Salads: They’re Only As Boring as You Make Them!

Many people frown up at the idea of eating a salad, providing endless excuses as to why they’re uneatable. With a little creativity, you can create appetizing salads, full or meat (or not) and fun toppings to satisfy the beast within. Below are quick tips to sprucing up greens, and adding a dash of colorful nutrition to your lifestyle.

  • Themed salads. Make salads with meats and follow through on flavor with themed ingredients. You can try a chicken taco salad, beginning with a layer of bagged salad, cheddar cheese, taco-seasoned chicken,  sour cream, tomato and beans. Adding rice underneath the layer of mixed greens can be a more filling option to give you carbs and a feeling of fullness.
  • Add fruit and be merry. Adding berries,  oranges and other fruits can fan any salad fun. Here’s an example. Take a half a bag salad, add mandarin oranges (1-2 8 oz. servings), a Asian Toasted Sesame flavored salad dressing, and add fried chow mein noodles. Stir until you’ve got a fun Asian-inspired salad your tastebuds will beg you for. This can be spruced up with cold grilled chicken strips or shrimp seasoned with peanut sauce. Adding cold noodles in place of the fried chow mein noodles will also rock your mouth’s tastebuds off.
  • Be creative and add seasonal touches to your salad. Fall usually beckons orange and red-colored fruits and veggies, savory flavorings such as apple or pears spiked with nutmeg and cinnamon, and the ever popular butternut squash. Why not try to expand the borders of plain salads and dressings to a mountain of colors, roasted veggies and ripened, yet tangy fruit? Cranberries, croutons and chicken with a balsamic vinaigrette would make anyone’s tastebuds rave. Here is another savory, autumn-themed salad for the spirit.
  • Pair up your salads with comforting and indulgent soups, sandwiches or fuller meals. Still think salads are for sissies? They can make fun side dishes and are a versatile, easy way to up your nutrition. The water content in salads hydrate your body and invigorates the living sludge out of your low energy levels. They perk up your day and are chock full of vitamins to help you live your best life possible. Just go out, have fun and make the salad your canvas.

Visit this site to find out more about salads and their purpose in life.  Don’t forget to rate, comment and subscribe to this blog for fun food ideas, restaurant reviews and must try products! 

Taco Bell Taste Off: Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco Review.

Cool ranch taco, taken by Shinai (do not use without permission).

Cool ranch taco.

On March 6, 2013,  Taco Bell added a cooler addition to the sharply cheesy, nacho-flavored crunchy indulgence–the cool ranch Doritos™ locos taco. For those of you who don’t know, this is the second Doritos™-inspired taco flavor, which seems to be selling very well.  I think it’s important to bear in mind that the flavor of these tacos can be hit or miss depending on whether or not your local Taco Bell is heavy handed with powdering their taco shells. This taco shell is a standard corn yellow chip color with fun ranch-like shavings on the edges. To put this in perspective, (when eating with pieces of chicken) imagine eating a chicken ranch salad with crumbled Doritos™ chips as a salad topping. Pretty simple. Add sour cream and you’ve got something worthy of worship. Let’s continue.

  Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with beef)

I ordered this taco with beef and wasn’t really impressed, because I felt that ranch flavor was muted when paired up with the beef. The little bit of ranch flavor was easy to detect on the upper edges only; the beef flavor overpowered the ranch and I could barely taste the ranch flavor. I should have taken the minimal visible ‘ranchness’ on the edge as a hint that the ranch flavor probably wasn’t evenly dispersed.  And boy was I right. Perhaps the taco didn’t have enough cool ranch powder on it. Maybe this taco needed the powerful help of sour cream to make it fun.

  Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with chicken)

This is where chicken becomes relevant. I ordered this taco with chicken, because I like the pairing of ranch and chicken together  I figured it would be a more natural flavor blend than beef. This flavor compared to the beef was lighter, more refreshing–almost like a salad with those crisps on them. It made me think of summer for some reason. I enjoyed this more than the beef, because the chicken flavor played off the ranch on the taco. You can taste the cool ranch flavor better and the chicken almost rounds it out.

  Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (chicken supreme)

And this is by far, my favorite combination–the sour cream was like the cherry on a sundae. Cool ranch, paired with chicken  veggies, cheese and sour cream.  It’s amazing how muted sour cream is on its own,but in this case, it was the glue that held all of the flavors together. In the supreme taco, I didn’t feel as if the beef overpowered the ranch flavor. This time, I actually had a taco that wasn’t shy of ranch. This again, reminded me of a light and refreshing bite of summer. I was sad I didn’t get another one.

Here are my ratings:

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with beef) Yumfactor: 2 tongues and a taste bud (2.5 out of 5 stars). The beef tasted good, but I didn’t like the combination paired up with the ranch. It could have been the lack of presence the ranch had when I ate this; the ranch seasoning on the taco shell didn’t come through very well. My taste buds prefer chicken with the cool ranch taco. It just tastes healthier–more wholesome and complimentary.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with chicken) Yumfactor: 3 tongues (3 out of 5 stars). I enjoy a lighter-flavored meat with this shell. I felt as if I was eating a crisp salad with a powered ranch overtone. Overall, everything blended well together. No overpowering flavors or meats with this one. The cool ranch came out of its shell a little more to say hello to the world around it.

