Taco Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
Freshen up you taco salad with this vegan chipotle ranch dressing! This plant based salad is packed full of healthy vegetables and flavors making it a great plant based lunch idea! This salad recipe is oil-free, vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, whole foods plant based, and dairy-free!
Happy Monday friends! Anyone else think this weekend flew by? I know I did! I am feeling a little stressed at the moment, because I have a lot of stuff to work on this week especially, but I should be a little more flexible in the coming weeks! The good news is that recently I have been feeling really creative again after hitting a pretty solid creative block for about a month, or two, so I am super happy about that! I can't wait to create and share the recipes I have been working on!
Alright, so it's October and for me I know what that means: FOOD. I always without a doubt gain weight in the winter. There is just so much going on and snacks everywhere you go that it is hard not to. Usually I am okay with it though, because I lose it all in the summer. However, to be completely transparent I gained weight this summer. There were a couple factors that could have contributed, such as getting off birth control, and turning this blog into a career that required more frequent creations. At the end of the day though it really comes down to self control. This is something I've always struggled with. There is a lot I could share about this and my story with food control, but I am not quite ready to share that publicly as I am still dealing with it internally. However, as I am writing this blog post, I am setting an intention to be more in control of what I am eating, and to be sure that I am not too in control. I am determined to get back to my ideal body/weight again, and I will accomplish that using my favorite weight loss method, which is really the only healthy weight loss method: calorie density.
Until last summer, calorie density never really clicked for me. I generally understood that nuts and oils had higher calories, but the space they took up in your stomach versus fresh fruits and vegetables didn't make sense. I never understood how to make a meal filling while still making it lower in calories. I really think that last summer I nailed this. What did I eat? A lot of salads. I know that's not the answer you were hoping for, but if you can make the salads filling and delicious, then I promise you this method works! I am not a dietitian, or nutritionist, so please consult with your health care professional before taking any serious diet/meal plan, but I do create delicious balance meals that you can incorporate in your diet to achieve a healthier diet. My salad recipes are full of healthy vegetables, plant based proteins, and whole grains to ensure that you never feel starved after eating a salad again. By eating a salad loaded with these healthy plant based ingredients, you can be sure that you are consuming less calories than a processed meal.
A major portion of my goal to lose weight is focusing on eating more color. I used to be super good about incorporating the rainbow into my meals. However, like I said before, I kind of fell off the wagon, and got caught up in making lots of desserts, and beige foods. I think a part of this was because I found it easier to come up with ideas for versus new salads/vegetable based recipes. I think this will be challenging, but worth it! I am really excited about all the recipes to come going into the holiday season! I always struggle with overeating during this time, so if I can make a conscious decision to eat less calorically dense meals, I can splurge on some of those Christmas cookies!
Alright, enough talk about calorie density, I think it's time we focus on the recipe at hand! I wanted to create a vegan taco salad recipe that would stand out from the rest of the recipes I see on Pinterest, Since almost all taco salad recipe's have the same vegetables, I knew that in order to switch this recipe up, I needed to make a delicious dressing recipe that would spark serious interest, and I think I've done it with this chipotle ranch! This plant based salad dressing is made using real ingredients, and no processed oils, or "natural flavors" I usually stick to a pretty similar ranch dressings, so if you are looking for a delicious vegan ranch, you can also check out my Buffalo Cauliflower Salad ! That salad specifically is one of my favorite recipes of all time, so I recommend you check it out! I was also super excited about this recipe, because I knew that I could film a video for Tiktok, which I don't post a lot on, and Instagram reels, which I do not utilize enough, so whenever I can create content to work on those I am excited!
I really love this recipe for an easy vegan meal prep too, because it's one of those salads that may even taste better the next day (you know what I'm talking about!). Since romaine is pretty firm as far as lettuce goes, you can count on it keeping the crisp for a few days. You can also sub in kale, or spring mix if you are looking to boost the nutritional value of the meal. Although, keep in mind that spring mix has the shortest life span of these greens, and kale has the longest! On that note, let's get to the recipe!
Total Time: 15 minutes
3 Heads romaine
1 15oz Can of unsalted black beans
1 Medium red onion
1 15oz Can, or equivalent amount of frozen corn drained/defrosted
5 Roma tomatoes
3 Corn tortillas chopped into strips
For the Vegan chipotle ranch
1/2 Cup cashews
Aquafaba from 1 can of chickpeas
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
About 1 Tablespoon fresh chives chopped
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Teaspoon onion powder
1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Teaspoon chili powder
Cayenne pepper to taste
Begin by chopping your tortillas into strips and placing in the air fryer, or oven until crispy.
Chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces, and add to a salad bowl.
Make the dressing by simply combining all ingredients together in a high speed blender and blend. Once smooth, pour over salad and top with tortilla strips. Serve and enjoy!
Are you constantly struggling to find whole foods plant based vegan recipes? Sick of seeing a vegan recipe on Pinterest only to go to website and find the recipe is loaded with processed oils and sugars? Here at The All Natural Vegan I am committed to creating healthy vegan recipes that are plant based vegan, free of refined sugar (no coconut sugar either!), no vegan butter, no refined oil ( I sometimes use cold pressed oils in salads, I never heat oil, I cook 100% without oil!), and mostly gluten-free. I do not have a gluten allergy or gluten intolerance, but I am constantly creating gluten-free recipes and options! If this sounds like the way you eat, or want to eat make sure to subscribe to my email list so you never miss the next healthy recipe!