I love popcorn … I love nachos. I had this really weird idea today … why couldn’t you combine the two? Who says you need chips to make nachos?
Well you can. The only “catch” is you don’t want them to get too wet because popcorn gets soggy easily, so things like tomatoes and salsa are probably not the best options for this kind of nachos.
I started simple. Just popcorn, cheese, and jalapenos. Then I added taco meat. Now I’m thinking about adding onions and what else could I add? Hmmm …
This is really simple. Make some popcorn. I usually use my air popper, but today I just popped my popcorn in a paper bag. Have you heard about that trick? Just put 1/4 cup of popcorn in a plain paper bag, fold over the top several times, and microwave it for 2 minutes. Quick perfect popcorn without fat, butter, added chemicals or preservatives or salt! It’s so much healthier and easier on your pocketbook than buying that pre-packaged microwave popcorn, and you can even reuse the bag, so it’s eco-friendly too.
Spread a layer of popcorn on an oven-safe plate or pan. Chop your jalapenos fine and dab them with a clean towel to soak up any excess moisture. Heat up your taco meat (and also dab that with a towel if the meat seems a little moist).
Sprinkle the popcorn with a light layer of shredded cheese, taco meat, and jalapenos. Try not to go overboard on the cheese or meat or you’ll overwhelm your popcorn. Sprinkle with Red Robin seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt. Add another layer of popcorn if you like, then top with more meat, cheese, and jalapenos and another sprinkling of seasoning.
Bake at 350 for 5 – 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Taco salads are one of my very favorite quick meals. I make them a LOT. I have photographed a few of them, meaning to share them with you, but never did … well today I’m going to show you a few of my taco salad meanderings. There have been many more, and there are still more brewing in my mind …
All you need to make a scrumptious taco salad are a few of these things:
- Lettuce: plain green leaf lettuce, iceberg or romaine, or a mix of greens.
- Taco meat (or shredded chicken or pork or skip the meat and have a vegetarian taco salad!) … I usually use ground venison flavored up with taco seasoning mix because it’s easy, fast, and so gooood. Meat should be hot when adding to the salad.
- Beans: in my world, beans are a MUST on a taco salad. Refried beans, black beans, or pinto beans (whole). Make sure they are hot when you put them on your salad.
- Cheese: shredded Mexican blend, cheddar, goat cheese crumbles
- Salsa! Oh you must have salsa or at least pico de gallo on a taco salad
- Vegies: Chopped bell peppers, onions, corn, or other vegies
- Chips: baked or fried. Store-bought or homemade. But you need tortilla chips of some kind for that crunch factor!
- Cilantro: optional, but I do so love cilantro and it adds a little extra magic to a taco salad
This one is a vegetarian version with a mound of refried beans and salsa in the middle, cilantro, goat cheese, shredded cheddar, red onions, and some Doritos my daughter didn’t finish. (I do try to avoid Doritos because I don’t like the extra preservatives, artificial color and other not-good-for-you things they put in them, but they ARE quite good on taco salads. I need to find a way to make my own nacho cheese doritos …)
On those days when I can’t decide between a taco salad and nachos, I make a “nacho” salad … melt some cheese on the tortilla chips (with onions and chopped jalapenos, if you like), then arrange the chips around the bowl, like this:
This nacho salad has a mound of hot refried beans in the middle, a drizzle of salsa, a sprinkle of taco meat and red onions, surrounded with melty nachos.