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This recipe is rather like a build-your-own taco salad on a plate. It is a great recipe for crowds who like to “build their own” meal. It works well for a “mixed crowd” of omnivores and various types of vegetarians, including vegans.

My family has been making this recipe for nearly 20 years, and it is frequently requested for special birthday dinners plus when the boys have had groups of friends come over to eat. There are a lot of steps to the prep work (all the chopping can be done ahead of time, with cooking started about an hour prior to serving), but it is a good way to have other people involved in the kitchen.

Here are the layers and amounts I use to serve 5-6 big eaters without any leftovers:
• Crushed chips (I use Guiltless Gourmet, Chili-lime chips – 1 bag is usually enough but I always buy 2 bags)
• Brown rice (have cooking on stove-top or rice steamer about an hour prior to serving – I always make 4-5 cups of rice) – should be warm when served
• Taco mix (see recipe below) – should be warm when served
• Lettuce (1 small head of romaine cut into narrow strips)
• Tomatoes (5-6 medium fresh, cut into small dice)
• 2 bunches of green onions (cut white and green into small slice)
• Cheese (I use one bag of shredded vegan/soy cheese and also a bag of shredded cheddar cheese, in separate serving bowls)
• Black olives (1-15 oz. can, sliced)
• 1-16 oz. jar of salsa
• Guacamole (see recipe below)

Taco Mix Layer:

  • 1- Box soy crumbles (I currently use the Boca brand)
  • 2-15 oz. cans small red beans (drain and rinse)
  • 2 medium onions, diced small
  • 4-5 large cloves fresh garlic, smashed or diced small
  • 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2-cup water


  • 1-2 tsp. Chili powder (start with 1 teaspoon and increase to taste at the end to your family’s hotness tolerance)
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. Dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano

Heat olive oil in a large deep pan (I use my large soup pot). Lightly cook the garlic and onions. Add tomatoes, beans, water, and soy crumbles. Heat until soy crumbles are thawed. Add seasonings and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that nothing sticks on the bottom. Taste and correct seasoning to taste.

This recipe could also be made using 1# ground beef. (I would recommend first cooking the meat and draining the fat before adding the beef to the beans and spices.)

Both recipes (meat and meatless) could be made up ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator, and then reheated just prior to serving.

About an hour prior to serving, begin cooking some brown rice on the stovetop or in a rice steamer to make 4-5 cups of cooked rice.


  • 2 fresh avocados (purchase a few days ahead to make sure they are softened and easy to smash) – halve and scoop out pulp and smash in a large bowl
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic smashed or chopped very fine (can also use any left-over roasted garlic cloves you might have hanging out in the refrig)
  • 1 lime – cut in half and juice thoroughly into a small bowl or directly into the bowl with the smashed avocado
  • 1-2 fresh small to medium size tomatoes – diced small
  • Small handful of sliced green onions

Mix/smash all ingredients together in a serving bowl. Keeping the pits in the guacamole until it is served supposedly helps to keep it from turning brown. I usually make it up just before serving so this has not been a problem for me.

This amount of guacamole could probably easily be doubled and eaten by the same group size without any leftovers!

This recipe takes lots of bowls and spoons to get everything ready for self-service!

I serve this as “make your own” in assembly line fashion, starting with plates on the left and then lining all the bowls up from left to right in the order listed above so that people can see all the options and choose as they go down the line. Forks and napkins are on the table. Nearly everyone starts small at first and then goes back for seconds. There is rarely much to put away in the refrigerator.



In my book, I have included the names of several dozen cookbooks which feature recipes that are compatible with (or that can be modified to fit) the ultra-healthy diet I follow, including some resources which are free.

I am also collecting recipes to include in a future edition of my book as well as to be featured on "Menus and recipes".   I have asked readers to send me any recipes that they have found to be great-tasting and easy to prepare, and that emphasize the nutritional guidelines which are outlined in my book.  I will also consider taking people's favorite "normal" recipes and posting versions which are modified for maximal cancer prevention.

If you have a recipe you wish to submit for possible inclusion in either my book or on this web page, please send it to me.  If the recipe is from a cookbook or other printed source, please include the name, author, and publisher of the source so that I can ask for permission to reprint the recipe.  If it is a recipe you created, or a family favorite, please indicate that, also.

Mail recipes to me at:

Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113


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