Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ultimate Taco Salad

Last night's meal was Taco Tuesday at its finest. Love tacos but want to cut down on the carbs and fat some? Then try this ultimate faux meat lover's taco salad.

Ultimate Taco Salad
Time: 15 minutes

Romaine lettuce
Tortilla chips
Mexican cheese
Corn, heated
Roma tomatoes, chopped
Fake beef crumble (I recommend Morningstar)
Veggie broth
Olive oil
Potato, lightly baked and cubed
Zucchini, chopped
Mexican seasoning (cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano)
Crushed red pepper 
Tomatillo & jalapeno salsa (see below)

Double the fake meat, double the real fun.
  1. First, prepare your fake meats. For the beef crumble, cook over medium heat in veggie broth with some onion and tomatoes. Make sure you boil off any excess broth once it's heated through. Sprinkle on the mexican seasoning and crushed red pepper. Mix in a little of the salsa to give it more flavor.
  2. Cook the soyrizo in olive oil over medium heat with the potato, zucchini and a little bit of salsa. Soyrizo has a tendency to dry up, so stir in small amounts of veggie broth to keep this from occurring. 
  3. Line the bottom of a plate with broken up pieces of romaine then top with the "meats", guacamole, corn, cheese, tomatoes, and tortilla chips. Sprinkle on some mexican seasoning and drizzle on salsa to finish.

My plating skills are improving! Except, this was highly impractical for eating.
My sister gave this salad the highest compliment. She said it would easily beat Hugo's Tacos in a Throwdown with Bobby Flay competition. Much like when my mom told me I was cool in high school, I can be certain that my family would never lie to me.

The salad really did hit all the right notes. The romaine was extremely crisp, and the two "meats" paired surprisingly well. Differences in textures of the "meats" played nicely, and the soyrizo combined with potato and zucchini was a fabulous mix. Also, the sweetness of the salsa worked great with the saltiness of the chips, so I would also recommend using this to make ultimate nachos.

Tomatillo & Jalapeno Salsa
Servings: 5
Time: 15 minutes

5 tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeno
1-2 tsp Agave nectar
1/4 cup onion
Garlic powder
Veggie broth

  1. Boil the tomatillos and jalapeno in water until the tomatillos change to a dull green (about 5-10 minutes).
  2. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno if desired.
  3. Mix the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic powder and agave nectar in a blender. Add about an inch of veggie broth (or more depending on how chunky you want the salsa) and blend.
  4. Put the salsa in a pot and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. 

I was trying to improve my recipe for salsa verdes from the Huevos Benedict dish, and I definitely succeeded. The agave nectar really shines to bring sweetness to this salsa, and its slightly chunky texture is perfect for the taco salad or scooping with chips.

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