Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Build-Your-Own-Taco-Salad better known as HayStacks

OK, that's a long, wordy title.

During the summer, we go through phenomenal vats of Taco Salad but the leftovers always get soggy and inevitably there's someone *cough*children*cough* who has to pick out the onions, or the tomatoes or the olives I laboriously chopped because they're picky that way...

So we do a sort of "Taco Salad Buffet" where I set all the ingredients out buffet style and everyone gets to pile all their favorite ingredients in a stack on their plate. Messy but fun. And everyone's happy.

These are known as "Haystacks" in our house, but they could also be described as sort-of a "Frito-Pie-Taco-Salad" (I know it's sacrilege to mess with Frito Pie, but yeah...).
That's all well and good, I mean, vegan chili is pretty good for you, right? Throw in a few whole-grain chips and we're still good... But, as a Mom, I have the fantasy that my offspring might actually WANT a few more veggies than the lone tomato or two in the chili...

'Well', I thought to myself, 'they like Taco Salad, let's just do all those ingredients in a great big "design-your-own" pile!'

I'll give you our ingredients, you can mix or match, use what you like, add something new. There's no recipe, just pile your favorite ingredients on your plate and enjoy.


  • 1 head lettuce, shredded or chopped small mixed with:
  • 1 cup shredded green or purple cabbage (I use green so it blends in - but purple is prettier)
  • 1 large bunch fresh cilantro, chopped and mixed with:
  • 1 bunch green onions/scallions, chopped
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 minced jalapeno peppers (pickled or fresh, your choice)
  • 1 can sliced olives
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • salsa
  • Vegan 'sour cream' (homemade or Tofutti)
  • shredded vegan cheese if you want (if you freeze Vegan Gourmet you can shred it very finely and it's almost tasty this way!!)
  • 2 cups chili (homemade or canned) mixed with 1 cup pinto or black beans
  • 2 cups crumbled 'burger', whatever kind you like, mixed with Taco Seasoning and a little salsa
  • 1 bag Fritos or your favorite chips

Set all ingredients out in serving bowls.

Pick and choose and make your own Taco Salad.
We like to start with chips first.
My kids like the burger and chili on the chips, I prefer the chili on top the salad greens and salsa as 'dressing'....


And no - I have no idea why comments are 'disabled' on Blogger when I specifically checked to make sure they were not? See? Blogger hates me in October, happens every year!!