My husband and I have been transitioning our diet to a more plant-based approach for a while now, and we have been loving it. Or, I should really say that is more the case for Kenny, because I have been eating mostly plant-based for quite a while now. It’s actually a big step for him because he has always been a meat LOVER. Luckily, he is not a picky eater and loves pretty much all vegetables, but I am so proud of him for lowering his meat consumption as of late.
I have been trying to get creative and come up with new vegan meals for us, and I have been having fun with that. This vegan taco is loaded with all the goods, and you won’t even miss the meat.
At first, I was just going to use rice and beans as the more substantial toppings, but then I decided to experiment a little and add some tofu. I broke up the tofu into super small pieces to where it would resemble ground meat. I seasoned it the exact same way I would if I were using meat, you can never go wrong with chili powder and cumin.
Now, I’m not going to get crazy over here and try and convince you that it tastes exactly like ground beef, because I’m not a liar. BUT, you honestly can’t really taste the tofu much to begin with, you really just taste the spices. I mix the ground up tofu together with the rice and beans, and it makes the BEST topping for a taco salad.
I browned the tofu in a skillet just like I would meat, and it really helps the texture if you do that. I turned mine so brown that I basically almost burned it, and it was perfect that way. It goes so well with the rice and beans, and adds tons of protein to your salad.
Put all of that on top of some greens, then top it with all of your favorite taco salad companions. I went with tomatoes, avocado, salsa, sour cream, and bell peppers. But the sky is the limit with those taco salad toppings!
Vegan Taco Salad
- 1 8oz pkg extra firm tofu
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 (15oz) can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
- 2-3 avocados (sliced)
- 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- ~1/3 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
To cook the rice, combine the dry rice with 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
To cook the tofu, remove the tofu from the package and press it down with a towel to remove most of the water. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then add the block of tofu. Use a wooden spoon to start to break up the tofu into small pieces. Keep mashing the tofu until it is in small pieces that resemble ground meat.
Add the chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until it is brown to your liking. I got mine very dark, I like the texture better that way.
Once the rice and tofu are both cooked, add the rice and beans into the skillet with the tofu. Turn the heat down to medium, and stir everything together, and cook just long enough to heat the beans through. Then remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble the salads, put 1-2 cups of mixed greens on a plate or bowl, then spoon about 3/4-1 cup of the rice mixture on top. Then top with grape tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, and sour cream.
Enjoy with your favorite chips and salsa!