Layered Raw Taco Salad for Two

167 comments

IMG 0645   Layered Raw Taco Salad for Two

If you ever find yourself in a salad rut, this raw taco salad is a great way to break out of it. Hearty and flavourful, every bite is a fiesta in your mouth. It’s a bit (ok, a lot) different from the taco salad of my youth, but certainly no less tasty!

My inspiration comes from the taco salad that I enjoyed at The Naked Sprout meet-up over the weekend. Layered with greens, guacamole, salsa, sunflower taco meat, and a cashew cream, I knew this was something I would be making at home real soon. As in, within 24 hours of consumption. I don’t mess around during the salad-a-day challenge…no sir-ee.

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Here are a few ways that I changed up this salad:

  • I used walnuts instead of sunflower seeds for the taco meat. I’ve had success making walnut taco meat in the past, so I stuck with that recipe, only simplifying it to just a few ingredients.
  • I made a macadamia cream sauce instead of a cashew cream sauce. Feel free to use whichever nut you wish.
  • Red leaf romaine instead of flat-leaf mixed greens because I think the romaine has a better texture to serve as the base of such a hearty salad. Again, use any green you prefer.
  • I used my Endurance Crackers because I had some in my freezer just waiting to be used. I absolutely loved them in this salad.

 

I put together a step-by-step assembly of the salad in photos for us visual people. The recipes are below!

1. Add a hearty base of greens in a large bowl.

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2. Add a heaping 1/4 cup scoop of 3-minute guacamole (recipe below) in the middle of the lettuce.

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3. Spoon on a couple tablespoons of your favourite salsa.

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4. Add half of the walnut taco meat.

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5. Spoon a couple tablespoons of cream sauce into a baggie, snip off the end, and “pipe” it onto the salads. Fancy. Or, simply spoon it onto the salad directly.

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6. Add chopped tomato, red onion, and green onion on top.

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7. Finally, stick your favourite crackers in! I used my Endurance Crackers. Feel free to use tortilla chips or any cracker you see worthy.

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I like to think of this salad as a vitamin in a bowl. It’s not only delicious, but literally bursting with nutrients and health. It lasted all of 3 minutes in front of me…maybe less. Eric, who is not a guacamole fan, surprised me by devouring it also.

Layered Raw Taco Salad for Two

Don’t let the long ingredient list put you off; the entire recipe took me about 30 minutes or so. Feel free to adapt this salad depending on what you have in your kitchen.

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Inspired by : The Naked Sprout’s Taco Salad

Walnut Taco Meat: (adapted from my taco meat recipes) (yield: scant 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked for 2-8 hours
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)

 

Cashew or Macadamia cream: (yield: 1 heaping cup)

  • 1 cup macadamia (or cashew) nuts, soaked in water for 2-8 hours
  • 11-12 tbsp water (use as needed to achieve desired consistency)
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste (I used just over 1/4 tsp)

 

3-Minute Guacamole: (yield: 3/4 cup)

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • scant 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste

 

Other salad ingredients:

  • greens of choice
  • salsa
  • green onion (optional)
  • crackers

 

Taco meat: In a food processor (or by hand), pulse (or chop) the ingredients until combined. Make sure to leave the walnuts chunky. Remove and set aside.

Cream sauce: Drain and rinse the soaked nuts. Add them into a processor and process. Stream in about 1/2 cup water and a couple tbsp of lemon juice. Add more water as needed to achieve your desired consistency. The nut sauce should be super smooth and not grainy. Add salt to taste.

Guacamole: In a medium-sized bowl, mash the avocado flesh with a fork, leaving some chunks. Stir in the chopped tomato, red onion, lime juice, and seasonings to taste.

To assemble: (per bowl) Add a hefty base of greens in a large bowl followed by a heaping 1/4 cup scoop of guacamole in the middle. Spoon on 2 tbsp of salsa over the greens followed by half of the taco meat. Add a couple tbsp of cream into a plastic baggie, snip off end, and pipe over top the taco meat. Garnish with a chopped green onion and leftover chopped tomato and red onion. Place a few crackers into the salad before serving. If you find yourself with leftover lemon and lime juice like I did, place juice into a glass, fill with water, add liquid sweetener to taste, and serve over ice.

