Black Bean & Avocado Salad

This salad is perfectly served alongside tacos! It is flavorful, cool, and so so easy. I’m including a bunch of alternatives. We often have black beans or avocado on the side and this time was just a touch more special as a salad with dressing.

The Three Bite Rule - Black Bean & Avocado Salad

I loved it. I ended up scooping the remnants up with tortilla chips.

Black Bean & Avocado Salad
Ingredients: (side for ~4)

1 can black beans
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup cheese (cotija or feta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cilantro (chopped or from a tube or frozen cube)
1 teaspoon honey
lime juice from half a lime
salt & pepper

Directions:
Drain the black beans and add to a bowl with chopped avocado, chopped tomato, and cheese.

The Three Bite Rule - Black Bean & Avocado Salad

Then mix up the dressing – add olive oil, cilantro, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper and shake in a jar or whisk together in a bowl.

The Three Bite Rule - Black Bean & Avocado Salad

Add the dressing to the beans/avo/tomato and stir gently (too much stirring will mash up the avocado!).
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Black Bean & Avocado Salad

I loved this. Chopping everything smaller would make a good dip – or my littlest one put it inside her tortilla and ate it like a taco. Our bigger kid ate the avocado and tomatoes out of it but was more into the tacos.

Substitute the tomatoes for corn, or red onion, or bell peppers, or whatever you like! Skip the cheese if you need it dairy-free. The avocado means it can’t quite be made in advance but everything else could be ready and add the avocado before serving.

Rolled Tacos

So I hear the difference between a taquito and a flauta is the tortilla (taquito=corn & flauta=flour). I had no idea. In my head, flautas were bigger – like with a larger tortilla and taquitos were more like snacks, smaller and more like a nacho than a meal.

While I don’t bring any authenticity to these, I whipped some up in the air fryer and they are adorable AND delicious. They could also be baked or pan-fried too with lots of filling options.

The Three Bite Rule - Rolled Tacos

Rolled Tacos with Pork and Black Beans
Ingredients: (serves 2 entrees, or 4 appetizers)
1 cup pulled pork
1 teaspoon taco seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon each: cumin & chili powder)
5-6 small tortillas
2/3 cup black beans
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lime juice
cilantro

Directions:
Warm the pork through to get it crispy.
Warm the tortillas (I microwaved mine for 10 seconds).
Whisk together the sour cream and lime juice.

The Three Bite Rule - Rolled Tacos

Warm the beans and mash them with a spoon to spread onto the tortilla.
Add pork onto each tortilla.
Warm the air fryer/oven/skillet with oil.
Carefully roll the tortillas and use two toothpicks to form an X to keep them rolled.
Spray or brush with oil and cook until crisp. (I air fried mine for 10 minutes, flipping once.)

The Three Bite Rule - Rolled Tacos

Drizzle with lime crema, sprinkle with cilantro or serve with shredded lettuce or chopped avocado and dip into salsa to dip.

These are so fun! They are cute and dipable and they stay together so well! I liked the beans spread onto it instead of taking a bite and beans rolling out.

Shredded chicken or ground meat or roasted sweet potatoes would all be great fillings too and any beans would work. These rolled tacos are an easy way to use small amounts of leftovers or to prep in advance.

Chicken Tacos with Cherry Salsa

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

Let’s quickly shake up taco night, shall we? I love alllll tacos (see here, or here, or here, or here) but to keep things interesting, I went with chicken in the tacos and the topping was a super quick cherry salsa.

I always want the kiddos eating new things and knowing that “tacos” don’t mean one thing. Once a week(ish) taco night can be tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc. Using frozen cherries makes this fit any season and makes it so easy!

Cherry Salsa
Ingredients: (for 4)

1 cup dark cherries
1/4 white onion
2 tablespoons chopped arugula
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon salsa

Directions:
Defrost the cherries.

Chop the cherries, onion and arugula. Mix in the lime juice and salsa.
Serve on chicken tacos with black beans.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

I loved this and it takes less than 5 minutes to mix up. The cherries are juicy and sweet against the seasoned taco and the crisp of the onion and arugula. The arugula can swap for cilantro but we have arugula around so it does double duty here.

We often make meatless with Gardien crumbles (don’t get me started how quick and fool-proof or crispy fish tacos but for these I chopped some chicken thighs and sautéed them with taco seasoning.

2 gobbled up more tacos than usual and 5 deconstructed his and ate maybe a bit less than usual but didn’t have much to say either way about the salsa….so a win and a tie?

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Salsa on Chicken Tacos

Leftover frozen cherries? Make Cherry & Arugula Flatbreads or Make Cherry “Cheesecake” Parfaits or Make Chocolate Cherry Smoothies.

