Tempeh Taco Salad

It’s two recipes for the price of one today, as I just had to follow-up my tempeh tacos with an option for taco salad as well. I made this salad last night, and Gennaro and I both really liked it. Like the tacos, you can add any toppings — vegan cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, or black olives, to name a few — but it’s also good at its simplest, with just lettuce, tomato, vinaigrette, the tempeh taco filling and chips (as pictured, along with some shredded carrot). Any simple vinaigrette will do, but I made an avocado vinaigrette that was creamy and spicy and quite good with this salad. I included that recipe here, along with the recipe for homemade baked tortilla chips I used in the salad (so, I guess you’re really getting 4 recipes for the price of one today).

Avocado Vinaigrette:

1/2 ripe avocado

3 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons Vegenaise

3-4 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1 scallion, roughly chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded, roughly chopped

sea salt

Directions:

Blend all igredients except salt in a blender or food processor. Add salt to taste and water until dressing is desired consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remaining Salad Ingredients:

1 recipe taco filling

romaine lettuce

shredded carrots (optional)

sliced grape tomatoes

tortilla chips (recipe below)

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips:

Makes about 30 chips — increase amount of tortillas as needed.

5 sprouted corn tortillas (any corn tortilla will do, really)

olive oil for brushing (or olive oil spray)

a pinch of sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Halve corn tortillas, then cut each half into thirds, making even triangles. Place tortillas on a lightly oiled large baking sheet. Lay side-by-side but do not overlap. Spray or brush the top of each tortilla with oil. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until tortillas are lightly browned and crisp.

3. Immediately after they are removed from the oven, sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool slighly before serving.

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Green Goddess Dressing

green goddess dressingFew things make me happier than beautiful, sunny Saturdays. That is, unless that beautiful, sunny Saturday happens to be the same day I set aside to write my 13 page memo for Animal Law. While I didn’t get to enjoy the weather today, I did enjoy this spring-inspired green goddess dressing on my salad tonight. It almost made up for having to remain stuck indoors all day. Almost.

This creamy, vegan dressing is a somewhat lighter version of a traditional green goddess, which is made with buttermilk. I’m usually not a big fan of salads that consist of just lettuce and tomato (I’m an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of girl when it comes to my salads), but I enjoyed this salad plenty with the flavorful addition of this creamy, zesty dressing.

This dressing stores well in refrigerator, just be sure to shake well before using.

Vegan Green Goddess Dressing:

1/4 cup chopped chives

15 large basil leaves

2 scallions, chopped

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup vegenaise

1/3 cup firm tofu, diced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add a tablespoon or so of water if dressing is too thick for your taste, or a bit more tofu if it’s too thin. Adjust salt to taste.

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Salad with Tahini Dressing and Stevia Candied Walnuts

I’m packing up and headed to Michigan for a few days to visit my family, so I’ll make this one quick. It’s fitting, actually, because this hearty salad would make a relatively quick and healthy dinner. It’s also very amendable to variation, though you simply must give these sweet yet guilt-free candied walnuts a shot. The tahini dressing is a creamy, tangy and satisfying addition to salads. I imagine it would also make a great sauce for chicken kabobs. Other possible variations to the salad: chopped avocado, chickpeas, dried cherries or goat cheese.

Tahini Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

1-3 tablespoons water, as needed

Truvia Candied Walnuts:

1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread

1/2 cup walnuts

2 packets truvia (I don’t like to use Truvia anymore; try your favorite stevia and start with one packet then add more as needed)

pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Other Additions:

Bibb lettuce, spinach or romaine

Cooked beets

Cooked Lentils (I cook mine with a pinch of salt and a pinch of allspice)

Directions:

1. To make dressing: blend all ingredients in a blender, minus the water. If dressing is too thick, add water as needed to reach desired consistency. Season with more salt or pepper to taste.

2. To make candied walnuts: In a small saute pan, heat buttery spread over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add walnuts and toss to coat. Saute for about a minute in the butter. Add truvia and salt — when added to the butter, the coating will begin to brown. Continue to toss walnuts in coating and saute for about 4 minutes, or until walnuts begin to brown. Cool walnuts on a flat sheet of parchment paper until hardened.

3. Assemble salad. Garnish with walnuts and drizzle with dressing.

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Carrot Ginger Dressing

I’m busy early in the week this semester. When the days are long and I’m getting tired, I’m always tempted to order in or hit the salad bar at Whole Foods. Just a little Sunday night preparation, however, goes a long way. Last night, for example, I washed and cut up some romaine, roasted some tofu, and sliced some red onion. By adding some sprouts and this dressing I had a simple and healthy lunch and dinner, and one that will last me at least a couple of days. Despite the very low calorie content of this dressing, it’s amazingly flavorful. Prepare a batch for yourself and let it brighten up your busy week as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup diced carrot (about 2 carrots)

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon wheat free tamari

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

pinch salt to taste

Directions:

Blend everything in a blender until fairly smooth. Dressing will be thick and carrots will still have some texture, but no crunch. Chill in refrigerator before serving.

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