This Vegan Taco Salad is a no-cook weeknight dinner recipe that is full of flavors and textures! The homemade Thousand Island dressing is an easy to make healthy alternative to a store bought bottle.
Friends! I am back in the U S of A where the air is clean and full of wifi!
Haiti was full of activities, thoughts, and emotions, and I will tell you all about them ASAP once I have had time to organize/realize/interpret all the feels I have been feeling.
Hatain food was a lot of what you would expect: grains, vegetables, and beans. Despite the soaring temperatures (I have never sweat so much in my entire life!), the food was always warm and hearty, much like fall food here in the states. We enjoyed a cooked corn dish that was similar to polenta, beans all the ways, vegetables that are cooked into a thick stew/sauce, and soup. They eat lots of root vegetables, onions, and peppers. And don’t you forget the rice.
Due to tradition and sanitation concerns, vegetables are always served cooked, and cooked for a very long time. As soon my feet hit american soil, I headed for the nearest raw vegetables.
The airport salad I hastily wolfed down was good, but it ain’t got nothing on this Vegan Taco Salad.
Taco salad was a family staple when I was growing up. Anytime my family got together, we defaulted to the taco salad bar. It is easy to make, loved by every member of my picky family, and can be customized to suit everyone’s tastes. Don’t like olives? Just keep on walking down the line. Love tomatoes? Spoon ’em on heavy. Don’t like salad at all? Just throw all the toppings on tortilla chips and call it a day.
The one thing that makes this salad a Cornwell family original, is that we always, always, always, no exceptions among us, serve it with Thousand Island Dressing. No ifs, ands, or buts. It is the one thing the whole family can agree on. The unifying thread found on all of our plates.
Most taco salads are served with salsa? Guac? Something entirely different? But, trust my when I say that this Vegan Taco Salad is all the better for the Thousand Island. It is tomato-y, tangy, creamy, and pairs like a dream with the taco spiced tempeh “meat”.
There are many many things to love about this Vegan Taco Salad:
- It has the crunch factor. Extra tortilla strips, plz.
- It is not a light side salad. You walk away from this meal full and satisfied.
- Cust-O-mize-able. Everyone gets the salad they want.
- The dresing. My single most favorite thing. The strange combo of Vegan Taco Salad and Thousand Island dressing. Forever and always my favorite strange food combination. Get in my belly.
So grab a plate friend and start piling on the toppings. Make a Vegan Taco salad. Make a plate of Vegan Taco Salad nachos. Do your thang.
Just don’t forget the Thousand Island.
- 1 head romaine, (cut into bite sized pieces)
- 1 can kidney beans, (drained and rinsed)
- 3 tomatoes, (chopped)
- 4 green onions, (sliced)
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- Tortilla strips, (for serving)
For the Taco Meat:
- 1 8 oz. package tempeh
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, (soaked overnight and drained)
- 4 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons natural ketchup
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
To make the taco meat:
- Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the tempeh into the pan and add in the seasonings. Continue to sauté, stirring often, until the tempeh gets crispy around the edges. Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the dressing:
- Add the cashews, water, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper into a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in the pickle relish and onion.
- Place the romaine in a large serving bowl. Top with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Toss with the taco meat, kidney beans, tomato, olives, and green onions. Toss lightly to combine, then sprinkle the tortilla strips over the top. Serve with remaining dressing as desired