Chipotle Shrimp Rice Bowl

Will I ever run out of grain bowls? Actually – don’t answer that. I seriously loooove the combo of a grain + something cooked/warm + something cool/raw finished with a drizzle. They are also a fantastic way to hit lots of food groups while using up small quantities of things!
The Three Bite Rule - Chipotle Shrimp Rice Bowl
The littles aren’t enchanted by shrimp lately so I skipped them on this one and made it just for myself. It was a good thing because this was spi-cy. This would be great with any fish or chicken or beef.

Chipotle Shrimp Rice Bowls

Ingredients: (for 2)

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1/4 cup sour cream
1 chipotle pepper in adobo (plus 2 teaspoons of sauce)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lime juice
8 jumbo shrimp, pealed and deveined
1/4 cup tomatoes
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup black beans

Directions:

Cook the rice.
In a food processor or blender, mix together the sour cream, chipotle pepper plus 1 teaspoons of sauce, honey, and lime juice.
The Three Bite Rule - Chipotle Shrimp Rice Bowl
In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add in butter and remaining teaspoon of adobo sauce.
Slice tomatoes and avocado.
The Three Bite Rule - Chipotle Shrimp Rice Bowl
Layer into two bowls and drizzle with chipotle lime sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - Chipotle Shrimp Rice BowlEnjoy!

The sauce is spi-cy. Next time I’d tone it down a bit (by halving the chipotle) but I liked it. The rice and the avocado and the beans all help the spice. It was great for something different. In a pinch I’m known to mix ranch with salsa for a creamy drizzle too.

Tacos with Lemonade Slaw

This slaw screams SUMMER. All caps screaming! At first it was whispering summer, but I tweaked it and then the flavor was really pumped up. I put the slaw onto fish tacos but will make again just as a side slaw. It would be great with pulled pork or burgers- on them or alongside them! It has an ideal mix of creaminess and brightness.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemonade Slaw

Lemonade Slaw

Ingredients:

12 oz (bag) shredded cabbage/broccoli slaw
1/3 cup mayo
1/4 cup lemonade
1 teaspoon lemonade drink powder mix
1 teaspoon lemon juice
zest from 1/2 lemon

Directions:

Mix & enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Lemonade Slaw

I used a single serving lemonade mix, like what to mix into a 16-oz bottle. One teaspoon of the powder went into the slaw then I mixed the rest with ~10 oz of water to make (strong) lemonade to add some into the slaw. The lemon juice served as my acid where I’d normally use vinegar. The lemonade mix sweetened where sugar would normally be.

The Three Bite Rule - Lemonade Slaw
The little guy ate his slaw separately from his taco, but Mr. J and I put it right on it. We don’t make tons of fish at home but frozen breaded fish pieces are super quick and are a crowd-pleaser inside a taco!
The Three Bite Rule - Lemonade Slaw

What I Ate: Loaded Nacho Waffle Fries

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

You neeeed this super easy and fun dinner in your rotation for December. It is delicious, a great use of leftovers, and couldn’t be easier. What else could you look for from a weeknight dinner!? We have something Mexican about once a week so I popped a small portion of pulled pork into the freezer for occasions such as this. Add gather some queso sauce, tomato, avocado, green onion, salsa, and cheese onto waffle fries and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Taco night gets recreated for a whole different feel. I’m working to ensure foods aren’t always the same for my little one…I don’t want him thinking tacos are always one way, or cheese is always in string form, etc. Having tacos/burritos/quesadillas/etc help ensure he sees ingredients he’s familiar with in another format so it is still approachable. I took a similar tactic for a recent salami & cheese calzone being his fav sandwich flavors. I have adventurous eaters in our family, but doesn’t everyone just want a crowd-pleasing, slam-dunk of a dinner in the rotation, right?
The Three Bite Rule - Loaded Waffle Fries

Pssst. These would totally fill a group for a weekend lunch, after sledding, as a quick meal before some festive holiday gathering, or watching a game (<- jeez, I sound like I host football parties non-stop. I just like how those games bring out the snacks!).

Loaded Nacho Waffle Fries

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)

3/4 bag frozen waffle fries
~1 cup pulled pork (or pulled chicken or taco meat)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup salsa con queso
1 avocado, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup salsa

Directions:

Bake the fries according to the package.
While they bake to a crisp, pan fry the shredded pork to brown a bit and warm the queso.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese on the waffle fries and return to the oven to melt.
Drizzle some queso onto the fries and top with pork.
The Three Bite Rule - Loaded Waffle Fries
Serve and offer the toppings of tomatoes, avocado, green onions, and salsa as a top-your-own station, or top the whole platter and let everyone dig in.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Loaded Waffle Fries
These are plate and fork nachos, which are the very best kind! They are truly loaded and so filling- as in, ours were on salad plates instead of dinner plates! Loaded waffle fries are definitely enough to be a meal. Our toddler thought it was a super fun dinner! I’d argue that the baked fries aren’t really a far reach health-wise from the rest of it being a taco or regular nachos. These are more filling so plan portions accordingly!

