad (about 2 tablespoons each).
Nutrition facts per serving (makes 8 salads): 360 calories, 17g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 45mg cholesterol, 840mg sodium, 33g carbs, 9g fiber, 6g sugars, 21g protein.
Traditional Taco Salad Nutrition facts per serving: 660 calories, 47g fat, 13g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 60mg cholesterol, 1600mg sodium, 44g carbs, 5g fiber, 16g sugars, 18g protein.
THE NEW SOUTH VERSION SAVES YOU: 300 calories, 30g fat, 8.5g saturated fat, 816mg sodium, and 10g sugar per serving!!! Plus, with the NEW SOUTH version you gain 4g fiber and 3g protein!!