This salad, even with alterations, reminds me of my childhood. My grandmother knew it was one of my favorites and made it whenever I visited her. As she has gotten older and given up cooking, I have been able to return the favor and make it for her.
1 lb. ground beef (I sometimes use chicken, cut into bite size pieces)
1 small onion, chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained (I use black beans)
1 package taco seasoning mix (you can use your own spices instead)
1 head of lettuce, torn
1 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped ( I prefer to use cherry tomatoes)
1 cup Mexican cheese
2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I save the remnants from bags for this)
Kraft Catalina Dressing
any other vegetables you like in your salad
Brown the hamburger with the chopped onion; drain any fat. Add the beans and taco seasonings; stir until thoroughly mixed. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the vegetables. In a large bowl toss lettuce, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Stir in the cheese, chips, and meat mixture. Stir in dressing and toss until the vegetables are lightly coated. Serve immediately.
GG’s recipe is always a hit. The only thing I don’t like about it is that any uneaten salad will wilt. I don’t like to toss uneaten food and my family of five cannot polish off this large salad in one evening, so unless I am feeding a large group, I don’t mix anything in with the vegetables. Instead I create a salad bar. I put a bowl of salad mixture, a bowl of cheese, a bowl of broken chips, a bowl of the meat and bean mixture, a bottle of dressing, and a jar of salsa on the island and let everybody make their own salad. After dinner I put lids on the bowls, pop everything in the refrigerator, and then I can use the leftovers as I please.