Taco Salad

We are huge fans of Frontera Grill, it’s actually my wife’s favorite restaurant on Earth. It’s a must visit every time we find ourselves in Chicago, which admitedly isn’t very often. Occasionally I’ll make something for her out of one of the Rick Bayless cookbooks. It can’t compare with actually being there, of course, but it’s a reminder of how good that place is.

You can find the Frontera Grill salsas all over the place and I have started seeing the Frontera Grill skillet sauces at Target for pretty cheap.


  • 2 ribs Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 package Frontera Grill taco seasoning skillet sauce
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 ear of corn, either grilled or boiled, kernels removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Ranch dressing (any will do, but our local Whole Foods carries a killer Ranch dressing)

Cook the ground turkey and chopped onions together over a medium-high heat, crumbling the meat into small pieces. When the turkey’s no longer pink, add the Frontera Grill skillet sauce and mix in with the meat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer while you get the other ingredients ready.

Rub the corn with olive oil and place onto a hot grill for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes so the corn gets a little charred on every side. When the corn is done, remove it from the heat and take a knife down all sides to remove the kernels.

Toss the lettuce in a bowl and top with turkey, corn, pepper, cheese, salsa, the dressing and the cilantro. Enjoy.


Chopped Vegetable Salad with Champagne Pear Dressing

My wife created this out of thin air one night when we needed to throw together a quick dinner to counteract the rich foods we had been eating all weekend. The original was made with red pepper, onion, and mushrooms, I think. Every time it got made afterwards something new was added, always with whatever is fresh and in season at the time. Fresh corn, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, grilled asparagus, red onion, goat or feta cheese and lately…rotisserie chicken.

Things got added but never taken away, and now it resembles something closer to a vegetable explosion than a salad.

The veggies are great, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not what makes this so delicious.

It’s this:

This is not a dressing I would have gone hunting for and I’m not exactly sure how or why it was picked out to begin with (must have been wife), especially given the name. “Champagne Pear” doesn’t exactly scream “great flavor combination” to me. Absolutely makes the salad, though.


  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
  • 5-6 white or brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 asparagus stalks, grilled and chopped into 2-in pieces
  • 1 ear of corn (boil for 3 min, then shock in ice water and cut off the cob)
  • 4 oz goat or crumbled feta cheese

Pick your lettuce, I go with 2/3 mixed greens mixed in with 1/3 spinach