Layered Raw Taco Salad for Two

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 12, 2012

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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 restaurant’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.

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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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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jessica Fig May 31, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Had this for dinner a couple nights ago… Just AWESOME! So much flavor and deliciousness… I have been making vegetarian taco salad for years using the vegetarian soy crumbles, but lately I have been trying to eat more real, plant-based foods. I loved the idea of a raw vegan taco salad and it definitely surpassed my expectations. Sadly my fiance will rarely participate in my vegan meal experiments so I made him his own meat to go on his salad. I was surprised by the cashew (did not have macadamia nuts) cream – this was my first time soaking and blending cashews. It worked very well on the salad. I even brought leftovers for lunch at work the next day and it was yummy once again! I also took you up on the idea for strawberry nut cream blended into banana soft serve. My fiance and I BOTH enjoyed that creation! Thank you once again for making eating vegan fun!

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Deborah H July 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I just had this for a late lunch today and it was AMAZING! The amount of spice in the walnut taco “meat” was just perfect, and the cashew cream took the whole creation to another level. Thank you so much for sharing this terrific recipe :)

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Kathy December 21, 2014 at 7:26 am

My neighbor made this last night for dinner, they are all meat eaters and I am vegan. It was absolutely delicious and everyone including her husband and picky 8 yr old daughter loved it. We will definitely make this again and again.

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Aarti March 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm

I’ve made this salad multiple times for lunch and both my husband & i LOVE it! I make it ahead for the week in our mason jars & it works great! I skipped the cashew cream (read i got lazy) and added some green chilies and tiny bit of garlic to the guac. it turned out just perfect for us! Thanks for this & many other wonderful recipes on your blog!

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Casey April 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm

I made this recipe awhile ago now, and I have to say it is absolutely FANTASTIC!

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Sandi July 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Where is the recipe for “Nut Cream?”

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rick millward August 17, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Do you have a newsletter email?

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Candace August 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm

This has to be the most delicious taco salad I have ever eaten.

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Brittney September 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm

I cannot wait to make this! Already had lunch, but pretty much drooling looking at the recipe. Any ideas on the longevity of the cashew cream in the fridge once you’ve made it? Thanks!

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Nicole November 18, 2015 at 8:21 pm

This was delicious! My husband and I had it for dinner, except I used yogurt instead of the vegan sour cream and added cheese because we aren’t vegan. I love eating vegetarian meals because they make me feel wonderful and they save me money!!! I had basically everything I needed on hand. I added homemade salsa and garbanzo beans (for extra protein) and just did diced avocado instead of guacamole to save time. The walnut mixture was great and easy, and so much cheaper than ground beef! Especially if you like to buy organic/grass-fed.

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Caty September 5, 2016 at 10:00 am

How long does the cashew cream / strawberry cream last in the fridge?

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Angela Liddon September 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Hi Caty, The cashew cream will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks (I love freezing in individual-size servings using a muffin tray or ice cube tray!). I’d say strawberry cream can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a few days. Hope this helps!

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Caty September 15, 2016 at 9:33 pm

Thanks so much!! We made your strawberry banana ice cream for like 3 days
straight after we made the tacos and are completely OBSESSED :)

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jocelyn October 20, 2016 at 6:28 am

I don’t make them completely raw…I usually fry up an onion and some garlic and then add the walnuts chopped and pre soaked.
Play around with chili powder and other spices…sometimes I add a little oregano.
It is sooooo delicious…you will love it

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Bill May 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm

Made this for the first time tonight and my wife and I both loved it! I expect we’ll make it several more times over the summer!

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Angela Liddon May 23, 2017 at 11:12 am

That’s great, Bill! So glad you both enjoyed it.

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Beth May 1, 2018 at 7:49 pm

FYI…The link for you have for the naked sprout needs to be changed…a bit inappropriate. But the salad looks great!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 2, 2018 at 6:59 am

Oh no! The website changed to something that’s NOT a vegan restaurant, lol. Thanks for letting me know, it’s removed. ;)

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