When Tuesday rolls around, I usually whip up a new taco recipe to stay on Taco Tuesday theme. Today, however, in my quest to try to eat more salads, I opted for a vegan taco salad instead.
And, as usual, I was pleasantly surprised by how good a vegan taco salad can be with the right ingredients. I also decided to make two different dressings; a spicy creamy southwestern dressing, and an avocado cilantro lime dressing. So, this way you have two choices, which is always better than one.
WHAT INGREDIENTS MAKE A GREAT VEGAN TACO SALAD?
- Romaine lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Red pepper
- Black beans
- Vegan Oil-Free Lentil Taco meat
Although I chose you to include black beans, pinto beans are a great alternative if you don’t have black beans in your pantry. Additionally, I sometimes add:
- Brown rice or quinoa
- Skinny Pico de Gallo
- Diced avocado
- Diced green peppers
- Diced cucumbers
- Diced red onion
And if you like to add a little crunch to your salad, add your favorite tortilla chips or my oil-free tortilla strips.
HOW TO MAKE LENTIL TACO MEAT, THE PERFECT ‘MEAT’ FOR VEGAN TACO SALAD
Lentil Taco ‘Meat’ is easy to prepare and heats up well. It can also be frozen if you choose to make a bunch in advance. For this vegan taco salad recipe, for instance, I doubled the recipe and froze half to use later for tacos. All you need, for example, is a few ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups Brown, Red, or Green Lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 large, diced White Onion
- 2 cloves, minced Garlic
- 1 Jalapeño de-seeded
- 2 cans Rotel Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- 4 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
- 2 packages Vegan Taco Seasoning or use your own taco seasoning brew
ALTERNATIVE LENTIL OR WALNUT MEAT OPTION FOR VEGAN TACO SALAD
Often, to save time, I use Trader Joe’s steamed, vacuumed packed lentils. If you plan to use pre-cooked lentils, you need to reduce the vegetable broth to 1 cup instead of 4 cups.
Also, if you use canned lentils, they must first be drained; again, use only 1 cup of vegetable broth instead of 4 cups.
Another option is mushroom “chorizo” meat from my Mushroom Chorizo Tacos recipe. For this type of vegan taco meat, you will need:
“CHORZIO” MUSHROOM TACO MEAT
- 2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms, or mushrooms of choice
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 10 sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 taco seasoning packet
- 3 Tablespoons adobo sauce (not the peppers; just the sauce from the can)
- 1/4 cup water ( for cooking)
HOW TO BUILD A PERFECT VEGAN TACO SALAD…
Once the lentil meat is cooked and cooled ( I put mine in the refrigerator, I fill the bowl with torn Romaine lettuce, leaving a hole in the middle. Then, I place 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of lentil meat in the center. Next, I add black beans and assorted chopped vegetables. Even though the picture shows a divided salad, feel free to toss the salad.
In order to get my vegetables all chopped the same size for vegan taco salad, and other recipes, I use my favorite vegetable chopper.
TWO DRESSING OPTIONS FOR ONE DELICIOUS VEGAN TACO SALAD
Because not everyone eats raw cashews, I made two dressings that both go perfectly with vegan taco salad.
First, my vegan southwest dressing is a perfect option, and easy to make. All you need to make one recipe of southwest dressing is:
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup fresh salsa (your favorite salsa)
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 cup water
Or, I love my nut-free avocado cilantro dressing from my Vegan Coleslaw with Avocado-Cilantro Dressing.
- 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, pit and fresh removed
- 1/2 cup cilantro (packed)
- 1 lime, juiced and zested
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Both dressing options, however, are simple to make, and only require a high-speed blender. Then, you just need to decide what flavor you are feeling. My husband, who likes both, used a combination of both dressings on his salad. I, on the other hand, chose the southwest dressing, because it was new, and I have to make sure it’s good before I can suggest you try it.
So, if you want to add more greens to your life, but still eat a satisfying meal, give vegan taco salad a try. Not only is it easy to make, but it also can be meal prepped for a week of lunches.
ARE YOU LOOKING TO ADD MORE GREENS AND VEGGIES TO YOUR DIET? HERE ARE SOME GREAT SALADS TO FILL YOUR BOWLS AND TUMMIES…
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Vegan Quinoa Salad
- Mediterranean Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Skinny Vegan Rainbow Salad
- Fattoush Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad with OMG Oil-Free Dressing
- Kale Harvest Salad with Skinny Roasted Pumpkin Vinaigrette
- The Skinny Good Earth Kale Salad
- Skinny Vegan Caesar Salad
- Skinny Buffalo Cauliflower Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing
- Southwest Chickpea Quinoa Salad