IMG 0662   Layered Raw Taco Salad for Two

Strawberry Nut Cream

The nut cream recipe makes a cup’s worth, so you might be wondering what to do with it the leftovers like I was. You can actually use nut cream as a sub for thick dairy cream in so many recipes. Think pasta sauces, cream-based soups, mashed potatoes, a spread on sandwiches or wraps, etc. Feel free to add herbs, spices, and seasonings to jazz up the flavour. I’ve also read that it can be frozen for a couple months.

I decided to use some of the nut cream as a base for a sweet strawberry dessert and breakfast cream. Yummy.

Enjoy this strawberry cream over top of oatmeal, vegan overnight oats, pancakes, desserts, or even in smoothies!

1. Add 6-7 large strawberries into a processor along with 1/4 cup nut cream and 1 tbsp pure maple syrup. Remove strawberry cream and store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a few days.

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2. I made Banana Soft Serve with the strawberry cream. I added 2 tbsp of the strawberry cream into the processor with a frozen and chopped banana and 1/2 tbsp almond butter.

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3. Instant “Strawberries ‘n Cream” banana soft serve!

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4. Serve with chopped strawberries in a mini parfait glass for a cold & creamy summer dessert.

Strawberries ‘n cream vegan overnight oats will also be happening. :)

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{ 167 comments… read them below or add one }

Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 12, 2012

LOVE the idea of making taco meat from walnuts! I’d probably make cashew cream since I’m partial to cashews, and maybe add some fresh corn off the cob too, but otherwise I’m totally recreating this at home! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

I hope you enjoy it! Corn on the cob is a KILLER idea!!!

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Gail March 23, 2013

Just wondering where the garlic is? I want to make the taco salad but it reads a little bland to me!! Do you think garlic in the guacamole would be enough or maybe in the nut cream sauce?? I’m a new vegan with a “spicy” tooth!! :)

Gail

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casey October 26, 2013

I am kinda disappointed that all the reviews talk about how it LOOKS amazing and cant wait to TRY…. Reviews should be actual reviews and suggestions of the recipes.

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Lindsay June 12, 2012

These both look amazing! Can’t wait to try em :)

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } June 12, 2012

I just told my boyfriend that I was craving Mexican tonight but wasn’t sure what to make – such perfect timing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

I hope you both enjoy it Erica :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 12, 2012

What a beauty!! I’d never thought to replace cashews with another nut to make creamy sauces. I’ll have to give it a try! About the walnuts.. yes, I agree, you do have a way with walnuts! I remember the lentil walnut loaf from Thanksgiving and that was phenomenal! Happy Tuesday lady! :)

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Georgina June 12, 2012

I am making that salad tonight! I think I’ve got all the ingredients. Lucky me, I also stopped at the fruit farm for the first berries of the season here in Ottawa. Thank you for giving us a great salad an dessert! Do you prefer macadamia or cashews for the cream?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

Hey Georgina, Let me know what you think of it! I think I prefer mac nuts (they are just so luxurious tasting), but I do find cashews to be cheaper so I use those most often. I also think cashews puree smoother in texture. It really doesn’t matter much either way!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh June 12, 2012

I have never heard of the walnut taco meat but you can bet I’m gonna see if I can sneak it past the Mr!! Can’t wait to try it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

Goodluck, I hope he likes it. It adds a nice texture and flavour.

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Somer June 13, 2012

Walnuts are the meatiest and sneakiest. I think your Mr. may approve!!!

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Faith @ For the Health of It June 12, 2012

I’m so excited about this walnut taco meat! I’ve been looking for a replacement that wasn’t TVP or a crumbled soy product. Should be delicious…as is anything with guac!

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 12, 2012

you’re right! that is a vitamin in a bowl! and it looks crazy delicious too! i love the piping of the cream:) and that strawberry cream — swoon! thanks for sharing!

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Kristin June 12, 2012

This looks amazing, one of my favorite things to do is recreate meals from restaurants! I will be making this very soon! Oh and if I don’t stream the water into the food processor while making the nut sauce will it still come out right?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

Yup! :)

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Kathy June 12, 2012

Your salad looks very similar to one I recently duplicated at home after a visit to Chipole Restaurant. I added black beans to mine though instead of the taco meat. It was delicious. But the taco meat looks really interesting. I am going to give that a try also. The strawberry cream also looks awesome.

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B @ Crags and Veggies June 12, 2012

I am absolutely loving watching all these salads! Great challenge!

