First of all, an aside. I think I figured out how I overcooked the Pad Thai noodles - I soaked them in boiling water instead of hot tap water. Silly me! Won't make that mistake again - they were really mushy!
And now, on to today's recipe. Taco salad is a great make-ahead, because all the cooking and chopping can be done and stored in the fridge until dinner time. I usually cook the meat and add the water and taco seasonings, but don't cook it all the way down to the point that I would if I was going to eat it right away - I leave it a little runny. Then, when it's dinner time, I just pull it out of the refrigerator, put it in the microwave for a few minutes, and it gets nice and steamy hot.
Our taco salads are pretty simple. They include:
chopped green onions or chives (we have a massive chive plant in the herb garden so I use that most of the time)
taco sauce or salsa
Most of the time, I just use Lawry's taco seasoning packets when I cook the meat. It has quite a bit of sodium in it, though, so when I'm organized and take the time to put it together, I like to mix up a couple of batches of this seasoning mix to have on hand:
Taco Mix Seasoning Packets
Makes enough for one pound of meat
2 tsp. minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional, if you like more heat)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
Mix well in a small bowl. Add to cooked meat with 1/2 cup water and cook until thickened.