Turkey Taco Salad

Friday 12 June 2020

When I was cheffing at the Manor, once or twice a month my boss would entertain all of her friends from her internation women's club to lunch.  They were actually supposed to take turns, but she ended up doing it most of the time. 

First of all I think she was probably the wealthiest of them all and secondly I think she liked to show off to the others and get her money's worth out of me. I didn't mind as they were wonderful opportunities to stretch and exercise my skills.

All of the ladies would enter at the back entry way where I would greet them with a cold drink, usually an option of a glass of wine or an ice cold elderflower drink, which I would have gotten ready prior to their arriving.  It was my job to greet them because the Mrs, despite having had all morning to get ready would probably only just be getting in the shower, having spent several hours faffing about with flowers in the laundry room.  She spent an inordinate amount of money on her flower arrangements.  I can't even begin to tell you .  Let me just say that the flowers for one of her luncheons would have cost more than an entire month's wages for myself.

While she was faffing about with the flowers I would be setting the table for the luncheon which would have been either in the Conservatory,  the dining room, on the stone patio deck at the side of the house or under the arbour out in the back garden.  A lot depended on the time of year,  and what the weather was doing.

As well as that I would be trying to organise and prepare all of the courses for the luncheon.  First there would be three bite sized nibbles for them to enjoy with their elderflower/wine prior to the luncheon.  They would need to keep themselves occupied with something while they were waiting for her to make her grand appearance, so nibbles it was.  I usually tried to keep these simple because the ladies didn't really want to fill up too much.

Usually there would be a first course.  She liked to serve soup for the first course.  Depending on the time of year it would be either a hot soup or a cold soup.  She had beautiful dishes to serve them in.  One of my favourites was the soup dishes that looked like vegetables, each with their own leaf plate. they were really quite pretty.

After the first course they would enjoy the main course which would be either some poached salmon or chicken with vegetables or a salad of some sort. Of course this is simplifying things somewhat as it was never quite as simple as poached salmon, but always something fun and delicious and colourful!  This would be followed by a choice of two desserts.  And yes, I did all of it by myself. The preparation of everything, the serving, the clearing and the clean up afterwards. Let me tell you at the end of the day I would be zonked.  Thank goodness if I was working a luncheon I didn't have to cook supper that evening!

Things like this Turkey Taco Salad would have been popular luncheon options, although she would have preferred a salad that was a bit fiddlier than this one. This one is dead simple . . .  from start to finish and oh-so-delicious!!

I am sure the ladies would have enjoyed it immensely.

A crisp homemade tortilla bowl  . . .  created by draping small tortillas over muffin cups spritzed with canola cooking spray, so easy . . .

Filled with a spectacularly flavour filled turkey mixture, perfectly seasoned and beautifully spiced.

Garnished with some grated cheese, shredded lettuce and sliced spring onions  . . .  then drizzled with ranch dressing and sprinkled with cherry tomatoes.  This would have gone down really well with the ladies I am sure.  I think you will enjoy it as well. Quick, easy and delicious!

Turkey Taco Salad

Turkey Taco Salad

Yield: 6
This is so delicious you would never think that it is basically also quite healthy!


For the turkey filling:
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp green tabasco sauce
  • 240ml boiling water (1 cup)
You will also need:
  • canola cooking spray
  • 6 street taco sized flour tortillas
  • 4 leaves of romaine lettuce washed, dried and shredded
  • 6 TBS grated strong cheddar cheese
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 large spring onion, washed and finely chopped
  • ranch dressing to drizzle


  1. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Lightly spray a medium, six cup muffin tin with some canola oil spray. 
  2. Gently fit the tortillas into each cup to fit and then lightly spray with more canola oil.  Alternately spray the bottoms of the muffin tin with the oil spray and press the tortillas over them allowing them to drape down the sides and spray again.  Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes until crisp.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the carrot and cook for a minute or so, then crumble in the turkey. Scramble fry. breaking it up as you go, for 5 to 7  minutes until it is beginning to brown and is no longer pink. Add all of the spices and seasonings.  Stir to combine and cook for a minute longer.  Add the  tabasco sauce and boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  4.  Place one of the crisp tortilla cups on each of six salad plates. Fill with the turkey mixture dividing it equally amongst the cups. Top each with 1 TBS of the cheese, some of the lettuce, the spring onion and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with some ranch dressing and serve immediately.
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Turkey is a superfood, filled with plenty of vitamins and nutrients and is also thought to help lower your risk for cancer.  I don't know how they know these things, but I am sure they have done their studies of it.  Odd how I can't really stand the texture of ground beef, but I love ground turkey! 

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