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Taco salads with refried beans and rice on the side.

How do you make your taco salads? I would love to make them but don't know how to do it dairy free. I have used McCormick taco seasoning in the past but now I am dairy free and can't use that anymore. What do you use for the shells/chips? Do you just omit the cheese?

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How do you make your taco salads? I would love to make them but don't know how to do it dairy free. I have used McCormick taco seasoning in the past but now I am dairy free and can't use that anymore. What do you use for the shells/chips? Do you just omit the cheese?

Yes I omit the cheese and do lots of other toppings instead. I use corn chips or shells or corn tortillas baked in the oven. You can make little cups out of Mission corn tortillas by coning them in muffin tins or you can make corn shell shreds by cutting into strips, spraying with oil and baking until crispy. I mostly just start with a bed of lettuce, add taco seasoned beef OR Chili and other toppings: Shredded carrots, avocado or guacamole, salsa or tomatoes, olives, beans, rice, red bell peppers, etc. Put chips or broken shells around the edge to use to scoop up meat and toppings. There's no right or wrong way to do it.

I season my meat by eye--I just kind of know how much of each spice to put on and taste to make sure it's right. I've been doing it for years so I can't tell you how much I use of each spice but here is a basic recipe that is pretty similar to what I do: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/taco-seasoning-i/detail.aspx

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Found some gorgeous leeks in the store so we are having Vichyssoise (but I am serving it warm, not cold). Maybe drizzle with some pumpkinseed oil and sprinkle with spicy pepitas.

Warm challah bread (as per Simona's recipe).

Strawberries with balsamic glaze.

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Yes I omit the cheese and do lots of other toppings instead. I use corn chips or shells or corn tortillas baked in the oven. You can make little cups out of Mission corn tortillas by coning them in muffin tins or you can make corn shell shreds by cutting into strips, spraying with oil and baking until crispy. I mostly just start with a bed of lettuce, add taco seasoned beef OR Chili and other toppings: Shredded carrots, avocado or guacamole, salsa or tomatoes, olives, beans, rice, red bell peppers, etc. Put chips or broken shells around the edge to use to scoop up meat and toppings. There's no right or wrong way to do it.

I season my meat by eye--I just kind of know how much of each spice to put on and taste to make sure it's right. I've been doing it for years so I can't tell you how much I use of each spice but here is a basic recipe that is pretty similar to what I do: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/taco-seasoning-i/detail.aspx

Sounds great! I'm going to make it this weekend. Thanks!!!

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Chicken Thighs Marinated in Garlic Aioli and Roasted with Lemons, Fresh Thyme, Rosemary and Sage

Lemon Rice Pilaf

Steamed Broccoli with Peppered Almonds

Simona's Challah Bread with Merlot Jelly

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Last night we had poblano peppers stuffed with smoked chicken, sauted mushrooms, green onions, Rotel, and Fresco cheese with baked winter squash.

Tonight we had marinated grilled pork steaks with homemade BBQ sauce, romaine salad and roasted sweet potatoes. A plus for last night, B plus tonight. (But the pork steaks were on sale 2 for 1 and dp found 2 for $2.00.) I love it when we cook at home for less than it costs to go to Mickey D's! :D

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Another bad pain day for me so did not get much done in the kitchen. :( Having the rest of the vichyssoise soup, falafel chips and hummus. Well, at least I made something today!

Tomorrow the plan is to have seared duck breast with sour cherry gastrique.

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Ribs. DP had salad and ribs. I am so off salads for awhile. But I prepped something to stuff poblano peppers tomorrow. (Sauted scallions, mushrooms, left over Rotel & some left over cooked winter squash with shredded smoked chicken. (He used the new smoker again yesterday.) Tomorrow I'll prep the peppers, stuff them after I add shredded and crumbled cheese. Sometimes the weird stuff you make with leftovers ends up being insanely good. We shall see... if not, it'll be a lesson learned...

The latin food market only charged me $1 for four nice sized pablano peppers!

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Ribs. DP had salad and ribs. I am so off salads for awhile. But I prepped something to stuff poblano peppers tomorrow. (Sauted scallions, mushrooms, left over Rotel & some left over cooked winter squash with shredded smoked chicken. (He used the new smoker again yesterday.) Tomorrow I'll prep the peppers, stuff them after I add shredded and crumbled cheese. Sometimes the weird stuff you make with leftovers ends up being insanely good. We shall see... if not, it'll be a lesson learned...

The latin food market only charged me $1 for four nice sized pablano peppers!

We have no latin market here but our store FINALLY got in poblanos for the first time ever! We usually must buy them in the city three hours away. Only $1 for four? That is four times cheaper than I paid. But I was so excited to see them I just had to do it. We are doing Mexican Thursday and cannot wait.

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Feeling a bit better than yesterday so am making:

- Seared Duck Breast with Sour Cherry Gastrique

- Foie Gras Mousse with Pistachios

- Simple Buttercrunch Lettuce Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

- Risotto Milanese

A bit on the rich side but the past few days have been far less so. :D

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We have no latin market here but our store FINALLY got in poblanos for the first time ever! We usually must buy them in the city three hours away. Only $1 for four? That is four times cheaper than I paid. But I was so excited to see them I just had to do it. We are doing Mexican Thursday and cannot wait.

I don't know why poblanos are so cheap at that market. Red peppers are $1 each there, so I pick the prettiest, biggest one. That is used for dipping strips in hummus (a doctor friend told me that's one of the best raw veggies you can eat, full of antioxidants). The poblano peppers are sooooooo good roasted or stuffed. Our dinner turned out great tonight and was just enough food. (Four left over, so I have some for lunch or dinner sides. I sliced two of them in half and cut vee shapes in the other two for stuffing. The Latin market is open air, so there may be flies or lizzards on them when I purchase them. (Trying to make you feel better about the price...)

Enjoy your Mexican night. We're probably having Tiny burgers tomorrow.

I worked in a cafe in my teens. "Tiny" weighed in at about 330 lbs. and loved a burger with ham, olives, cheese and toasted bun. We had 1/3 lb. burgers there. And big buns. (I had big buns then too.)

I like petite grilled sirloin burgers with Tiny's toppings in a lettuce wrap. So waa laa teeny gluten-free Tiny burgers. Lettuce and olives constitute a vegetable, right? :D We love carmelized onions on them too!

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