There are a few dishes that are my go-to easy-peazy dishes, but ALL of them have animal protein in them. No Bueno. So I set out to find a budget friendly recipe for a delicious plant-based version of a family favorite:
On Pintrest, I happened upon Quinoa Taco Salad. I had (or knew where to get) the ingredients, and it sounded easy, fresh, and super yummy. So, I gave it a whirl.
Quinoa Taco Salad
Recipe adapted from Webmd.com
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked in two cups water
- as needed extra virgin olive oil
- juice from 2 limes
- to taste sea salt
- 2-3 tablespoonscilantro or parsley, fresh chopped
- 1 half small red or purple onion, diced fine
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced fine
- 1 cup corn kernels, roasted (I used frozen, roasted on a cookie sheet for 6-7 minutes, then cooled)
- 1 large head of crisp romaine lettuce, washed, dried, sliced crosswise
- 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, diced
- tortilla chips ( I used Trader Joe’s Soy and Flax Corn Chips. More on that later…)
- Cook the quinoa per package instructions. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork. Scoop the quinoa into a bowl.
- Drizzle the cooked quinoa with extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Squeeze on fresh lime juice and toss again. Season the mixture with sea salt, to taste.
- Add in the fresh chopped cilantro, diced red onion, diced yellow pepper, and roasted corn kernels. Stir lightly to distribute. Taste test for seasoning adjustments.
- Line four salad bowls or plates with the fresh romaine. Spoon the quinoa salad on the center of the lettuce. Add the diced avocado to each plate. Tuck in a few tortilla chips around the edges.
- Serve with an extra lime wedge.
Add a cup of chilled, drained black beans, if you like your taco salad super hearty.
Add sliced red or yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, if you desire.
Sprinkle with the cheese of your choice.
Serve with your favorite salsa on the side.
As you can see, I added the black beans and tomatoes (generously given to me by a friend from her garden!), but since we are used to sour cream and cheese on our taco salads, it was a little dry. So, I went ahead and added some salsa as a “dressing”. Seriously SOOOO good.
As for the chips, I bought Trader Joe’s Soy and Flax Corn Chips. They were $2.49 for a bag (about the same price I’d pay for a “regular” bag of chips) and I had a feeling my kids would be picky about the salad part, but less so about the chip part (what 3 and 6 year old aren’t??). These bad boys have 6 grams of protein in SEVEN chips! Win one for sneaky Mommy 🙂 I know they at least got 12 grams of protein (2 servings of chips), and they actually did pretty darn well on the salad part too!
This one’s a keeper.