Who doesn’t love a good, hearty taco salad? They can be custom made to suit almost anyone’s tastes, no matter what food intolerance’s they may have.
Last year, I spent some time travelling across Central America, eating lots of good food along the way. At a certain point, I decided to create a list of food I really enjoyed, in order to recreate it all later whenever I had access to a kitchen again. I made a detailed list of the ingredients I knew were in it, and sometimes would go back to try the dish a second time, you know, for research….
Unfortunately, I lost that list, so I’m just using my taste memory, if that’s a thing.
The best taco salad I had in my life was in Belize. I remember the bowl was made out of plantain flour, and filled to the brim with warm and cool elements, which worked really well together. The rice and bean mix had a bit of a kick to it with fresh jalapenos, but in the next bite, your mouth cools off with a hit of sour cream.
My version of a taco salad is pretty different from that, but at least I made a fun bowl. From now on, I only want to eat food if I can eat the dish it’s served in. Because, who wants to wash more dishes, when you can just eat them. You can see in the picture below, I wrapped a tortilla around a pot and baked it in the oven. A heat resistant bowl would work just as easy too, if you have one kicking around.
There are many different ways you can make a tortilla bowl. Above, I’ve shown two ways. You can place a tortilla over a pan (a bowl or jar will also work) and create folds, using water on the folds to stick things in place. The second and far easier way is to plop it in a springform pan and use binder clips to hold it in place. You could also fit a smaller pan inside. This prevents the tortilla from falling inward while cooking.
There are also these tortilla bowl makers that you can get on Amazon. I haven’t tried them, but they do seem like they’d make life a bit easier.
- 2 cups Water
- 1 cup Rice, uncooked
- 1 cup cooked Black Beans
- 2 Onions, diced
- 4 cloves Garlic (2 Tbsp when minced)
- 1 small Green Pepper, diced
- ½ Red Pepper
- 1 Lemon
- 3 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Coriander
- 2 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 2 Avocados
- 3 Tbsp Red Onion, finely diced
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
- ½ tsp Cumin
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
- 3 Tbsp Green Pepper, diced
- 3 Tbsp Red Onion, fine dice
- 2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped fine
- 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- Juice of ½ Lime
- 1 small Mango, peeled and diced
- ½ tsp Salt
- 4 Tortillas
- 2-4 tsp Vegetable Oil
For the Tortilla Bowl: Begin by forming the tortilla bowls. Lightly rub oil over one side of the tortilla (important step, so it doesn’t stick). Wrap around a pot or bowl, oiled side down. Dab some water on the folds when pressing down to make it stick more easily. Cook in a 375°F oven for 10 minutes, then remove from the bowl, and place it back in the oven, on its own for 5 more minutes. Or if using the springform pan method, see above in the post for instructions.
For the Rice: Cook the rice while you prepare the other ingredients.In a pan, saute onions over medium high in 1 Tbsp of oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook a couple minutes. Add peppers and spices and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Add lemon, cooked rice and black beans. Adjust seasoning to taste.
For the Guacamole: Mash the avocados in a bowl with a fork. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Boom! Done.
For the Salsa: After everything is chopped, toss it in a bowl and adjust to your liking.
Assembly: Place shredded lettuce in bottom of tortilla bowl. Layer with rice mixture. Then add salsa, guac and other desired garnish.
*I also like to add a cashew sour cream drizzle. Just mix a bit of cashew butter with water, lemon juice and salt.
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