Vegetarian Black Bean Taco Salad

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Taco salads are great for so many reasons. They’re easy to make, taste fresh and delicious and feel satisfying. I usually always make mine with chicken but in my goal to reduce our meat intake at home I thought I would try to make a vegetarian version. One of my biggest pet peeves about vegetarian cooking is when a recipe just takes out the meat and calls it a day. I feel like I can tell that something is missing so I wanted a salad that can stand on its own and that you wouldn’t even consider adding chicken to. I think I nailed it and I hope it’s a hit at your home too.

The dressing has a tonne of flavour and would be a great vinaigrette for any salad. There’s lots of fresh vegetables  and  enough protein that you feel completely satisfied. Minus the cabbage and salad greens and this would even be a great salsa. Even though my son can handle a bit of spice I added the jalapeño after removing a portion for him. He loved it and finished his plate.

Vinaigrette

Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp Agave or honey
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 clove  finely chopped garlic
salt to taste

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and thoroughly whisk together.

Salad
1 540ml can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup diced tomato
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/2 a finely diced jalapeno

I used frozen corn cooked in the microwave for 3 minutes and then drained. 
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl with the vinaigrette and allow it to all mingle and fall in love. I let mine sit about 15 minutes before serving. 

Black Bean Taco Salad

Black Bean Taco Salad

You can stop here and this is a great vegan salad that stands completely on its own. For our dinner we layered the bean salad on organic salad greens, topped with tortilla chips and a sprinkle of grated cheese. It was awesome, delicious and so easy to make. I will definitely make this a part of our regular meal plan.

Vegetarian black bean taco salad

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Vegetarian Chickpea Tacos

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One of my goals this year has been to eat less meat and since I’m the cook in the house, my husband’s right on board with me. I’ve used chickpeas for a healthy protein source and upped the veggie ante with a base of tomatoes, bell peppers and corn. This makes for a super flavourful, fresh tasting taco. The recipe has become a multi-purpose base for lots of dishes. I’ve made taco salads and quesadillas using these delicious chickpeas and I’m hoping you can find your own uses.

I love tacos for their versatility and all the yummy toppings and this recipe has become a favourite. It’s also easy and quick, my non-cooking husband made this for his sister. She was suitably impressed and so was I.

For those that like it a little more spicy I would add jalapeño. I’m cooking with a two-year old in mind and he’ll have more spice then I expect but I like to start mild and add heat with my toppings.

chickpea tacos

Chickpea tacos

1 diced onion
1 clove garlic minced
1 diced tomato
½ diced red pepper
¼ cup frozen corn
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
½ lime
1 large can chick peas
¼-1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
¼ cup cilantro
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat sauté the onion until soft. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and lime. Once the onions and spices have had a few minutes together stir in tomatoes and red peppers, and corn, cooking for a few minutes. Rinse and drain the chick peas and stir into vegetable mixture. Start by adding ¼ cup of stock, allow to cook for about five minutes and then mash some of the chickpeas. I find at this point I often need to add more stock to keep the mixture from getting too dry.

Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste. Remove the mixture from heat and stir in cilantro. We love cilantro so if it’s not your favourite feel free to cut back.

We like to top our tacos with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, salsa, hot sauce, plain greek yogurt and shredded cheese. For those with food sensitivities or allergies these tacos are vegan, dairy and gluten-free without the toppings we use.

Here’s how this recipe fits into my families dinners for this week, Weekly Meal Plan