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Brittany June 12, 2012

Oh, this looks AMAZING! We’ve been making taco-seasoned chickpea salad with spicy dressing and it’s kind of a taco-themed salad, but it would be nice to try this one with the walnut “meat.” I have gotten bf hooked on salads this year and want to keep trying more veggie-based ideas. Thanks so much!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

I love the idea of using chickpeas in the taco meat. I will try that next time :)

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Brittany June 12, 2012

Ah! We’ve actually just been drizzling chickpeas in olive oil, sprinkling them with taco seasoning, and then roasting them at 400* for 30 minute or so. Makes them nice and crunchy and super spicy/taco-flavored! But using chickpeas instead of walnuts would probably make good taco “meat”? Hmmm…now you have me curious, as well!

I’m a new-ish reader and you may have this mentioned somewhere, but what kind of food processor do you have?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

That also sounds amazing. Man, I wish I had you guys in my kitchen! :)

I have a fairly new Cuisinart 14 cup processor. I spoke about it briefly here: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/04/27/kitchen-sink-nut-butter-cuisinart-food-processor-review/

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Brittany June 12, 2012

Excellent, thank you!!

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Danielle June 12, 2012

This looks FANTASTIC!

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janet @ the taste space June 12, 2012

Looks great, Ange. I usually stick the same components into a chard leaf as a green taco, but salad works, too! Yum! :)

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Kasandra June 12, 2012

yum! Reminds me of the Taco Salad at Rawlicious. Thanks for sharing your spin on Raw Taco Salad! Especially like the idea of Macadamia nut cream – Sometimes I feel cashews get overused in raw foods, which scares me a bit when it seems some are quite sensitive to them. I’ll have to try!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

I will have to order that next time I find myself at Rawlicious…looove that restaurant.

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Kasandra June 12, 2012

Me too.. So much that I work there ;) if you pop into the Yorkville location please say hi!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

oh lucky you!! I have yet to check out the new location, but I’ve been dying to. Hopefully I will get there soon. What are your fav menu items?

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Kasandra June 12, 2012

Actually, the taco salad! … And the taco wrap.. And the pad thai. Clearly, I eat about as much as I make there ;) have you tried the macaroons? Another fav!

The summer menu just came out this past week-the summer fruit tart is mind-blowing!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

haha ok now you are making me want to go there tonight! I think I will have to bring a group of friends so we can all share :)

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janet @ the taste space June 12, 2012

Oooh.. a new summer menu sounds great! I adore Rawlicious’ choco banana cheesecake! The Rawitch is also fantastic!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) June 12, 2012

no way i could miss the meat with this bad boy! yum!

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Cookie and Kate June 12, 2012

I want this for lunch! Are those raw cacao chips in the first photo? Matthew Kenney OKC makes some that look just like that.

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Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing June 12, 2012

Holy moly, those both look delicious!

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Stephanie @ The Fitness Adventures June 12, 2012

I have to try your walnut taco meat, I love walnuts and Mexican flavored anything.

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Amanda June 12, 2012

I love all of the different textures and flavors you have going on in this salad, and I like that you used walnut taco meat instead of the frequently used soy crumbles. I can’t wait to make this!

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K June 12, 2012

Perfect timing! Was looking for new salads to try!
Also, the strawberry sauce looks delish!

I have a request… I’d love to see some ideas for a summer BBQ. Side dishes preferably. I am going to try making your veggie burgers, but want something that will go nicely with them.
Thanks!

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Amelia June 12, 2012

Ooooh I like this idea. Some grilled options would be cool (to use on the new George Foreman… hahahaha.))

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

This is one of my favourite BBQ salads: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/09/02/long-weekend-grilled-salad/ I hope to make more BBQ stuff too. You might want to also check out my recipage for other summer recipes.

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Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) June 12, 2012

This is making me hungry! Good thing lunch is in 20min. I LOVE taco salad and tacos wrapped in lettuce so I can’t wait to try this.

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Noelle (@singerinkitchen) June 12, 2012

That salad looks great. I promise I’ve been eating salads even if I have not managed to tweet or INstagram about them. I wonder if I have time to make this salad….baby is FINALLY down for a nap!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

haha I forget to tweet them too. Often, I’ve consumed half of it before I remember to take a pic.

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Julie @twosaucysisters.wordpress.com June 12, 2012

This looks so yummy! Taco salad was always a favourite when I was a kid, and strawberries and cream… mmmmm :) Definitely gonna give these a go! :)

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Lauren June 12, 2012

Yummy! I actually made your endurance crackers recently, so I still have some left for this!

