Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Viva La Fiesta Vegetarian Taco Salad


August 1st marks the first day of Fiesta in Santa Barbara. Fiesta is a week filled with flamenco dancers, carnivals, parades, and food celebrating our town's Spanish heritage. 
Today B played hooky from preschool and we hit the carnival for some much anticipated confetti eggs and the girls' first churro. The eggs were promptly smashed on sissy's head. I'm sure I'll be finding confetti in the bottom of my purse for weeks. Months maybe.
Since we were in the Spanish spirit, I decided a festive healthy dinner was in order. Oh, and it had to be quick and easy, because Fiesta is kind of exhausting. Vegetarian taco salad was the answer. I sauteed some onions until sweet and tender with cubed tempeh, and sweet corn. Then I stirred in just a little taco seasoning and a can of kidney beans. I used this "taco" mixture to top romaine lettuce, and garnished it with avocado, tomato, white cheddar cheese, and cilantro. Delicioso! The girls liked scooping the mixture up with their chips.
Viva la fiesta!


Vegetarian Taco Salad
printer friendly recipe 
 
Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 ears corn, kernels cut off 
8 oz. tempeh, cubed (found next to the refrigerated soy products)
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (this is the amount of heat my family can handle, add more to your taste)
8 oz. romaine lettuce salad
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes 
1/4 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, sliced for garnish (optional)
1 bag tortilla chips 
favorite salad dressing

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add corn kernels and tempeh, and saute another 2 minutes, or until corn is tender. Add beans,  taco seasoning and 1 tablespoon water and saute another minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly or until room temperature.

Place lettuce in a large serving bowl. Pile tempeh mixture on top. Arrange avocado, tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro on top of tempeh mixture. Garnish with lime wedges and serve with chips and dressing.

39 comments:

  1. So fun! This salad is so colourful and bright. Love it!

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  2. I can comment again! Oh, yay.

    And if I'm able to stick my entire head in that bowl, I maht, dah.

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  3. I've been to the Old Spanish Days Fiesta. My mother lived in Santa Barbara a few years back and once while visiting we all went. Lots of fun. This salad sounds delicious and the photos are stunning as always.. : )

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  4. This looks so good. I could seriously eat tacos everyday and not get tired of them. This looks like a delicious and healthy alternative.

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  5. i am LOVING all of the fabulous color! and this sounds like a great way for me to try tempeh for the first time!

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  6. this looks great! i love the idea of the tempeh in there!

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  7. jamie9:57 AM

    Looks so healthy and delicious!

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  8. Ohmygoodness!! This looks SO yummy!!! and as always, beautiful pictures Marina!! :-)

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  9. Marina,
    What a fun event. This salad looks delicious, I've never heard of tempeh, maybe I use roasted chicken. :-)
    By the way, I prepared your lasagna and hubby and I thought it was delicious, thank you.
    Karen

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  10. Your salad looks so beautiful. I love Mexican salads! They are my favorite!

    I am going to a work BBQ tomorrow and I need to make a salad tonight to take with me thats not pasta. Can you recommend a salad that could be made overnight? I have meat eaters and vegetarians I have to make the salad for. I was thinking of potato salad with a balasamic dressing instead of mayo, but I want something I can eat a lot of incase people bring not so healthy side dishes.

    Thank you for your help!

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  11. oh YUM. making this tonight!

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  12. This looks right up my alley!

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  13. Hello Yumminess. Healthy and gorgeous. I love the Fiesta.

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  14. Aw I miss Fiesta time in SB! Super yummy recipe. Your photos are more stunning every time.

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  15. Fabulous vegeterian recipe with wonderful flavor :)
    Mary x

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  16. I am not very good with making Spanish recipes, but you surely have done an amazing job. Beautiful recipe.

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  17. Mmm, delicious looking salad! Taco salad is one of my favorites, we used to eat it all the time when I was a kid :) Love the confetti everywhere, the fiesta looks like so much fun!

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  18. Super recipe! I love it. By the way do you have any home made tortilla chips recipe if I don't want to buy it at the shop? Thanks!

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    1. Hi! Yes, I make them by cutting corn tortillas into triangles and drizzling with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and toast in a toaster oven or regular oven, turning once, until crispy. That's the healthy version.

      You can also fry the tortilla pieces in shallow oil and drain on paper towels.

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  19. well I love any food Mexican related and this salad is no exception!! It looks so healthy and tasty! Yum!

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  20. This is my kind of salad, definitely a meal in itself! Looks delicious, Marina! Have fun at Fiesta!

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  21. So fun! wish we had a fiesta around here. And the salad, yum! Makes a perfect dinner meal all by itself

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  22. Marina, this entire post is so festive!! Such a great looking salad, also the perfect healthy way to celebrate. Make some extra for me pleeeease :)

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  23. what a beautiful and fun and vibrant salad! It screams have a good time!

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  24. ohhhh man.....this loooks divine right now. I have been craving HEARTY dishes lately. MUST try:)

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  25. I love everything about this salad! It's so beautiful too!

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  26. I want to eat this salad every day!

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  27. This is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!!! Love love love it!!

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  28. Wow a fantastic looking salad. I love that it is totally vege!

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  29. Nice looking taco salad!

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  30. Awesome looking salad, I need to try more tempeh..I love the texture of it!

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  31. Seriously though, is there anything better than taco salad??

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  32. I love avocados! I will definitely try this recipe. And avocados are so nutritious and full of fiber. I usually eat them a least twice a week. There are so many delicious recipes to choose from. Avocados really are the perfect diet food to keep you looking and feeling good.

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  33. What kind of chips are those?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chemese, they are flax chips from Trader Joe's. You can find similar ones at most grocery stores.

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  34. This looks delicious! What dressing would you suggest? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi and thanks, Lauren :)

      It really just depends on what you're in the mood for. Ranch, a vinaigrette, or a cilantro dressing would all be great. There's a low-fat cilantro dressing from Trader Joe's we like a lot.

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  35. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Our family loves this salad! It is simple, quick, and healthy! I serve it with a cilantro avocado dressing.

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