Open Jars: Turkey Taco Salad

pickled jalapenos

I have long been a fan of homemade turkey tacos, particularly ones based on this recipe (thanks Molly!). A couple of nights ago, I cooked up a batch of the taco meat to spill over big bowls of greens (though folding these crumbles up in freshly warmed corn tortillas is my idea of heaven) and managed to get not just one, but two jars of home canned food into the mix.

browned turkey for tacos

The taco-spiced meat calls for a pound of turkey, spiked with minced garlic, cumin, a pinch of cayenne, lime and some jalapenos. I look at this recipe as a perfect way to use up some of those unfancy jalapeno peppers that I canned last fall. Because the pickling process takes some of the sting out of peppers, I simply mince up two or three, seeds and all, and add it to the mix. Frequently, I skip the cayenne and just rely on the heat of the jalapenos to flavor the turkey (we’re something of a heat sensitive household around here).

pickled carrots and daikon

As I assembled the salads, I started longing for something tangy to go along with the turkey, greens and sauteed vegetables. Thinking back over what remains in my pantry, I remembered that a single jar of those pickled carrots and daikon I made last February (good grief, is time flying) remained. They weren’t quite as crunchy as they’d been when first canned, but their flavor was spot on for the salad and they added the perfect amount of zing.

assembled salad

I realize that this isn’t groundbreaking cooking, but I thought you guys would appreciate seeing some of the basic ways that I incorporate what I can into my everyday eating. Oh, and if you determine to eat this as tacos (as is truly intended), I highly recommend making a batch of this Cumin Cabbage Slaw to go with it. They match up really well.

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7 Responses to Open Jars: Turkey Taco Salad

  1. 1
    Emily says:

    As you can tell from the earlier post, I am quite a fan of these jalape├▒os. And you’ve reminded me to pull out other chutneys, jams, sauces to pair with food when I cook. Nothing like cooking some down and dirty gooood food.

  2. 2
    meemsnyc says:

    What a great way to add canned veggies to the meal. Delicious.

  3. 3
    Mike says:

    Who cares about groundbreaking? ­čÖé Looks quite yummy!

  4. 4

    […] Open Jars series is going strong with Turkey Taco Salad, The Oregonian’s savory jam round-up, Fancy Grilled Cheese, Blue Cheese Savories, and […]

  5. 5
    Cindy says:

    Yesterday I pickled a assortment of chiles I had on hand some I had grown myself. Last night I said to my daughter and her boyfriend that I wanted to roast and shred turkey breast and make a yucatan style tacos, yum… I just saw your post and said to my serendipity.

  6. 6
    Mindy says:

    I love canning and your post is very inspiring. Makes me hungry just looking at the picture! Wish I had those items in MY pantry.

  7. 7
    Karen says:

    I make a similar turkey taco dish – I add a small can of black beans (undrained) for a little extra fiber! I add chipotle peppers as opposed to jalapenos, because I’m in love with that smokey chipotle flavor!!


  1. Use It or Lose It! December/January Round-Up « local kitchen - January 28, 2011

    […] Open Jars series is going strong with Turkey Taco Salad, The Oregonian’s savory jam round-up, Fancy Grilled Cheese, Blue Cheese Savories, and […]

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