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Taco Salad

Every one of our kids had a favorite meal and this one was Jake’s.  He never wavered when asked what he would like to have for dinner! The recipe came out every summer and became part of our hot weather fare but appeared on our table on many cool evenings as well.

From: Whole Foods for the Whole Family – La Leche League International Cookbook

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup water
2 cups kidney beans
1/2 pound grated cheese
crushed tortilla chips or corn chips
diced tomato
green pepper
carrots, chopped
black olives

Brown meat and onion, drain off fat. Add seasonings. Stir in tomato paste and water. Simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the kidney beans.
Make the salad with desired ingredients. At serving time, add meat and grated cheese. Dress with your favorite salad dressing and toss. (A good vinaigrette works well.) Add tortilla chip pieces and toss again.

Note: The meat mixture can be made ahead and chilled after it is cooked.