Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I’ve Got No Beef with This Taco Salad

Obviously, I’ve got some beef with beef. But I got inspired when my eye landed on “Beef-less Ground Beef,” made of textured wheat and soy protein, in the fake meat section of Trader Joe’s. For some reason, the term “beef-less” made me smile.

I guess I want my life to be all around beef-less; that includes relationships and food. If you’ve got beef, I don’t want to eat it.

I desperately wanted to have a reason to purchase the beef-less ground beef. But the only thing I could think of to make with it was tacos or some kind of taco salad, and unfortunately, I had no fixings for tacos at home.

Luckily, I was in a grocery store. I ran around picking up what I needed and rushed right home to prepare a vegan taco salad for lunch. Here’s what I came up with:

Beef-less Taco Salad
(makes 4 servings – or 2, depending on how much you like taco salad)

1 package (12 oz) Beef-less Ground Beef from Trader Joe's
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup cooked brown rice
1 onion
½ cup Daiya vegan cheese
½ ear sweet corn
2 tbsp guacamole
2 tbsp mild salsa

The beef-less ground beef just had to be heated up, not cooked. That was lucky for me, since I’d have no idea how to cook ground beef correctly. I tossed it into the wok with the olive oil and an onion to slowly heat up, then added some leftover brown rice I had in the fridge.

I wanted there to be corn in my taco salad, but all I had were ears of it that I had purchased at the farmers’ market last week. I’d have to de-cob the corn. First, I microwaved the whole cob of corn in its husk for three minutes (this cooked the kernals inside). Then I cut the cob in half and used a knife to slice off the corn kernals.

That corn had beef with me. One kernal flew up and hit me directly in the eye. The rest ended up scattered across the kitchen counter and the floor. I scooped up what I could and tossed it in the wok with the fake beef and onions (hence the ½ ear sweet corn in the recipe… that’s about all that got in there).

When the fake beef, onion, and corn mixture was almost ready, I threw in some Daiya cheese and it melted pretty quickly over the whole mixture. The kitchen smelled great.

I arranged the taco salad mixture neatly between some mild salsa and guacamole to take this picture, then tossed it all together to eat:

I’m not sure exactly how the beef-less ground beef tasted since it was kind of overwhelmed by the Daiya cheese, guacamole, and salsa flavors. But its texture was realistic enough. The salad as a whole was delicious.

I had no beef with this taco salad at all. I figure beef-less ground beef is the first step toward completely de-beef-ifying my life. And since I made so much of it, feel free to come by and share it – that is, unless you have beef with me.

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