The post is dedicated to Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes… RIP.
One of our family favorite restaurants pre-pandemic was Souplantation. So many great veggie and salad options all in one place. This summer I’m trying to find easy, simple lunch options for the family, so this week I’m making a salad bar.
It might sound like a lot of work, but I spend about an hour a week prepping veggies as soon as the CSA box arrives, so it’s just a slightly different prep this week.
First I got out our Rubbermaid reusable containers and lids, and I chopped the various ingredients. At lunchtime, I’ll set all of the containers out, and put the salad greens in a large bowl that is nestled in a baking dish full of ice to keep the greens crisp.
If you are having a salad bar for your July Fourth celebration, consider using a cold ingredient caddy like this one.
It keeps the components cold and at their preferred temperature for an extended period of time.
Here are just a few of the ingredients that we’ll be featuring in our DIY salad bar:
- Salad greens (spinach, romaine lettuce, butter bibb lettuce, mixed greens, kale)
- Red onions
- Green apples
- Beets (raw or pickled)
- Bell pepper or other sweet peppers
- Pickled veggies
- Dried fruit
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Cheese cubes (or crumbled feta or goat cheese)
- Diced ham or diced turkey breast lunchmeat
- Salad Dressing- I like this vinagrette, and this one, and this ranch.
What do you like on your salads?
My Taco Salad is a little different than most, there is no big, greasy, deep-fried shell. Instead, I use tortilla chips as a garnish. This was one of the first recipes I concocted after we committed healthy eating about 10 years ago. It’s very filling and has tons of veggies.
There are all kinds of changes and modifications that can be made to accommodate any dietary concerns.
Not Your Average Taco Salad
- 1 lb ground meat of your choice (Beef, chicken, turkey, or pork, or a mixture)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn, drained and rinsed (or you can use 1.5 cups of frozen corn)
- 1/4 cup water (or however much the packet tells you to use)
- 2 cups Tortilla chips (I like these flax seed Tortilla chips)
- 2 cups (per person) Salad greens of your choice
With the following ingredients, use as much as you’d like, I prep 1/2 cup-1 cup per person:
- Chopped tomatoes
- Chopped bell peppers (I usually use one red, one yellow, and one orange pepper for color/variety)
- Shredded carrots
- Cucumber slices
- Avocado slices or guacamole, whichever you prefer
- Shredded or crumbled cheese
- Black Olive Slices
- Jalapeno peppers Slices
- Sour Cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Salsa of your choice
- Brown meat, set aside.
- Using any residual fat in the pan, and adding olive oil, cook onions until clear and soft.
- Add meat back to pan, mix in taco seasoning and water. Cook as directed on the taco seasoning packet.
- Add in both cans of beans and corn, cook until heated throughout.
- To plate, on a dinner plate or a big bowl- arrange 2 cups greens, top with 1/4-1/2 cup meat/bean mixture, top with other veggies and 1/2 cup chips and cheese and a dollop of sour cream/sour cream.
- If you NEED dressing, mix a little sour cream or plain Greek Yogurt with salsa or hot sauce and top your salad.
For a vegetarian taco salad- use soy/veggie crumbles instead of meat.