New Take on an Old Favorite
By Mark Mulcahy
For some reason, May makes me think of fresh taco salads. It could be that the month begins with Cinco de Mayo or that there are so many fresh ingredients available; organic greens, asparagus, spring onions, citrus, the list goes on and on. Either way, I’m always experimenting with new takes on old favorites, which keeps things lively in the kitchen and stimulates my imagination and taste buds.
Last night I made a one-pan wonder of a taco salad, which was hearty, fresh, and maybe one of the best combinations of flavors I’ve had in months. I started with my cast iron skillet and some different items than what I would normally include in my standard taco salad. I pulled out my mandolin and thinly sliced (about ¼”) some Melissa’s organic Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, yellow onion and crimini mushrooms. Then I heated my cast iron pan and added a little bacon grease. Once the pan was hot, I carefully added the onions and Brussels sprouts, followed by the cabbage and mushrooms, once the onion began to brown. I added a couple of sprinkles of salt and pepper, gave everything a good stir, turned the flame down to medium and put my pan lid loosely over the cooking veggies. I stirred the mixture every few minutes to keep everything cooking evenly.
While everything was cooking, I chopped up some Melissa’s organic romaine lettuce and added it to my favorite salad bowl with some organic baby arugula. Next came a couple of spoonfuls of warmed organic black beans, a large dollop of organic cottage cheese, and some diced organic cucumber. A couple of final stirs of the cooked veggies and then I mounded this savory mix onto the other ingredients. I topped it with ½ of a sliced organic Hass avocado and sprinkled my favorite vinegar-based hot sauce (not too much - just enough to bring out the other flavors) and my new version taco salad was born.
The total prep and cooking time was about 20 minutes so it couldn’t be easier. With Mother’s Day coming up and the weather becoming nicer by the day, why not experiment on your own? It might just turn out to be the special gift your Mom never knew she wanted. It’s mostly about having fun and changing things up, so why not give it a try?
Happy May and Happy Cooking!