I've tried many salads with him before, including other taco salads, with minimal-to-good success. This one has probably gotten the best review from him so far! I picked it because it came at "salad" from a different angle. Instead of being cold, cut-up vegetables, it had the cool lettuce and tomatoes, but a hot mixture of beans, cheese, onion, and melted cheese. How could he not like it? Seriously. I loved it, too. We used a great vidalia onion that was perfect. And my favorite tortilla chips ever. High-quality ingredients yield high-quality food! I subbed romaine for the iceberg, which I think was a very good choice. If you feel like indulging more, I bet it would be great with sour cream or guacamole on top. Yum! We would definitely make this again.
Vegetarian Taco Salad
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion -- chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen -- thawed
4 large tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
15 ounces black -- kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano -- divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup prepared salsa
2 cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
2 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
Lime wedges for garnish
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and corn; cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop 1 tomato. Add it to the pan along with rice, beans, chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato cooks down, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Coarsely chop the remaining 3 tomatoes. Combine with cilantro, salsa and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano in a medium bowl.
3. Toss lettuce in a large bowl with the bean mixture, half the fresh salsa and 2/3 cup cheese. Serve sprinkled with tortilla chips and the remaining cheese, passing lime wedges and the remaining fresh salsa at the table.
Make Ahead Tip : Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days; reheat slightly before serving.