Ditch the tortillas and make a taco bowl

These shell-less tacos are all the flavor with less mess.

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Not quite a taco, a burrito or a salad. Pile all your taco ingredients in a bowl plate and dig in with less mess. — Nicole Jackson

My story begins, like most of my recipe stories, at the grocery store. I was wandering the aisles checking out the rice selection; my rice of choice is usually jasmine but the yellow of the Goya seasoned rice caught my eye sitting on the top shelf. That day I did my shopping and went home, my interest still piqued by the idea of making something with the Goya rice I saw. The idea of tacos or burritos popped into my head, but the only problem was that I don’t really like tacos. I thought more about exactly why I don’t like tacos and really I just don’t like the act of eating tacos, the flavor of tacos I actually enjoy very much.

I thought making a taco bowl would be a great way to skip the mess of tacos and get all the great flavors and ingredients, and would require much less assembly. I wanted to make the classic ground beef with the deliciously salty taco seasoning packet.

This dinner was going to require a shopping list, which I found incredibly useful when I navigated the grocery store. Even though I kept it simple, it is still easy to forget something. To me, a taco, or in this instance taco bowl, without cheese or shredded lettuce would be devastating.

After shopping, making the bright yellow rice, cooking the beef — both as directed on the packaging — I packed the rice, beef, onion, corn, black beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomato all into my favorite bowl plate and topped with a drizzle of Thousand Island dressing I had in my fridge. If you don’t know about the bowl plate, or have one in your household, they are the best. Not quite a bowl and not quite a plate but a dish somewhere in between is a perfect vessel for a taco bowl. I use them for most of my meals, I like to think it keeps things cleaner when I’m eating and alleviates chasing my food around a plate with a fork.

All said and done; I think you’ll find this simple variation on the regular taco, satisfying, filling, and flavorful, with just the right amount of crunch. If you clip out the shopping list I’ve made up, with handy pictures for reference, (if you’re reading online, bookmark or save the photo) you can’t go wrong. I bought the store brand on some of the items but feel free to adjust it and buy the brands you like best.

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