Taco Salad Navajo Style

by Kirsten on September 22, 2011 · 15 comments

in Beef & Bison, Main Dishes

During our wonderful summer vacation I picked up a little cookbook at the gift shop at Great Sand Dunes National Park. It is called “Taco Table” by Lois Ellen Frank. The cover recipe caught my eye right away since it looked so delicious. The other night we finally got around to preparing it.

Lois Frank shares in her book, that this recipe is a variation on the famous Indian tacos that are served at ceremonial powwows. The new creation her and Chef Dine (Navajo) are featuring in the book contains bison meat, organic cooked pinto and kidney beans, local organic lettuce greens, heirloom tomatoes and avocado. They serve the taco with fried bread.

In my kitchen we decided to create a taco salad including the taco meat featured in the book. We adjusted the recipe to our liking and got rewarded with one of the best taco salads ever. Even my children, including my daughter, who is not a big taco fan, loved the dish and already asked when we could cook it again. That says it all for me. Yes, it is definitely a keeper recipe.


*  1 head organic green lettuce, washed and cut

*  2 tablespoons olive oil
*  1 pound organic ground bison (or organic ground beef)
*  1 medium onion, diced
*  6 garlic gloves, minced (Kirsten used 4)
*  2 fresh tomatoes, coarsley chopped (Kirsten omitted the tomatoes)
*  2 cups cooked pinto beans (Kirsten used 1 can, rinsed and drained)
*  1 cup kidney beans (Kirsten omitted the kidney beans)
*  1 tablespoon New Mexican red chile powder, ground
*  1 teaspoon salt  (Kirsten used 3/4)


*  organic tomatoes, chopped
*  sharp cheddar, shredded
*  avocado, chopped
*  roasted pablano peppers, chopped


Divide your prepared lettuce onto four plates. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the meat. Break it up into small pieces while browning about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic for another 3 minutes, until the onion is soft and clear. Add all the beans and stir. Add the New Mexican chile powder and salt and stir again. Let cook for an additional minute, stirring to prevent burning.

Remove from heat. Spoon the meat and bean mixture over your lettuce. Sprinkle with toppings of your liking.  Serve immediately.

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uebernteich January 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Can't tell you, how often I made that recipe now! We all love it, it's so good!

Sasa October 18, 2010 at 11:36 am

I clicked through because I noticed you'd written some German in your comment over on another blog and was intrigued – I'm a Kiwi living in Austria you see! Love the tacos with fried bread idea (I mean, fried, yes please ;P), one of my favourites is taco rice.

uebernteich October 5, 2010 at 3:21 am

Just had this. How Yummie!
My kids were already off to bed, so lots of leftovers, but they are looking forward to their lunch boxes tomorrow 🙂

Susi September 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm

We eat Taco Salad ALL the time and this looks fantastic with the beans added. I will have to start looking for bison, I bet it was delicious!

Lea Ann September 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I haven't had a taco salad in years. This looks like a great recipe to get back into the swing of things. Don't you love finding little cookbooks like that?! Thanks for posting this recipe.

scrambledhenfruit September 23, 2010 at 2:34 am

Gorgeous taco salad- I'll be looking for bison!

Chef Bee September 23, 2010 at 1:07 am

Great salad. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Plan B

Andrea the Kitchen Witch September 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Sand dunes is a fun place to visit! The taco salad looks so good, it makes me want to can my original dinner idea and have this instead 🙂

kitchen flavours September 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm

The taco looks wonderful with the greens. Delicious combo!

High Plains Drifters September 22, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Really like the current color scheme on this blog.

Nothing better than when the kids love a dish!


cpeezers September 22, 2010 at 9:22 pm

This looks so good. We've been to the Great Sand Dunes before our little boy was born. Now that we've moved to Colorado, we are looking forward to going there. Going to have to look for that cookbook too!

Alwayzbakin September 22, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I LOVE taco salad. That looks wonderful!

My Kitchen in the Rockies September 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm

@Joudie: 8.55h direct flight on British Airways into Denver Airport. Come on over.

Joudie's Mood Food September 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm

This loks so hearty and filling. Just what i need right now. How far is Colorado from London? YUMMY YUM YUM!

JelliDonut September 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Yum! Going to have to hunt down that cookbook. We LOVE tacos.

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