I am so excited to be celebrating Emily of The Pig & Quill's virtual baby shower! That lady totally cracks me up on a weekly basis and makes some scrumptious food to boot. I spent a lot of time debating what exactly I would take to Em's shower if I had the chance to go celebrate her baby and stuff her face with amazing food in real life and after some deliberation I decided on this - the ultimate vegan taco salad!
It's so good even the meatiest of meat lovers are going to ask for it again and again! Besides the fact that it's REALLY GOOD, I knew that if I was bringing Em a dish I would want to share recipes that could be made in bulk and used an infinite amount of ways. This salad is the culmination of 3 of my favorite recipes all mixed together and is something we eat quite often in our home.
I have been making my own vegan taco "meat" for years! Since processed soy is not my friend I have found some pretty creative ways to recreate meat without it. This vegan taco "meat" is a blend of 3 kinds of raw nuts, sun-dried peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and spices it's fast, easy, and delicious! I always keep a big bowl of it in my fridge for salads like this, tacos, nachos, and burrito bowls. It's THAT good!
The dressing for this ultimate vegan taco salad is an avocado and cilantro dressing that does double duty in my kitchen as a creamy drizzle on tacos, and a schmear on my sandwiches. It's crazy good and my kids love dipping raw veggies in it. Total winner!
Lastly, this salad is sprinkled with a healthy helping of my favorite lime roasted pepitas. They are great on just about everything, but also they are perfect for simply snacking.
Lime Roasted Pepitas
- Prep Time: 3 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- 1 cup raw pepitas
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- zest of 1 lime
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the pepitas with the olive oil on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 12-14 minutes, stirring twice. (Listen for pooping noises to know when the seeds are almost done)
- Remove the toasted seeds from tehoven adn immediatley toss with the olive oil, criander, cumin, salt, pepper, and zest.
- Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving and store in any uneaten pepitas in an airtight container.
Refresh stored pepitas by popping them in a 325°F oven for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Raw, Vegan Taco "Meat"
- Prep Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 1 ½ cups 1x
- ½ cup raw walnuts
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup blanched, slivered almonds
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained, and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup sun-dried peppers, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons gluten free soy sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Place the walnuts , cashews, and almonds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are broken down into small pieces.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried peppers olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, gluten free soy sauce, salt, and cilantro to the food processor. Pulse until the tomatoes and peppers are broken down and incorporated with the rest of the ingredients. The mixture will look a lot like ground beef.
Avocado & Cilantro Dressing
- Prep Time: 8 mins
- Total Time: 8 mins
- Yield: 1 ¼ cups 1x
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots
- ⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and rinsed.
- ½ of 1 large avocado, pitted and peeled
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup water or more if needed to thin out the dressing
- Place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process on high, until smooth and creamy. Add more water until you have reached the consistency of a creamy dressing. Tweak flavors with salt, pepper, and more lime if you want. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This dressing is also great as a spread on sandwiches or a dip for chips!
The Ultimate Vegan Taco Salad
- Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
- 5 ounces sweet greens salad mix
- 2 large carrots, shaved into ribbons with a peeler
- 1 (15-ounce ) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup raw taco "meat"
- ½ cup lime roasted pepitas
- 1 avocado, sliced thin
- Avocado & Cilantro Dressing
- Place the salad mix on a large platter, and arrange carrot ribbons across teh top. Sprinkle with black beans, cherry tomato halves, taco "meat" , pepitas, and avocado slices. Serve with avocado and cilantro dressing.
OPTIONAL: For presentation purposes you can use lettuce leaves (ie: baby Romaine leaves) to hold the taco meat on top of the salad.