I never know what kind of food to bring on a beach day. I always have big plans to make something more than my typical sandwich, but I never get around to figuring it out. I was determined to bring lighter fare to the beach last weekend (because, you know, beach attire + big lunch= exhausted from sucking in my gut all day). I decided to bring my family’s favorite salad, Taco Salad. It’s easy, satisfying, light, portable, easy to eat, and most importantly it’s delicious. The protein from the turkey meat and cheese sustained our energy, the tortilla chips satisfied my carb craving and it didn’t feel heavy after eating. Perfect for a lunch at the beach.
Keeping it as easy as possible, I cooked the ground turkey with homemade taco seasoning (recipe below) and prepped the dressing ahead of time at home. In the campervan, I chopped up the lettuce, tomato, avocado and layered all the ingredients in individual tupperware containers (each of us made our own with the proportions of ingredients we liked, each salad was so different). Added the dressing on top and packed the containers to bring to the beach. When it was time to eat, we each grabbed a handful of tortilla chips (we used salsa flavored tortilla chips this time, but any type of tortilla chips would do), crumbled it up in our hands and sprinkled the bits over our salad. Mixed everything real well and dug in while looking at the view because everything just tastes better when you’re outside.
Light, refreshing chopped salad perfect for a beach day
You can prepare the salad ahead of time by layering the ingredients in a container without mixing. Then right before serving add the crumbled tortilla chips and mix well.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (recipe for homemade below)
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 3 cups tomatos diced
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 2 avocado cut into cubes
- tortilla chips
– dressing (4 tablespoons chipotle mayo or regular mayo + 4 tablespoons lime juice, whisk or put in jar and shake well)
- Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in the pan and cook the ground turkey with taco seasoning. Let cool and pack.
- Layer ingredients in tightly lidded containers. Add the ingredients in layers, adding the avocado on top. (Here is a sample of an individual salad with amounts: 2 cups lettuce, 3/4 cup tomatoes, 1/4 cup cheese, 2/3 cup ground turkey, 1/2 an avocado, handful of tortilla chips). Add some dressing, about 2 tablespoons (to taste), making sure to pour over the avocado (lime from the dressing keep will keep the avocado from oxidizing). Keep in mind the ground turkey is providing flavor and salt to the salad while the dressing helps round out flavors (adds some creaminess and acid) so you don’t need too much dressing.
- Immediately before serving, add the tortilla chips (crumble the chips by hand) and mix well.
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe homemade taco seasoning recipe, I just omitted the cayenne pepper and black pepper (please link to the original recipe if you prefer to have them in your seasoning mix). I usually make 4x the recipe and store the mix in an airtight jar to keep on hand.
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Mix all ingredients until well combined. Use immediately or store in an air tight container.