I have decided that as a responsible grown-up woman, I need to have a salad-as-a-meal at least once a day. It’s really a justification to indulge at other meals, but it comes out of a desire to be healthy. Though we often have salads at dinner, my daily salad meal usually ends up being at lunch. And because that can be a crazy time with two pint-sized hangry girls, it needs to be easy. So I make factory daily salads, aka I prep ingredients so I just assemble the same salad most days of the week.

And this is my favorite. And it feels like an indulgence, but I try to pack in as many veggies as I can. It’s a great recipe to kick off this new real life era of Badger Girl Learns to Cook because it feels a lot like junk food and is a perfect example of perfect is the enemy of good. It’s not a perfectly healthy salad, but it’s still a salad and a generous serving of vegetables. Could it be better? Yup. And you know what, you go right ahead and make it healthier. That is awesome. But here is the base and let me tell you, you won’t feel at all like you are trying to eat healthy.

 

Badger Girl Taco Salad
A junk-food-tasting vegetable-packed lunch salad.

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Ingredients
1/2-2/3 cup browned lean turkey seasoned with taco seasoning
2 cups shredded or chopped romaine and iceberg lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
3-4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts
2-3 mini bell peppers chopped
1 TB Thousand Island or your fave salad dressing
2-3 TB salsa
Optional: drained and rinsed black beans and/or corn, diced cucumbers, shredded carrots, sliced radishes, diced avocado
6 Tortilla Chips crushed

Instructions
Toss all ingredients together and enjoy. If meat isn’t warm, heat it up in the microwave before adding it to the salad.

Notes
When buying salad dressings, watch out for High Fructose Corn Syrup. Try to find dressings that have only real food ingredients and no chemicals. I add salsa to the salad to reduce the amount of dressing you will need.
I like to make 1-2 pounds ground turkey early in the week. It also helps to chop veggies ahead of time to make it even easier or allow time for a little chopping.
This is a great way to use up the chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

Badger Girl Learns to Cook by Kimberly Aime http://learntocookbadgergirl.com/

 

This is recipe takes me back to my childhood where a chilled taco salad would be served at most picnics. For that reason, I always reach for Thousand Island dressing, but I encourage you to use your favorite dressing OR skip it all together for salsa and avocado. 

Yes, it is a salad with meat and chips, but it is STILL a salad. And you don’t need many chips to get the crunch from the chips. It is a salad you can look forward to at lunch. And sometimes that’s all you need for motivation to eat healthy. 

What are you favorite salad ingredients?

 

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