For this week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe, Peggy from Pantry Revisited chose for us to make the Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing, from Ellie's So Easy cookbook. As you can see from the title of this post, I revamped this recipe a bit! Okay, more than a bit. I took two of the main components of the salad, the beef and the chunky tomatoes, and omitted them completely. The results were mixed, but mostly very, very good!
Since I don't eat beef, it was a no-brainer that I would just use ground turkey instead, and of course it worked out just fine. For the dressing, however, I had to get a little more creative. I basically had to remove the main component from the dressing, which was of course the chopped tomato pieces, in order to satisfy my aversion to chunks of raw tomato in my salads. I recalled that I had made a dressing once before that was a maple and lime combination, and it was really tasty. Since there was lime juice in this one, I went with a sweet/tart theme. This time, I added a squeeze of honey, some tomato paste, and I eyeballed the olive oil. After a quick taste, I decided that the lime juice plus the tomato paste was making it taste way too acidic, so I added a bit of sugar. That really helped, but I don't necessarily think I'll go making this made-up salad dressing on a regular basis! Not my favorite. That's totally my fault, though, and not Ellie's.
The salad itself was incredibly delicious. I had this whole meal thrown together in record time, too, so that's always a big plus! Personally, I'm a huge fan of throwing crushed-up tortilla chips on salads and soups, so it was a pretty safe assumption that I would like this. The simple seasoning on the meat and beans was just enough, and I threw in some chopped carrot and scallion to brighten up the salad just a bit. Overall, this was a great salad and I would absolutely make it again. Thank you, Peggy! For the original recipe, click over here. And to check out the CEIMB blogroll, click here.