Tex-Mex Salad Taco Bowls

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This very quick and easy Tex-Mex Taco Salad Bowl recipe and photos were shared with me by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA. Karen says, "An easy to put together, plus a quick and healthy meal, for those hot summer days."

Tex-Mex Salad Taco Bowls

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Tex-Mex Salad Taco Bowls Recipe:

Recipe Type: Poultry, Salad, Chile Peppers
Cuisine: Southwest, Tex-Mex
Yields: 2 servings
Prep time: 30 min
Chicken cook time: 30 min


2 large wheat flour tortilla shells (I buy fat-free or low carb shells)
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
Vegetable oil
Garlic Powder
Cayenne Pepper
Refried Bean Filling (see recipe below)
Additional Fillings (see below)


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

How To Make Tortilla Bowls: Place flour tortillas into Tortilla Bowl Makers or oven-safe bowls (that will hold the tortillas), sprayed with non-stick spray. Lightly spray the exposed side of the flour tortilla. Bake in preheated 325 degrees F. oven for 10 minutes or until the tortilla starts to puff and turn golden. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and place on individual serving plates.

Brush chicken breasts lightly with vegetable oil; season with cumin, garlic powder, salt, and a small sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Preheat barbecue grill (spray grill with vegetable-oil cooking spray). Place chicken onto hot grill. Cover barbecue with lid, open any vents, and cook 20 to 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife). Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil for approximately 10 minutes. Slice each chicken breast into slices and then cut into bit-size pieces; set aside.

When ready to assemble - See additional fillings and optional fillings below:

Place a layer of refried beans on the bottom of each prepared taco shell bowls. Then place a layer of shredded Iceberg lettuce. Place a layer of grilled chicken pieces on top of the lettuce. Top with chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, avocado slices, and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Add some taco sauce and some non-fat sour cream over the top. NOTE: Add any Optional Fillings that you desire.

NOTE: Depending on how full you want your taco bowl salads, you may have some grilled chicken and refried beans left over. This will make a nice filling for a lunch burrito the next day.

Makes 2 servings.

Refried Bean Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Few grinds of freshly-ground pepper or to taste
1/4 teaspoon oregano (rubbed between your hands)
2 roasted, peeled, and seeded Hatch Chile Peppers, chopped*
1 (8-ounce) can non-fat refried beans (I prefer Ortega)
1/4 cup taco sauce (your favorite)

* Hatch Chiles are available during the latter part of August to early September. In place of the Hatch chile peppers, canned whole fire-roasted green chile peppers (chopped) or fresh Anaheim chile peppers (roasted, seeded, and chopped) may be used.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil. Add onions and sauté until soft. Add garlic and continue sautéing until they are fragrant. Reduce heat to low and add the red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and oregano; cook and stir until you can smell the oregano.

Reduce heat to very low and add chile peppers, refried beans, and taco sauce. Cook approximately 15 minutes to warm all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. This can be made in the morning and put into the refrigerator. Gently reheat prior to assembling the dish.

Additional Fillings:

Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Fresh tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Cucumber, chopped
Avocado slices
Freshly-grated sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese (or a combination of both)
Taco sauce (of your choice)
Non-fat sour cream

Optional Filling:

Sliced black olives
Raw chopped onion
Sliced green onions
Pickled jalapeno chile peppers (the sliced ones in a jar)
Different kinds of cheeses may be used


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