Note: This article was typed well in advance, so this all happened a week or so before publication. No pictures were taken. I feel like it’s better if you just imagine it yourself.

It was noon, and thus it was time for lunch. A few days prior, I had opened up a can of refried beans and made myself a taco salad consisting of said beans, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives, and shredded chicken. I prepared the same lunch for the next day. On the third day, I had not-quite-a-serving (1/2 cup) of refried beans left, and I was out of chicken. I also had about a half cup of spinach leftover from a different meal. You know where this is going.

So I put the refried beans into a new bowl, scraping out as much as I could. I have a medical condition which requires me to meticulously count my carb intake per meal, hitting around 40g per meal, so this was important. Previously, I’d just heated the ingredients separately, but on this occasion I had decided to just microwave them all in one bowl.

Next I added the spinach. I guess I was thinking of spinach enchiladas when I started working on this thing. I don’t think those have beans in them, though. But beans are usually served on the side, and you end up eating all that stuff together anyway, so why not? I topped it off with shredded cheese and sour cream. I didn’t want to open a new can of chicken, because then I’d be stuck eating chicken for two or three more days, so I looked around at what else I had. Tuna? Fuck, I’m not that crazy. Then I glanced at the counter. There was a package of some turkey sausage bites that I’d not yet tried. So I opened them, thinking that perhaps I could shred them into small pieces and sprinkle them across my spinach taco salad. They turned out to be a sort of soft jerky, though, and that seemed like a bad idea. I don’t even know what would have happened to them if I’d heated them for a couple of minutes. Would they become jerkier? I’m not a professional, so I just set them on my napkin so I could eat them at my leisure.

Everything was coming together quite nicely, but I still didn’t have quite enough carbs. There was still a ton of lettuce, so I threw some on top. I think, like, they put lettuce and tomatoes and stuff at the side of your plate sometimes at Mexican places, right? Usually I just kind of eat that on its own (don’t judge me), but the sour cream was already in the salad, and it surely couldn’t hurt to try just adding the lettuce in as well.

I heated the thing for two minutes. It ended up looking… actually not that bad. Kind of like what you may be able to buy from a vendor operating out of a shady Winnebago: a little solid and bubbling in places, prepared with no real understanding of culinary art. I did learn that large dollops of sour cream get kind of weird and powdery when nuked in a microwave, so that’s neat. Other than that, though, it seemed fine. But because I am never so easily satisfied, I decided to stir it. I stirred the whole thing up until it was mashed beans and wet spinach and cheese all meshing together in one Voltronic conglomeration with bits of olive and lettuce here and there. It was pretty dark and green and weird.

That only brought me up to 20 grams, so I grabbed a packet of mixed nuts. Have you ever eaten mixed nuts with Mexican food? I have, and this certainly wasn’t my first time. It’s not even weird or disgusting once you try it. Dietary restrictions can make a person do some unconventional things. Just look at how exotic I am.

So, in between bites of almonds and soft turkey jerky, I ate the spinach taco salad. It actually wasn’t that bad. It was cheesy and, uh, spinachy, and stuff. My palette is incredibly unrefined, to be honest. I only care about carbs at this point. You see, my older brother once taught me a valuable lesson when I was a child: “You can eat anything as long as you don’t look at it.” Then he knocked his clam open by accident, saw what was inside, and couldn’t finish it. Except now, I don’t even really care all that much. I ate this goopy seaweed/bean thing and didn’t even flinch. Yes, I am pretty badass, I know. This is where you’ll be standing if you, too, aspire to greatness.

That still only had me up to 27 grams of carbs, so I washed it all down with a cup of peaches and, um, two tablespoons of peanut butter. Why are you bending over? Are you hurling? …Hey, that’s kind of what my taco salad looked like.

All in all, it was a great meal, but it’s probably not something you’d serve to guests unless you really want to drive home some kind of twisted point. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t be taking culinary advice from me (unless it’s about sweets. I can make some great sweet foods). Seriously, go on, get out of here. It’s like, why are you still reading this? Are you trying to learn how to be a terrible cook?

h/t: Photo by Laurent Nguyen.

An earlier version of this article included an affiliate link in the final paragraph, which has since been removed.

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