Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | March 28, 2011

Taco Salad + Black Bean & Avocado Nachos

There are two things you should know about me if you haven’t figured them out already.

#1. I love Mexican food. I will never get sick of any combination of black beans, salsa, and avocado. You can find supporting evidence here and here.

#2. I hate allowing food to go to waste. I will always attempt to use leftovers in a variety of ways.

Last weekend, I was fending for myself for dinner. Steve went back home to Buffalo so this chica had the apartment all to herself! I was looking for something quick and easy that would last me a few meals. I also had a craving for salad…probably because my lunch that day consisted of a filling vegetarian Reuben from City Feed. I needed some balance.

What’s better than a regular green salad? A TACO SALAD! Black beans are my best friend. I always have a can stashed just in case. Beans are such a cheap protein too! Now I have made dried beans when I made Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens. Dried beans are great if you have the time to cook them but sometimes I am looking for a fast alternative and opening up a can takes a matter of seconds. I always rinse my canned beans though. Make sure you are rinsing your canned beans to remove some of the sodium!

Friday night I made the taco salad. I first sauteed onion, green and red peppers.

Then, I added taco seasoning from Trader Joes and the black beans. I let this cook until the vegetables were tender and the beans warmed.

I scooped the bean + veggies onto my bed of lettuce, topped it off with leftover shredded Jack blend cheese used in our Mac n’ cheese, and diced up some avocado to complete. For the salad dressing, I mixed salsa with Chipoltle Ranch from Cindy’s Kitchen, a local salad dressing company.

Saturday night I wanted to shake things up a little bit. Since I was spending a relaxing evening in ready to watch a little March Madness, I thought what better to pair with a sports game than some nachos! When you think of nachos you think junk food, do you not? I do. I think of the greasy nachos you get at the bar loaded with ground meat, piled with nacho cheese. Gross. But I do believe nachos made right can be a decently healthy and balanced meal. I used my leftover bean + veggies from the night before and this time scooped them onto a plate of Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips. Then I sprinkled a little jack blend cheese on top, diced up the rest of the avocado, and topped it all off with the mixture of salsa + Chipoltle Ranch. Once assembled, I popped that number into the microwave until the cheese was melted and the beans+ veggies were warm.

This was the perfect meal to eat while I attempted to watch some basketball. My interest in basketball diminished as quickly as it was brought on after Pitt (my pick for my bracket) lost. Can’t win em all. But I think my taco salad & nacho weekend was a win-win!

Peace, love, and food,


What’s your favorite Mexican dish?



  1. Great post, and great pics — especially love the “evidence” of your Mexican obsession. I, too, love black beans — my favorite legume! Great catching up with you Friday. Julie

    • Thanks Julie! Can’t wait to see what you dish out for us :). Really nice to chat with you at ANCE. Hope to see you again soon!

  2. Nachos are one of my top 3 favorite foods. Now that I’ve seen this post, it’s all. I. want. Kara!!!

  3. Yum, yum, yum. That food looks AMAZING! Mexican is my ALL TIME favorite and I do believe it can be healthy too! DELISH Kara!

  4. I am a total nacho fiend and I also hate food waste, so I have enjoyed this post on several levels. Thanks!

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