Green Chili Beef Taco Salad

Here is one of my recipes from my first attempt at once a week cooking. The inspiration for this recipe was from a salad I had at a new Tex-Mex restaurant in town called Chuy's. It was a chicken salad with fajita meat, but one unique topping was green chilies. They weren't spicy but they added a unique touch to what would otherwise be a normal Tex-Mex chicken salad. For my version, I used ground beef, because that's what I felt like having, and mixed in a bunch of spices and canned Hatch green chilies (the best canned green chilies, in my opinion). You can add whatever you want to the salad; these are just my favorite ingredients. I make a simpler version some nights, and one topping that may seem weird but tastes really good is adding a dollop of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Sour cream would be fine, but I like how smooth and fluffy the yogurt is---plus I never typically buy sour cream. This is probably one of the most comforting meals I make for myself. I know it may seem weird to find comfort in a salad, but there's something nice about being able to eat such a big bowl of food that is also pretty healthy. I think it's all those warming spices that make me feel so comforted, too.

Green Chili Beef Taco Salad
Printable Recipe

For the meat:
1/2 tbsp oil (I used bacon grease rendered from nitrite-free bacon)
1 lb ground beef
1 4-oz can green chilies, mild or hot
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried cilantro
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup prepared salsa
salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:
1 head of romaine lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
2 2.25-oz cans sliced black olives
2 small or 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup of salsa
8 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the ground beef. Cook until halfway done, then add the chilies and spices. Cook until completely browned.
2. Add the salsa and simmer for 10 min longer, until the flavors are well combined.
3. While the meat is cooking, prepare the salad: arrange the lettuce, tomato, olives, and avocado decoratively between 4 dinner plates or in one large bowl.
3. Place the cooked meat on top of each salad. Garnish with salsa and yogurt or sour cream. Serve immediately. 

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