What to Make for Dinner: The Easy Taco Bar

Schedules, dietary issues, and personal preferences, combined with picky eaters and family traditions, have made creating a dinner plan almost impossible.

Don’t get me wrong, I envy those who can pull it off. Take my sister-in-law, who plans all the dinners for the week every Sunday. After planning and making her grocery list, she heads off to the store for all her ingredients. Then day-by-day, she perfectly executes these weeknight meals.

In my mind's eye, I am quite capable of rising to this process. But in reality—with three kids, a husband who travels, school meetings, carpools, and a monthly book club—sticking to a weekly meal plan is nearly impossible.

How does this busy mom manage weeknight meals?

Truth be told, I sling a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta, and omelets for dinner. This works because I can short order and customize these items as hungry kids rotate in and out the door around evening activities and sports.

But occasionally, we have a chance for a leisurely family meal where everyone can sit down together. For our family, this generally occurs on Wednesday nights. And by popular demand, this is when I serve up the Stuart Taco Bar.

When we have a chance to sit down together, I want a crowd pleaser. There is truly no better feeling than knowing everyone will walk away satisfied.

How to Make a Taco Bar Everyone Will Love

So I slice and dice cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and cilantro. I saute veggies and tofu for my oldest, who declared six months ago that she will no longer eat meat. I grill some flank steak for the four carnivores and warm some refried beans.

The winning taco bar item that is sure to put a smile on every face in our household is the guacamole. Made from a recipe I adapted from a vegetarian (how ironic) cookbook inherited from my mom, it’s always a hit. It’s so simple that even my 11-year-old twins can whip up a batch from memory. 

So cheers to the one night a week when I plan and cook a meal where we all can sit down to enjoy the food and time together.