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A Blast from the Past – Chili Beef Salads

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I am a child of the 80’s. When I say “child” I mean I was born in the 80’s. You would not find me dancing to hair bands in my basement while combing my bangs into a perfect sphere that would reach the door a good 5 minutes before I did. Although I did have a perm ( briefly) and a t-shirt tie with stirrup pants and some Keds. Oh…and I loved “the Boss”.

Boorrrn in the U-S-A! 

I had a tape player, and a strawberry shortcake pillow, and I never missed an episode of Punky Brewster or Rainbow Brite. And I always looked forward to Mom’s ground beef meals. They were always so good. I think ground beef was the staple more so than chicken for us in the 80’s. Come to find out, nearly all of Mom’s best dinner recipes came from one cookbook, Betty Crocker’s Working Woman’s Cookbook.

Mom’s copy burned in a friend’s house fire and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that Mom finally replaced the cookbook. And being the awesome Mom that she is. She sent it to me.

This book is so freaking awesome. There are so many great meals in here! And not only meals but freezer cooking recipes too!

So, because I’m in love with the cookbook and because some part of me longs for the 80’s, I’ll be cooking out of this cookbook all week.

Like totally!

So this is like a taco salad, but it’s really tasty. Even the kids loved. This horseradish dressing is surprisingly good. The Freezer Beef Mix can be used in casseroles or as a super quick taco mix.

Chili Beef Salads
1 portion of Freezer Beef ( recipe follows)
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. chili sauce
1 small head of lettuce, shredded
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
6 corn tortillas
oil for frying
Horseradish Dressing ( recipe follows)

Heat the oil to 350. Fry each tortilla in oil while holding down with metal whisk to shape a bowl.


Drain on paper towels.

Heat freezer beef, water, chili sauce in saucepan over medium heat until hot.
Arrange fried tortilla, lettuce, beef, tomatoes, and avocado on a plate and top with horseradish dressing.

Freezer Beef:
3 lbs. ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Cook and stir all ingredients until beef is cooked through. Drain and spread out on a large cookie sheet. Freeze partially then separate into 3 portions ( about 3 cups each) and store in freezer bags up to 3 months.


Horseradish Dressing:
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 T mustard
1 t. prepared horseradish
1 t. minced parsley (optional)
Mix all ingredients together well.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I can totally relate to this post… I was a child in the 80s for 5 years… I had my carebears and popples, and loved Punky Brewster, too!  

    This salad looks tasty… I love horseradish dressing!

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Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.

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