Taco Tuesday Salad


I’m not saying you’re required to institute Taco Tuesday in your house like President Business does in The Lego Movie, I’m just saying it’s a pretty awesome idea. Why not turn a regular old week night into a fiesta?! Imagine the good-time party in the kitchen as you snag a salad bowl and load it up with spicy meat, creamy avocado, crunchy pepitas, and a mess of other taco fixings. Bonus: The prep is dead-easy. A simple sauté and a bunch of chopping means you can serve up colorful bowls of toppings in no time, especially when you recruit knife-wielding amigos to assist (‘cause everything is cool when you’re part of a team).

Paleo Taco Tuesday Salad

Serves 2-4 | Total time: 35 minutes | Whole30 compliant

Taco Meat
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce

  • 1 lime

  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • pinch salt and ground black pepper

  • a handful fresh cilantro

  • 1 avocado

  • 2-3 scallions

  • pitted black olives

  • pitted green olives

  • canned pineapple chunks, packed in juice

  • lime

  • dry-roasted pepitas

  • your favorite salsa

  • pickled jalapeño slices


Cook the aromatics. Warm the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, 2 minutes. While it warms, finely mince the onion. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until softened, about 7–10 minutes. While the onion cooks, peel and crush the garlic, then place it in a small bowl with the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne, and salt. Add the spices to the onion and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Cook the meat. Crumble the beef into the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Push the meat to the side of the pan and drop in the tomato paste, frying until it darkens a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the water and vinegar to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened to your liking.


Toss the salad. Thinly slice the lettuce, place in a large mixing bowl, add the juice of the lime, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss very well, taste, and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Set aside.


Prep the toppings. Choose your toppings and slice them to your liking.


To serve, divide the lettuce among individual plates, top with taco meat, and customize with toppings.

You Know How You Could Do That?

Replace the ground beef with ground pork, ground turkey, or a combo. Beef+pork is one of my favorites.

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