Taco Salad & Mini Pizza Bento


Tacos are a pain in the neck to eat. They’re crumbly and they fall apart even before we begin. And how are we supposed to bite into them? Do we turn them on their side so we can bite? Or do we turn our heads on the side instead? But still, I love tacos, so no matter how difficult, I still persist in craning my neck and enjoying every bite. While I’d love to pack them in a bento, I don’t think an assembled taco will last the commute to work and assembling them at lunch is just too fussy since I eat at my desk. Instead, I bring along the next greatest Mexican invention after the Taco, the Taco Salad.

Taco Salad & Mini Pizza Bento

Bento #161 • 10 September 2007

The taco salad was made from leftovers from a make-your-own-taco dinner from the night before. I didn’t want to let the iceberg lettuce go to waste that’s why even if the edges were starting to brown, I still used it. It was still nice and crisp when I tried it anyway, and I’m happy to report that the crunch held up until lunch time. Along with the lettuce, I added ground beef, diced tomatoes, crushed taco shells (stored in a plastic bag to keep it dry until lunch time) and some sour cream (in the little triangular cup that’s sealed with cling wrap).


Along with the taco salad, I prepared mini-pizzas with frozen mini pizza crusts, sliced mushrooms, flower-shaped ham and mozzarella. Of course, I stupidly put the ham UNDER the cheese, like I usually do when preparing pizza, forgetting that I took the effort to cut them into flowers. Talk about a wasted effort.

I still had mushrooms on hand so I decided to try a quick experiment. It was quick, tasty and generally a success. An easy to prepare bento side dish that can be easily customized to work with other cheeses and flavorings.

After the mushrooms, I simply added some seedless grapes to add a fruit component and it was all good to go. A rough estimate has me pegging this at 3 servings of fruits and veggies out of the required 5 daily. Not bad, don’t you think?

Mozzarella Mushroom Melts v. 10 September 2007
Button mushrooms
Grated Mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning herb mix or Herbs of your choice

Remove the stems from the mushrooms then arrange them, top-side down, in a single layer on a metal tray or an aluminum foil cup. Stuff the cups with grated mozzarella then dust with Italian seasoning. Broil in an oven toaster for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns a bit.

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10 Responses to Taco Salad & Mini Pizza Bento

  1. Alejandra says:

    I always tilt my head now that I think about it… even with soft tacos.

    Haha it actually took me a minute to figure that out because I’ve eaten so many tacos… head tilting is the best way I think.

  2. Tony Lou says:

    wowowow! ang saraaaap! mexican/italian food on the go. yumyum.

  3. nina says:

    Oooh, I’ll try that mushroom recipe. Have you tried the McCormick taco mix? It’s pretty good.

  4. lalalady7 says:

    Oh maybe taco salad will enter my bento soon too!!

  5. kaoko says:

    @Alejandra
    Good to know I’m not the only one whose neck hurts. Still, we probably agree that it’s worth it, don’t we?

    @Tony Lou
    So easy to make, try some? Or there’s always Taco Bell, I guess 😛

    @nina
    I’ve tried it but I find it a tad sweet. I have to agree it’s good–the spice nuances are right, I just don’t like the sweet part. When I go instant, I usually use Old El Paso or Ortega. Twice the price (ouchie), but goes with my personal preferences well.

    @lalalady
    Heehee, let’s spread the taco salad luv!

  6. isabel says:

    hi! i just came across this site. i love it… by the way, have you tried lining your tacos with lettuce? even if the taco cracks down its fold, the filling will not be dumped into your lap coz the lettuce will hold it all in… got that tip from chef at home michael smith…

    • kaoko says:

      Oh Isabel, that’s a priceless tip! I’m definitely going to keep some lettuce leaves whole next time. Thanks to your awesome Chef in Residence!

  7. Marie says:

    perfect food i love them all tacos and pizza go together

  8. Caden Alexander says:

    i love Italian Food specially those juicy pastas. They are really delicious..,*

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