Taco Bell Cool Ranch Doritos™ Locos Taco (chicken supreme) Yumfactor: 4 tongues and a taste bud (4.5 out of 5 stars) I really enjoyed this. Every flavor completes the other, creating an indulgently harmonious blend of bites. The cool ranch flavor seemed to latch on to the cool sour cream and held hands; the sharp shredded cheese, lettuce and tomatoes also meshed well with the tangy ranch shell. The chicken–buried under all of the flavors–also made a humble appearance in this taco. It’s just natural this way. The chicken varieties are perfect for those who don’t eat beef, want a break from beef/horse meat/sand/whatever else, or crave a light, yet filling snack that will leave your conscious devoid of calorie guilt.

What Doritos™ flavors would you like to see as a taco shell flavor? What are your thoughts on this taco? Do you prefer chicken or beef? Rate, Comment and Subscribe!

Taco Bell Taste Off: Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco Review.

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Taco Bell has recently launched an inventive and tasty batch of tacos utilizing two popular Doritos™ brand flavors–nacho cheese and more recently, cool ranch. Last year, Taco Bell released their Doritos™ Locos Taco in a nacho cheese flavor, available in both chicken and beef varieties.  Here’s my experience with the nacho cheese-flavored taco in both chicken and beef.

Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (with chicken)

A year ago I tried the popular and well-marketed nacho cheese flavored Doritos™  locos taco (at about $1.29/regular taco; $1.56/supreme; add $0.70 for chicken). As many of you probably know, it’s noted for it’s vivid orange color, which is heaps of nacho cheese powder flavoring on the taco shell. I ordered it with chicken and thought pretty highly of it. The cheese flavor resonated with the chicken, complimenting the sharp and intense cheese-flavored taco shell. Then, I decided to be a big girl and try it in it’s original form–with beef.For those of you who don’t know, I don’t eat very much beef and I’m almost sure some people may have questioned eating beef at Taco Bell ever since the sand scare. But I digress.

Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (with beef and beef supreme)

I ordered the supreme nacho flavored taco with beef and thought even more highly of this pairing. Why? Well first, the meat had more depth on its own and meshed well with the nacho cheese flavor; the sour cream pulled all the flavors together.  To put it simply, imaging dipping a nacho cheese flavored Doritos™ chip in chili with sour cream then sprinkling fresh shredded cheese. Top it all off with a 1/4 teaspoon of sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes and there you go. Sorry chicken, I actually prefer the nacho cheese taco with beef and instead. Don’t worry, though. You redeemed yourself in the cool ranch taco.

Here’s the verdict, folks–plain and simple.

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with chicken) Yumfactor: I’m giving this taco three tongues (3 out of 5 stars). This isn’t to say it’s bad. It was above average, but not exciting to me especially in comparison to the beef flavor. The chicken creates a lighter taste. The chicken seasoning is detectable and the taco shell tastes saltier compared to the beef. Of course this is because of the mean. Great for those who want to mix it up from beef. Or sand. Or horse meat (allegedly). Hey, I ate the beef/horse meat or whatever it is and lived. *shrugs apathetically*

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (regular, with beef) Yumfactor: 3 tongues and a taste bud (3.5 out of 5 stars).The overall flavor here is slightly amped up compared to the chicken. The seasonings of the beef paired well with the sharp nacho cheese top note; the vegetables and the sour cream all created a delicate dance of flavor.

Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos™ Locos Taco (beef supreme) Yumfactor: 4 tongues (4 out of 5). This was fun to eat. The seasoned beef again played well with the nacho  cheese and the cool sour cream added a nice component. I shrieked in delight (no seriously, I did. I’m dramatic when I eat). This combination tasted like it was kismet, the savory beef complimenting the sharp and intense cheese-flavored taco shell. It’ll be interesting if Taco Bell plays with this inventive tacos. I’d be interested in seeing the sweet chili spice as a taco flavor. The next post is going to cover the cool ranch flavor.

What do you think about this flavor? Is it better with chicken or beef? Love it? Hate it? Don’t forget to RATE, COMMENT and SUBSCRIBE!

Must Try Junk Food: Taco Bell’s Pacific Shrimp Tacos

I’ve tried taco Bell’s original shrimp taco’ they had a few months back and was dissappointed. They were fried little shrimp with no seasoning that barely could be tasted because you’d get about 2 per taco.  This time, I gave them another try (because I’m an optimist) and I truly enjoyed them. The shrimp was peeled and marinated in various spices, and rolled up into a little soft tortilla with tomatoes, onions and lettuce (and possibly cilantro?). There was a sauce that was spread on the tortilla, but I don’t remeber what it was specifically, with all the other seasonings going o, I couldn’t taste just one flavor.  I hear it’s only available for a limited time! One thing I do like is that the shrimp is grilled as opposed to fried. Sure, it’s still fast food, but my tummy can’t handle fried foods, so it does make a difference.

Nutritional Info Per Serving:

  • Calories- 210g, From fat- 90g
  • Saturated Fat- 2g
  • Total Fat-11g
  • Trans Fat-0g
  • Cholesterol-55g
  • Sodium- 560mg (kinda high, there)
  • Carbs-20g
  • Fiber- 2g
  • Sugar-2g
  • Protein-8g.

Not too bad excluding the high sodium content, and with only 210 calories, you won’t have to worry about putting on too many pounds with this item. I’d argue that this item, and other items with a total calorie count of 200 or lower is a healthy way eat junk food (if you decide to) and monitor how much calories you intake (especially since some of their items reach to nearly 800 on the calorie content! ouch!)

Taco Bell’s Pacific Shrimp Taco Yumfactor– 4 tongues (4 out of 5)

Agree? Disagree? Think 210 Calories it still too high of a number for caloric intake per meal? Why not rate/ comment! Thanks for reading!