Vegan Southwest Taco Salad

CornI remember the first time I had a taco salad. It was served in a flour tortilla fried to resemble a bowl. When the waiter put in front of me, it look ginormous. Floating on top a  cloud of iceberg lettuce was chicken, salsa, guacamole, and a smidgen of sour cream. As I plowed through all I found was a scoop of rice and a schmear of refried beans at the bottom. Where had all the goodies gone…?  So when it came to this salad, I decided to work it from the bottom up starting with a baked red skin potato smothered in meatless chili, layered with oven backed tortilla chips, shredded romaine, spinach, roasted corn, black beans and lots of fresh veggies, tossed with chipotle creme made with vegan mayo. You won’t find any fluff here, just tons of plant-based nutrient dense goodness through and through. And rest assured, with this taco salad, you won’t leave the table feeling cheated or hungry.

Recipe notes: Tortilla chips, chili, and chipotle mayo can be prepared ahead. Salad yields 4- entrée size servings. Difficulty level: Very easy

Ingredients:

  • 4-small-med size red skin potatoes
  • 4-cups meatless Tex-Mex chili
  • 18- corn tortillas (see recipe for chili lime tortilla points)
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  • 2-cups fresh spinach, torn
  • 2-cups fresh romaine, chopped
  • 1-cup tri-color cabbage
  • 1-bunch cilantro (leaves only)
  • 2-cups corn
  • 1-can low sodium black beans
  • 1/2-cup chopped red onion
  • 2-cups shredded carrots
  • 1-bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2-cups pear or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2-avocado, sliced or cubed
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  • 2-limes, cut into wedges
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  • 1-cup vegan mayo
  • 2-Tbsp chipotle chili paste (available in the Hispanic section of most markets)

Preparation:

  1. For dressing: in blender puree chipotle to a fine paste.
  2. Gently fold into mayonnaise and refrigerate (can be prepared ahead)
  3. Pre make chili and tortilla chips and set aside
  4. Bake or microwave potatoes
  5. In dry skillet, pan roast corn and set aside
  6. In mixing bowl, combine salad ingredients
  7. Toss salad with half of the chiptle mayo and the juice of one lime.
  8. Slice baked potato in half and place at the bottom of serving bowl
  9. Ladle 1-cup of chili over potato and layer a portion of the chips on top.
  10. Add salad mix and top with additional chips. Reserve remaining chips, lime wedges, and dressing and serve on the side