Having people over for dinner can be stressful and time consuming. But not if you plan a simple menu with familiar foods that guests can cater to their own tastes, like this make-your-own taco bar. You can purchase most of the ingredients — salsa, canned black beans, pre-washed lettuce, pre-marinated meat or fish, and shredded cheese — then make one or two things yourself (like a chunky fruit salsa or guacamole) and you’ve got yourself a meal. With casual fare like this, your guests will immediately feel comfortable, and you’ll actually enjoy being the hostess! Some ideas…
Pick a meat of some sort — white fish, shrimp, steak, ground turkey, or chicken — and cook/grill it:
Make sure to have a vegetarian option as well. I like to saute chopped onion with black beans, corn kernels, canned diced green chiles (or fresh chopped bell pepper), and pinches of cumin, chili powder, and salt:
Then go to town on the toppings. A couple kinds of salsa, homemade or store-bought guacamole, a fun fruit salsa (like my pineapple mango one):
then some shredded cheese, sour cream (or low-fat Greek yogurt as a healthy substitute), chopped Romaine lettuce or green cabbage, chopped tomatoes, fresh cilantro leaves, and tortilla chips for dipping…
Warm up some whole wheat and stone ground corn tortillas in a damp paper towel in the microwave (or in a low oven if you want a crispy tostada-type shell) and you’re done!
Note: this is also an easy dinner idea for busy weeknights — and can easily be morphed into a taco salad, or even a Mexican-style omelet topped with fresh veggies.