1 pound lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix (Taco Bell, McCormack, Chichi’s) or make your own (see below)
1/2 cup water
1 medium head lettuce, shredded, about 4 cups
1 cup shredded sharp Jack or Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup pickled jalapeno peppers
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced avocado
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
2 cups corn chips
Hot pepper sauce
Brown beef in a heavy skillet; drain off excess fat. Sprinkle taco seasoning mix over beef and stir in water. Simmer, uncovered, until liquid cooks away, about 8 to 12 minutes.
In a large platter, place separate bowls of shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, tomato, olives, jalapenos, avocado, cilantro, sour cream and green bell pepper. For each serving, place lettuce mixture on salad plate or bowl, top with some of the meat mixture and garnish with vegetables, cheese, sour cream taco sauce (or salsa) and hot sauce Serve with taco chips.
Variations: Use ground turkey instead of beef or make it with black beans for vegetarians. Use the seasoned ground meat or beans to make nachos, quesadillas or enchiladas if you prefer.