Gluten Free, Dairy Free Taco Salad

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAParents are so busy these days. It’s not easy finding time to cook healthy meals when you’re juggling so many responsibilities.  That’s why it’s so important to put together a collection of simple go-to recipes that you rely upon even when you have limited time.

What I’ve discovered over the years is that when you use fresh, whole ingredients, it doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to transform them into mouthwatering bites of deliciousness! Food preparation becomes a magical experience, instead of a dreaded obligation.

And so today, I share a simple recipe that I’m sure is familiar to you. This version is free of corn, dairy, and gluten, all of which are common allergens that could be posing a problem for you (without you realizing it).

It’s taco salad, and it brings together a few of my favorite go-to ingredients:


  • Red onion – I LOVE it! It adds so much flavor and just look at the stunning color. It has many layers, just like people do, so to me it’s a symbol of individuality and uniqueness. As a prebiotic food, onions help build an army of “good” bacteria in your gut, and play a part in keeping your immune system strong.


  • Avocado – I eat it almost every day not only because it’s an extremely healthy source of fat, but because I consider it a perfect substitute for cheese and dairy. Just think about its creamy texture.  It’s soothing, and truly a super food.
  • Olives – I always keep jars of my favorite ones on hand. I particularly love green ones, and add them to salads all the time. Like avocadoes, they are a fantastic source of healthy fat, even better than olive oil, since they are less processed.
  • Leafy greens – I love trying new ones. Add a bowl of greens to your daily menu, and it’s a powerful way to boost your health!
  • Grass fed beef –  An extremely nutrient dense form of protein and Omega 3 fat. It is the foundation upon which many healthy recipes can be based. There’s so much you can do with this one ingredient, which is more expensive that conventional store bought ground beef, but aren’t you worth it?  If you’re trying to upgrade your food choices, this one change could make a huge difference in your life.

Here’s my basic recipe:

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Taco Salad

Prep Time: PT10 to 15M

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: PT20 to 25M

Yield: 4 to 6 meal size servings

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Taco Salad

Gluten free, Corn free, Dairy free, Grass Fed Beef Taco Salad from


  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass fed, otherwise organic)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
  • 12 cups of mixed leafy greens
  • 2 avocados, cut into small pieces
  • 20 to 30 small green or black olives, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups of salsa (organic, with minimal ingredients and no added sugar)


  1. Melt coconut oil in frying pan.
  2. Break apart ground beef and saute until cooked through.
  3. Add onion and Celtic Sea Salt and saute for 2 or 3 more minutes.
  4. Set aside meat, and take out 4 large bowls for salad prep.
  5. Place greens, avocado pieces, and olives into 4 bowls.
  6. Place ground beef and then salsa, on top.
  7. Mix up and enjoy!

Food for thought:

Please use organic ingredients whenever possible, in order to minimize exposure to pesticides and other toxins.

I suggest you tweak this recipe to add/subtract ingredients based upon your preferences.

Will your children eat this? It really depends. You may have to modify it a little if they are resistant to certain ingredients, and that’s okay.  What I love about this recipe is that you can get creative with it, and add/delete ingredients as you wish. Have some fun with it!

Even if your child won’t touch it at all at first, just seeing you eat it will be an eye opening experience.  When a parent models healthy eating habits, it’s only natural for a child to become curious and start asking questions.  Little changes can go a long way, even if you’re the only one making them at first!

So, even if the rest of your family has traditional tacos while you eat the salad, the fact that you’re using fresh, real ingredients is what’s most important.  In our house, my son still prefers the ground beef with onions in an organic corn taco with romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes on the side. He doesn’t even like salsa, avocado, or even olives, and that’s okay. Most of his meal consists of real food (anything that comes in a box is not), and that’s what counts.

Our family has come a long way with our eating habits, but I’ve learned that when you try to be perfect, the plan backfires. You have to give yourself a little wiggle room and go easy on yourself! Otherwise, frustration will set in.

Give yourself permission to take baby steps.  Find creative ways to make food prep fun, and involve your whole family in the process.

May you spring into healthier food choices, one bite at a time.

Please note that this post has been shared with the Gluten Free Tuesday, Fat TuesdayAllergy Free Wednesday and Gluten Free Wednesdays blog carnivals. For more allergen free recipes, stop by and check them out.






About Dawn

As a Certified Health Coach, I provide motivated individuals with the resources, tools, support and encouragement they need to make the gradual changes in food and lifestyle that could completely transform their lives. Contact me.
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