I found mâche! Thanks, Trader Joe’s!
I’ve made this salad before, so I’m not sure I need to go into every detail about how delicious it is–though it is super delicious! Adding white beans makes it a meal–though I think adding white beans is now how I make every meal.
I think it’s important to note that mâche really makes this salad taste excellent, and it’s worth seeking out. I’d never had it before, and I found it delicate and peppery–like a cross between arugula and baby spinach.
I literally cannot stop making taco salad. It’s just so good! Everything I love about both tacos and salads, thrown together in a bowl. Also, it’s a perfect excuse to buy corn chips, which I love with a burning and undying passion.
So, this is just basic homemade salsa (with homegrown tomatoes–thanks country friends!), baked chickpeas and edamole from the Happy Herbivore. I did buy one of those huge Florida avocados, but it went bad before I could make dinner. I think it was probably bad when I got it. But…crazy avocado! How could I resist?
What I’m saying is, make taco salad. Make as much taco salad as you can possibly eat before the summer is over, because when fall comes, you will not want to eat that sh*t. You will want squashes and casseroles and noodles up to your eyeballs. But right now, summer is king, and tacos are where it’s at.
Genius, right? How did I not think of this before?
You just take all your ingredients for a great chikin wing dinner–tangy Buffalo drenched tofu, ranch dressing, onions, carrots & celery, and toss them over some romaine lettuce. Seriously! Easy and awesome! And no fear of double dipping!
I borrowed here and there from some recipes to come up with my own ranch that’s easy and light and creamy!
Veggie Ranch Dressing (makes about 1 cup):
- 1/2 cup Mori-Nu firm silken tofu
- 1/4 cup unmilk
- 2 T water
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 2 T fresh parsley
- 2 T fresh dill
- 2 T dehydrated onion flakes
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
Just throw that whole mess in your food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. It shouldn’t take very long. Adjust the flavors if you need to (I needed to add more salt than I thought). The next time I make this, I’m going to toss in a little miso and see if something magical doesn’t happen. Also, this would be GREAT with about 2 T of green onion mixed in, too. Dang, now I want to make more!
Yeah, I think that about sums it up. Tofu Goat Cheese rocks. Goat cheese is the only dairy product I’ve missed at all since going vegan. And it’s not like I have super-human powers to resist dairy, it’s just that it makes me feel so darn sick. Eating dairy only makes me think of how very, very sorry I’ll be later.
Of course, it doesn’t look pretty. But does real goat cheese look pretty? Nah. This is the Salad Niçoise from Vegan Family Meals, ala (now defunct *WHY!*) ReadyMade Magazine. I don’t think it’s as good as the one from Appetite for Reduction, for several reasons: 1. The dressing. Of course, I changed it from the original, which has about 90 grams of fat in it. IN THE F-ING DRESSING ALONE. I don’t think that’s necessary or delicious. Well, maybe it might have been delicious–but I digress. 2. The toppings. The chickpea-caper mash on AFR’s niçoise is frickin’ amazing. Tofu goat cheese is also frickin’ amazing. But I think it could better be used in more goat cheese friendly territory. Pesto? Check. Panini? Check.
So, I’ll be ditching the rest of this salad, but I will make the faux goat again. And again. And again. SO TASTY.
You know how you can tell if a person is a vegan? By the way they pronounce “quinoa.” It’s true! I started out just like everybody else, calling it QUIN-OH-AH instead of KEEN-WAH. And now I laugh at people and slap them across the face when they say it wrong. Though I am fairly certain that my bestest friend still pronounces it incorrectly and I love her dearly. And would never slap her in the face. Unless there was, like, a bug on her or something. Right?
Anyway, this is one of the salads in Appetite for Reduction that I’d been avoiding. My husband dislikes about 90% of the ingredients in this salad, so I didn’t know how I was going to present it for dinner and get a good reaction. And guess what? I didn’t. He gloomily ate about 60% of it, and then dumped the rest in the trash. Poor guy. But you know who did love it? The small child whose hand you see in that photo: “More beans, please, Mama!”
That’s my girl, that’s my girl.
P.S.–want to know if you’ll like this recipe? You can basically guess. It’s not one of those tricky ones that tastes all different after you assemble it. If you like those ingredients, you will like the salad. It pulls no punches.
Never have I felt so confused by a salad.
I will literally swear to you that I think I have both made this salad and posted about it here before. But now I’m starting to think that maybe I made it before I started posting, but I can remember taking a picture of it last time. Argh! I don’t have that many posts that I can be this confused. Oh well.
So, here we go. Do you like peanuts? Me, too. Eat this! Do you like bean sprouts? Yes? EAT. If you read this blog at all, you know I have a deep love for two things: 1. Sprouts, and 2. Spelt. I will eat almost anything that has sprouts in it. I think especially mung bean sprouts, because my mom used to grow them in the kitchen when I was a little kid. It was like a magic trick–dried beans go into a wet paper towel and then *poof* bean sprouts appear. I thought of them as alien cigarettes (daughter of a smoker) and used to pretend to take a drag off of one during lunch break. Oh, the innocent times of smoking a bean sprout to impress your friends.
I love the super freshness of this salad, plus the fact that you can make it insanely spicy. I love a lip-numbing salad, the hot and cold next to each other is so fascinating. Anyway, this recipe from Appetite for Reduction is a keeper. Word to the wise, add some edamame to the top for added protein.
Oh, and as a side note–what other vegan cookbooks should I invest in? I have all of Isa’s, but I’d like to branch out a little bit.
Good grief. This salad is not only immense, it is incredibly delicious. I’ve made this every two weeks since becoming a vegan, it’s my most beloved creation in all of Appetite for Reduction. You’ve seen bits of this before in my Six-Layer Dip, but here it is in all it’s salady glory.
I did switch things up a little bit, for the first time, tonight. I added a little can of roasted green chilies to the salsa dressing portion. My husband loooooves green chilies, and they are rather rarely used in most of the vegan cooking I’ve been doing. So sad. It really made something that is basically perfect even perfecter. And the fact that I got to use cilantro I grew made it all the better. The cilantro in my garden is so much more tender than the kind I buy in the store, and it has a much stronger flavor. Go me!
I’ve also figured out that magical dieting mystery where if you put something on a big plate, it feels like you are eating more. I have these giant plates that are basically the size of hub caps, or small wagon wheels. But if I make the salad very spread out and flat, by the time I’m done eating I feel super full. Either that, or my stomach no longer requires the massive portions I once used to feed myself. And yet, I still could eat a dozen cookies, one sitting, no contest. Go ahead, challenge me. I dare you!