This recipe, from Art Ginsberg, who is Mr. Food, is a delicious -- and healthful -- variation of a popular Southwest salad. All the ingredients of the traditional taco salad are here, with the addition of pasta to make a scrumptous whole-meal salad. So-o-o good, as Mr. Food says, for pot-lucks, too.
- 8 ounces spiral shaped pasta (twists)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 (1 1/2 ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1⁄2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1⁄2 cup black olives, drained, pitted and sliced (optional)
- 3⁄4 cup taco sauce or 3⁄4 cup salsa
- 4 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 avocado, peeled and cubed
- crushed corn chips, for topping
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and dain well. Place in large bowl.
- Brown the beef in a large skillet, stirring to break up clumps, until no pink remains. Drain off the fat and add the taco seasoning mix and water. Stir; bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, approximately 10 minutes. Drain.
- Toss pasta gently with beef mixture, tomato, onion, cheese and olives. Add taco sauce or salsa; mix gently.
- Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce topped with avocado and crushed corn chips. Serve warm or chilled.