This uses up the remainder of queso and a small amount of pork & cheese so it reminded me not to underestimate what can become a meal! Vegetarian-ize them swapping pork with black beans and saute some bell peppers or add whatever toppings would go in your tacos!

Meatless & Vegan Tacos

Some of the gal pals came over for dinner & drinks one Friday night and I was making quite the menu plan but since it was a) hot out with a threat of rain and b) a Friday after work, I made myself keep it simple. I knew I wouldn’t have time for everything I imagined and with rain threatening I decided to skip anything grilled. I like build-your-own options for all diets & food preferences of these 6 ladies, which is also conducive to spreading out on my kitchen island. Plus, I always like to cook things I’ll be glad to have as leftovers. That meant: tacos!

I ended up with a taco bar and made some vegan-friendly tacos to share with you. They were in good company as part of a spread of taco filling options to either be vegan tacos or different additions to regular ground meat as a filling.
The Three Bite Rule - Meatless Taco Options
Taco-spiced zucchini & onions
Chili-lime sweet potato & black beans
toppings: salsa; guac-obvi!; green onions; cheese, sour cream; lettuce; tomato; queso

The Three Bite Rule - Meatless Taco Options

I also made my mom’s signature Three Bean dip/salad. It is vinegar-y and fresh. I love it as a taco side dish, or it’s nicely scoop-able with tortilla chips. Shouldn’t everything in life be nicely scoop-able with chips??

The verdict:
sweet potato & black bean one was nicely filling. It wasn’t all that spicy. I sprinkled a pre-cooked sweet potato with chili powder, a drop of sriracha & a squirt of lime juice.

zucchini & onions one good and had the flavor of what I think of tacos being – I sauteed the onions a few minutes and added the zucchini in to cook for the last few minutes with some taco seasoning. With a finer dice, it’d be a really tasty taco topping, versus filling too. Or swap zucc for mushrooms/eggplant as you like.

I’d totally eat these again. They’re handy to have in my back pocket for a use of leftover zucchini, sweet potato, or black beans. Or they’d be useful to spread a smaller amount of taco meat that wouldn’t be enough for everyone. Leftovers are fun in quesadillas to feel different!

 

Ultimate Mexican Burger

This Mexican burger pulls out all the stops. Happy Birthday Burger Mr. J! The burger gets amped up with chorizo, queso, guac, and beans. I’be been saving this idea for awhile and it was perfect to plan for this one when I knew we’d have some taco leftovers!
The Three Bite Rule - Ultimate Mexican Burger

Ultimate Mexican Burger

Ingredients: (for 2 burgers)

1 link chorizo sausage
1/2 pound ground meat
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
2 tablespoons refried beans
3 tablespoons guacamole
3 tablespoons salsa con queso
lettuce
2 rolls

Directions:

Mix together the ground meat and the chorizo and form into patties. Sprinkle half of the taco seasoning on before grilling the burgers. Grill until cooked to your liking.
While the burgers are cooking, warm the queso and the refried beans.
After taking the burgers off the grill, sprinkle with remaining taco seasoning.
Spread the beans onto the bottom bun, then add lettuce, burger, queso, and spread the guacamole onto the top bun.
The Three Bite Rule - Ultimate Mexican Burger Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Burger Mr. J!

Here’s the history of the Birthday Burgers:
2016 it was a Mac & Cheese Stuffed Burger topped with bacon, onions, and tomato.
2015 it was a Picnic Burger with slaw & potato sticks
2014 it was a German Burger with horseradish, caramelized onions, pickles and a pretzel roll
2013 it was a Vermont Burger with maple mayo, cheddar, bacon, and spinach
2012 it was a Bacon Wrapped Burger
2011 it was a Stuffed Burger stuffed with bacon & cheddar or bacon & blue cheese

What I Ate: Burrito Bowl

I know, you can totally figure this out on your own, but here are a few ways to amp up your burrito bowl. Mexican Street Corn and a quick dressing makes this so. much. better than just leftover taco filling…which is where I started. Taco night leftovers are the best leftovers out there but I love them in a completely different format.

The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowl (for 2)

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/3 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 cup corn, cooked and cooled
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup ground turkey/chicken/pork/beef spiced with taco seasoning
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup black beans

Directions:

Cook the rice.
In a small food processor, mix together the ranch, cilantro, and taco seasoning. Blend well and chill until serving.
The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl
Mix together the corn, feta, mayo, lime juice, and chili powder. Chill until serving, or make in advance.
The Three Bite Rule - Mexican Street Corn
Assemble together the rice on the bottom then top with ground meat, beans, lettuce, and street corn.
The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl
Drizzle with the dressing.
The Three Bite Rule - Burrito Bowl
Serve and enjoy! I wish I’d had tomatoes, but we ate them all the night before. I had avocados but totally forgot! I started eating and then remembered salsa! Add whatever you have: tortilla chips; cheese; sour cream; queso; jalepenos…whatever you like!