Easy Mexican Salad + Homemade Taco Seasoning

I don’t get crazy cravings during pregnancy.  If anything, I find that I crave lots of fresh food like fruit or salads.  After pregnancy, I do crave bread more than often than usual – lately I find myself reaching for a bagel for breakfast instead of my usual blueberry-spinach smoothie. Maybe its my body’s way to asking for quick energy after another sleepless night!

When I have a carb-heavy breakfast I will balance the day with a healthy salad for lunch.  I came up with this Mexican-inspired salad yesterday, and it was so good I had it again today. It relies on healthy ingredients I always have on-hand.  And, my easy homemade taco seasoning adds plenty of flavor without weighing me down.  Love it!

Easy Mexican Salad

couple handfuls of lettuce

1 avocado, diced

1 tomato, diced

1 orange, peel removed and orange sections cut out

1 cup chick peas, drained and rinsed (I like to prepare dried beans once a week – saves lots of money and avoids the BPA in cans)

olive oil

1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning (recipe below)

Combine lettuce, avocado, orange and tomato in a serving bowl. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a small pan. Drop beans in and heat through.  Sprinkle taco seasoning and stir well. Pour in 1/4 cup water and heat until sauce thickens and beans are coated.

Pour beans on top of the salad. Dressing is nothing more than a sprinkle of juice from the orange and a bit of olive oil.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

2-3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons corn starch or flour

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

few good shakes of crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients.  To use, sprinkle a few spoonfuls over browned meat or heated beans.  Add 1/2 cup of water per pound of protein.

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