In our house lives two very different palates. He is a meat eater. I am vegetarian. I love to eat green things. He likes bacon. I prefer savory, he likes inducing a runny nose kind of spice. We eat our fair share of Mexican & Mexican American food as a result. It’s not that I don’t like it. I still have a weakness for chips and salsa. But I’d prefer a more Mediterranean taste.
Anyway, last night, his won the what’s for dinner battle. We had taco salad. Mine with a tofu-walnut base, his with ground chicken. Can you tell which is which? Both are very easy to make, and tasty to us both. To make?
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- a dash of garlic salt
- firm tofu (I prefer Wildwood Sprouted tofu)
- Bearitos taco seasoning
- Have a Chips (because they are by far the best tortilla chips)
- Chopped red and green bell pepper
- Chopped cilantro
Method to the Madness
Before messing with the cooked ingredients, prep the cool stuff. Wash your lettuce, chop and run through a salad spinner to release extra moisture. Chop red and green bell pepper, cilantro, and avocado. Put in a bowl or on a plate and set aside. Aaron’s salad also has shredded cheese, Annie’s roasted red pepper dressing, and sour cream (you can also use plain greek yogurt). Then prep your “meat” or meat. I usually have two burners going at once.
Turn the stovetop on to just over medium heat. Add walnuts. No need to add oil, the heat brings out the natural oils of the walnuts. After a couple minutes, add the spices (not the taco seasoning), and stir continuously.
This will give the base such a smoky, hearty flavor. So much better than plain tofu, and walnuts pack a nice nutritional punch with Omega 3s and antioxidants! From an Ayurvedic perspective, walnuts can help our minds deal with stress, and modern research indicates they may reduce the risk of breast cancer. You can make vegan tacos just using walnuts (just run through a food processor to give more of a ground meat texture). And then serve with refried beans for protein. I occasionally do this too.
For this recipe though, next add tofu (this was 2/5 of the package):
And then mash up with a fork. Then sprinkle a little less than a quarter of the package of taco seasoning. Still no need to add oil. Just keep mixing and stirring until warm. Cover and set aside.
Then, build your salad! Top with whatever you like, and let me know if you give this a try!