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Walnut Taco Salad & Avocado Crema

Seasoned walnuts provide the meatless base for this vegan taco salad dressed with tangy avocado and lime plant-based crema. Get the recipe!

Do you love a good taco salad? Me too! My plant-based, lectin free riff on the classic is made with walnut taco "meat" and a zingy avocado crema that will knock your socks off. Walnuts are a brain-health superfood and everyone should eat more of them. So here's a tasty way to sneak them onto your family's table. Read on for this fresh and easy recipe.


I said it before, and I'll say it again. Walnuts are good for the brain. I always thought it was NO COINCIDENCE when I cracked open a walnut and it resembled the human brain. God made it so obvious, that walnuts are brainfood, didn't He?


And here's why! Walnuts are packed with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s are necessary for brain function, and studies reveal the true tree nuts boost cognitive health and can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. What's more, walnuts are a rich source of vitamin E and a powerful polyphenol called pedunculagin. Pedunculagin is in the ellagitannin category of polyphenols which act as antioxidants and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Wow, that little walnut is amazing!


Knowing the superpowers of walnuts, I went to work to create this vegan recipe. To make this dish 100% plant based, skip the cheese and find a good dairy alternative sour cream. I like Kite Hill.


You'll also want to locate a good lactobacilli fermented red cabbage. Whole Foods, Sprouts and Natural Grocers typically carry at least one option. But if you cannot find red cabbage, the yellow variety works too. The salads just won't be as colorful. Or you can mandolin slice your own fresh red cabbage and soak add red wine vinegarand olive oil for a couple of days in the fridge ahead of time.


Now, all that's left to do is make this super nutritious and delicious taco salad. Let's go!

 

LFG Walnut Taco Salad & Avocado Crema

The Recipe


(makes 4 taco salads)


Walnut "Meat"

2 Cup Chopped Walnuts

1 Tablespoon Ancho Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoon Cassava or Arrowroot Flour

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 Cups Water


Avocado Crema

2 Ripe Avocados (peeled and pits removed)

1 Cup Plant-based Sour Cream

Juice of 1 lime

1 Garlic Clove

1/4 teaspoon Salt


Taco Salad Fixings

Organic Living Butter Lettuce

4 Roma Tomatoes (peeled, deseeded, and diced)

1 Cup Fermented Red Cabbage*

4 Green Onions (sliced)

Lime Wedges (for garnish

Chipotle Tabasco


Step 1: Make Walnut Meat

Into a large bowl, combine walnuts, chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion powders, salt and flour. Mix well and set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add seasoned walnuts. With a rubber spatula, move the mixture around the pan to absorb the oil. Add water, and simmer for about 15 minutes until most of the water is evaporated and the mixture is still moist and resembles taco meat.


Step 2: Make Avocado Crema

While "meat" is simmering, make the avocado crema. Into a food processor, add avocados, sour cream, lime juice, garlic and salt. Run processor until smooth and creamy. Scrape into a squeeze bottle for easy dispensing and striping onto the taco salad.


Step 3: Assemble Taco Salads

Onto chilled salad plates, arrange a base layer of butter lettuce leaves. Follow with fermented cabbage, diced tomatoes, and sliced onions. Spoon a generous amount of the walnut "meat" onto each salad. Shake a few drops of chipotle Tabasco over salads for a nice smokey flavor a little heat. Don't worry, this flavor of Tabasco is much milder that the original picante. Add a few dollops of the leftover plant-based sour cream. Finish the salads by striping with avocado crema and adding a festive lime wedge garnish. And if you love cilantro, well, add that too.


ENJOY!









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