Came-home-from-vacation-and-there-was-nothing-to-eat Taco Salad

After our fabulous mini-break last week, the last thing I felt like doing was going to the grocery store. I was also sick of take-out and my wallet was sick of paying for a meals out. We always seem to have something rattling around in the freezer and pantry. And this time of year, the garden typically has something to offer.


I went foraging through the reserves and found all the perfect ingredients for this fantastic (and meatless!) taco salad. The best part–you can make this salad with what you have–toss new stuff in or leave out items you don’t have.

Ingredients:
Lettuce (we had some romaine in the fridge and some red leaf in the garden), torn in bite size pieces
Cucumber, sliced
Sweet onion (a great cool, dark place staple), chopped
Red pepper (i had a some bit of red pepper that I chopped and froze before we left.
I just took it out of the freezer and thawed it before adding to the salad)
Shredded cheddar (I keep blocks of cheese in the fridge and shred as I need it. keeps me from eating too much!)
Black olives
Morning Star Meal Starter Crumbles (from the freezer. greatest, easiest item ever)
Envelope of taco seasoning
Can of fat-free refried beans
Pico de Gallo or salsa
Tortilla chips
Your favorite vinaigrette (I used Good Seasons Italian)

Directions:
Place lettuce on large dinner plate, leaving a hole in the center (like making a wreath of lettuce).

Sprinkle all veggies, cheese and black olives on top of lettuce. Warm up refried beans. Prepare MS Crumbles according to package directions (swirl of olive oil in a pan, add the crumbles). Then add taco seasoning with water to Crumbles.

Put a scoop of refried beans in the center of your lettuce wreath, add a scoop of MS Crumbles on top, followed by some pico de gallo and garnish with a tortilla chip. Serve with extra tortilla chips and salad dressing on the side.

And enjoy. It rocks and tastes way better than take out!
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