"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Six Hour Salad of Deliciousness

My mother in law had a Mexican Salad that she always made when visiting our home. Our kids loved loved loved it. So in honor of a special son's special birthday yesterday I wanted to make the Super Mexican Salad. As bad luck would have it, I went in and bought ingredients the day after produce prices shot through the roof. Never in my life have I bought a head of iceberg lettuce for $2.69. But I bought three of them this time because this son has been through some rough patches and I wanted to make this birthday dinner memorable.

This salad takes about six hours of preparation, most of which is in preparing the produce. Washing, cutting, chopping, peeling, yadayadayada. Are you just dying to know what's in it?

Grandma Gowen's Mexican Salad

1-2 lb. ground beef prepared with taco seasoning. Let cool while you mix up the vegetables, etc.

Iceberg lettuce, broken into pieces
purple cabbage, sliced fine
grape or cherry tomatoes
red onion slices,
black and green olives, whole
artichoke hearts
fresh sliced mushrooms
grated carrots
avocados, cut into rough pieces
red kidney beans
black beans
grated cheddar cheese
other options: baby corn or kerneled corn, sprouts, jicama, or anything else you think will go with it

Toss all these ingredients together. Right before serving add 1-2 bags Spicy Nacho Dorito chips, smashed in the bag into bite size pieces. Toss and pour in a bottle of Wishbone Italian dressing, amount to taste. I made a huge amount of salad for 12 adults, with 2 lbs. ground beef, 3 heads lettuce, 6 cans beans (you get the picture), 2 bags chips. I only used one bottle of dressing and wished I had used two.

Although everyone said it was delicious and snarfed it down fast. And the birthday boy had a smile on his face.


  1. That sounds like one hefty salad. Happy birthday to your son. It really is the comfort food that pleases the most.

  2. Happy birthday to your son and pass me the salad!!!

  3. Hi Karen .. sounds like you made your son's day special .. and this salad sounds wonderful .. no wonder the family 'desired' it each time Granny visited. I love these big fulsome meal salads - all the tasty ingredients in one go ..

    I'll remember this - thank you!! Enjoy the rest of the week .. Hilary

  4. Happy birthday to your special son!! This salad sounds like a great celebration salad - just look at all those ingredients - and prepared with love too!! Yay! take care

  5. Happy Birthday to your son. The salad sounds delcious and healthy. I will have to make it.
    The lettuce you got for $2.69, that is outragious! Iceberg lettuce used to be the cheaper lettuce. The grocery prices are getting way to high.
    Have a great day!

  6. I know what you mean about food prices -- last time I went grocery shopping I was appalled at the increases.

    That sounds like a delicious salad, though! :)


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