Friday, April 26, 2013

Super Simple Vegan Taco Salad

Any Guesses?With the warmer months approaching (soon... maybe. Please??) my thoughts are already on the garden. I just finished sorting out my "direct sow" seeds (this year it's Lutz beetsstrawberry spinach and a rainbow carrot mix), and my heirloom tomato seeds are well on their way. This year's crop, if Mother Nature is kind, will feature tiny Red Currants, rich purple Gypsies and the lovably hideous Riesetomates, possibly with another group of Indigo Roses if I can find space (and the store that sells the seedlings)!

Of course, at the moment we're still relying on supermarket produce, which tries to emulate their fresh-from-the-garden counterparts but often comes up short. Lettuce priced at $2.47 a head is crenated and half-slimy, tomatoes are overpriced tennis balls and spongy zucchini is the size of a finger. But still, the call of the sun and the slowly increasing temperatures is a strong one, and I can't help but crave more fresh veggies and cool, crisp salads.

To compensate for the lack of our market's quality (and the still-brisk evenings), I turned to the cook's friend - heat. Just like roasting under-ripe or out-of-season tomatoes concentrates and enhances their flavour, adding a warm, hearty, spicy topping (in my case, a taco filling) to cold veggies, followed by cool, refreshing yoghurt and lime creates a whole new flavour and texture sensation that is so much more than the sum of it's parts.

I know most taco salads have a tortilla shell (or at least chips), and you can certainly add those, or cooked brown rice, to beef up the bowl a bit more. I opted to have a small bowl of garlicky millet on the side, since for some reason grains on cold greens weirds me out. Plus, I never really liked hard tacos anyway, and the soft ones turn to mush too fast! Either way, this salad is a light yet hearty addition to the Mexican (or Tex-Mex) table, and is a nice way to herald Cinco de Mayo with the rest of the Holiday Food Blog Parties group! Take a look at the delectable treats on display:


1. Alfajores from Roxana's Home Baking
2. Spicy Fish Tacos with Avocado Yogurt Sauce from Crumb Blog
3. Classic Flan from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
4. Dulce de Leche Milkshake with Coconut Milk Whipped Cream from Chocolate Moosey
5. Lime Margarita Bars from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
6. Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche from Magnolia Days
7. Tropical Fiesta Cocktail from Hungry Couple NYC
8. Paletas - Mexican Popsicles from Pineapple and Coconut
9. Bizcochitos Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies
10. Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes from Gotta Get Baked
11. Super Simple Vegan Taco Salad from What Smells So Good?
12. Gluten Free Tres Leches Cake from Kelly Bakes
13. Queso Blanco from The Messy Baker
14. Gorditas with Picadillo from Juanita's Cocina
15. Strawberry Margerita Slurpee from Chocolate Chocolate and More

Vegan Taco Salad

Super Simple Vegan Taco Salad
Serves 1
2/3 cup "ground beef" style crumbles (I used Yves' Ground Round Original, but SOL Cuisine's is GF if you need that)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tbsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp
garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp oregano
Pinch ancho chili powder
Pinch chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp smoked salt
1 tbsp ketchup
1/3 cup water


Topping
2 tbsp plain soy yogurt (or plain Greek yogurt)
zest and juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 clove garlic, grated or put through a garlic press
 

Salad
6 cups mixed crisp greens (I use a blend of romaine and iceberg)
1 plum tomato, diced


"Meat":
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and simmer 15 minutes. Cool while making the topping and the salad.
Topping:
  1. Whisk the ingredients together in a small dish. Set aside
Assembly:
  1. Fill a large bowl with greens.
  2. Top with tomato, "meat" mixture and lime-garlic yoghurt and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 225.5
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 970.2 mg
Total Carbs: 25.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 22.2 g
Protein: 24.3 g