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Yellow Haired Girl June 12, 2012

Walnut taco meat?! Cool! This recipe looks fantastic :)

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Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen June 12, 2012

Sending this link to my vegan sis, pronto. She’s going to be all over this one. Looks amazing!

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Amelia June 12, 2012

I have been on a taco-salad binge lately… except mine always has refried beans (vegetarian of course), fresh avocado because I’ve been a little lazy when it comes to guac, and a vegan mexi-ranch salsa type dressing I was inspired after waitressing at Applebee’s in my teenage years (hits the spot.) I really need to try making that sunflower or walnut taco meat though!

Also, when I’m not lazy and don’t mind heating up the house, making your own taco shells for salads is super easy and not to mention delicious! http://www.food.com/recipe/how-to-make-baked-taco-salad-shell-bowls-54417

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Angela June 12, 2012

This looks so good! Taco salads are one of my all time favorite meals! Anything I can put gaucamole on is good is my book! I will have to try this!

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char eats greens June 12, 2012

Yay for recreating the taco salad already! I really need to get a handle on my nuts, seeds, and grains collection. When you open the cupboard where all that stuff is, it looks like a scene out of Jumanji (oh yes, I used that as a reference!). So really, I have no idea what I even have for use in recipes. I think there’s walnuts! haha. I think it’s a sign I need to do something about that mess ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

you should see my cupboards…I think I’d give you a run for your money! hah. I have the deepest corner cupboards known to man…that’s where I lay the blame. ;)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks June 12, 2012

That strawberry nut cream….yum!

As for the taco salad, one of the first recipes I ever made for my blog 3+ years ago was raw taco meat/raw taco salad. I love the stuff and hate to even link back to it b/c the pics are bad (I should re-photograph it) but I just adore the flavors and yours looks delish!

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Anna June 12, 2012

Yay! Thank you!
After seeing that taco salad yesterday, I was hoping for a recipe-inspired post. Looks super delicious — and know I know what dinner tonight will be!

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1 large ripe avocado 1/4 cup chopped red onion 1/2 small tomato, chopped 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1 tbsp + 1 tsp fresh lime juice scant 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste June 12, 2012

Oh my – walnut tacos and macademia sauce? Nut heaven!

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life June 12, 2012

(Hm maybe delete the above comment seeing as it pasted your recipe into the name field instead of my name…can you tell I am planning on making the recipe tonight?? Haha!)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

lol…I just see “Anna” in the above name field. What are you seeing?

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life June 12, 2012

Ah now I only see Anna too! Before it said “1/4 cup onion, tomatoes..” and so on hahaha. Never mind, must have been a glitch! Thanks Ange!

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Angela January 14, 2013

wait I see it now!!! lol weird

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Tonya June 12, 2012

I had a salad very similar to this for lunch today! I’m still going strong with the salad a day challenge. :-)

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Kelli June 12, 2012

Hi Angela, this taco salad looks great!

Just wondering if you would use the same soaking & food processing method using sunflower seeds instead of walnuts? I love walnuts, but sadly, not everyone I cook for does…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 12, 2012

I would imagine you could! Soaking helps release the enzyme inhibitors for nuts and seeds.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers June 12, 2012

Yum! Sounds great. I wasn’t familiar with walnut taco “meat,” but it’s definitely interesting.

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Ann June 12, 2012

Yummers!! I love the salad challenge. And hefty salads!
**I am SO going to make some swamp water, btw. You have so many great healthy ideas!!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape June 12, 2012

This looks so tasty!! Love it!

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Heathy @ Sweetly Raw June 12, 2012

Yummm, love raw taco salad! I ate at the Naked Sprout in December (did a post here http://www.sweetlyraw.com/2011/12/naked-sprout-raw-restaurant.html) . While the salad was ok, it looks like they’ve worked in it since I was there. It was lacking in the guacamole/topping department. So nice that you had a meet up! Have you gotten to do a yoga class there? My boyfriend and I did a class and loved it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 13, 2012

No I haven’t done yoga there yet, but I’ve been meaning to. My friend Heather loves it there! And I’ve heard great things about it.
Just checked out your pics and yes the salad does look like it has improved. I guess food is a work in progress sometimes! ;)

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