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One year ago….

February 22, 2011

Last year for Lent I gave up eating meat, so this is an anniversary of sorts for me.  While I’m not a “practicing Catholic” (sorry Mom), some things are so ingrained into our heads as children that it’s hard to forget them as adults.  For me, Lent is one of those things.  I didn’t put a lot of thought into this Lenten sacrifice.  It was a spur of the moment, blurt it out answer when someone asked what I was giving up.  

About two weeks into it I started thinking about not going back to meat eating.  I won’t get into the long dissertation about why I decided to continue on as a non-meat eating person, but I really don’t miss it.   

I promise you won’t miss the meat in this taco salad.  The textures are terrific with brown rice kind of filling in for the ground meat.  From start to finish you can have this on the table in about 35 minutes.

Vegetarian Taco Salad
Adapted slightly from Eating Well, June 2010

6 servings

2 tbsp EVOO
1 large onion, diced
1-1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
4 large tomatoes (see note)
1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup purchased salsa

Chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce
Grated pepper Jack cheese

Heat EVOO in a large nonstick skillet.  Add onion and corn and cook over medium heat until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. 

While the onion cooks, dice one tomato and add it to the pan along with the rice, beans, chili powder, 1 tsp oregano and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until the tomato starts to break down.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Coarsely chop the remaining three tomatoes.  Add them to a bowl with the cilantro, salsa and remaining 1/2 tsp oregano.  Toss to combine.

To serve, place chopped lettuce on a plate, top with rice and bean mixture, then salsa mixture and finally the grated pepper Jack cheese. 

Notes: 
– If large fresh tomatoes aren’t in season, substitute fresh plum tomatoes, about 5 or 6 should do it.
– I make this into single plated servings instead of serving it all together on a platter.  If you do this, package leftovers separately. Before serving, slightly warm rice and bean mixture and serve the salsa at about room temperature.
– Fresh cornbread is nice to serve along with this salad.
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