It’s important to familiarize yourself with the good things in life. You know those bits of white cheddar popcorn that collect at the bottom of the bag? Don’t worry, I hold no judgment based on how quickly you reach them. In fact, I am so acquainted with their existence that I have developed a method to consume them in all their glory, beyond tipping a corner of the bag into your mouth.
My stroke of genius occurred the other day, when my mother walked into the kitchen to find me slouching over a bowl of popcorn remnants. I think my posture was indicative of my perspective and the recurrent failure I was encountering in 1) getting those delicious little bits securely into my hands, and 2) transporting them from that location to my mouth. Susan watched in horror as her next of kin tilted the bowl to her lips and drank the last of the Smartfood as if it were cereal milk. Hey, sometimes you have to get inventive with your food.
So then I took it one step further and changed up my usual taco salad routine, too (my goodness, it’s when I say things like that that I realize just how awesome it is to be me, a person with a taco salad routine). This time around, I made a mixture of ground turkey breast, black beans, peppers, onions, spices, and chipotles in adobo. Combined with chopped bell peppers, jack cheese, mounds of iceberg lettuce, guacamole, and the crunch of tortilla chips, this made for one of the more perfect taco salads I have ever encountered. In fact, I have eaten nothing but this for dinner since I first made it up.
I realize that I am making my taco salad routine sound more like a rut, but my mouth is too full of spicy, textured taco goodness to come up with a witty response for your judgments. Have fun eating less delicious things than me, I guess.
Chipotle Turkey Taco Salad
2 tbsp olive oil
16 oz ground turkey breast
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup red onion
1 tbsp fresh jalapeño, diced
3/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 15-oz can black beans, drained
2 chipotles in adobo, thinly sliced
2 tsp adobo sauce (from can of chipotles in adobo)
juice of one lime
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup water
1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup jack cheese, cubed (or shredded, but the cubes make for a wonderful consistency)
4 chipotles in adobo, thinly sliced
Guacamole, for topping
Tortilla chips, crushed, for topping
Other great additions: cilantro, lime juice, red onion, diced jalapeño, salsa
TURKEY: In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and desired amount of salt and pepper. Break apart with a fork or spoon, stirring frequently for even browning. Once the turkey is fully cooked through, add red onion, jalapeño, and red bell pepper, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Stir in chipotles, adobo sauce, and lime juice. Add cumin, oregano, and lime zest, stirring to combine. Pour in water, stirring to combine, and cook until completely absorbed. Season to taste with more salt and pepper before serving.
SALAD: In individual bowls, assemble lettuce, red bell pepper, cheese, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips, and turkey mixture. EAT. FALL IN LOVE. YOU’RE WELCOME.