Tara’s 2020 Vegetarian Recipe of the Month

Here we are, another month of pandemic craziness. It does seem to just keep getting zanier, doesn’t it? That’s why I avoid too much news–the talking heads love sensationalizing everything and making it seem like the entire world is at war, when in fact, most people are living peaceful, productive, and even more creative lives.

On a tastier note, I want to share my veggie taco salad with you this month since it’s a savoury dish that everyone seems to love. I still have fond memories of the old El Paso taco kit my Mom used to make with ground beef. That taco seasoning is addictive!

However, the smell of ground beef from the grocery store while it cooks makes me sick to my stomach. I started purchasing the pricey organic ground beef, and it certainly smells less vomitous (new word!) and crumbles better. But truly, I prefer vegetarian tacos that don’t harm any animals and taste just as good, if not better. So for this salad, black beans are perfect.

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The wonderful thing about salads is, similar to Buddha Bowls, you can add whatever ingredients you have on hand. To prove I do not in any way prepare for these monthly recipes, I did not have any corn or avocado on hand, which I recommend using. We’d used all 3 avocados in a guacamole dip a few days prior, so I had to do without. Therefore, I substituted grilled zucchini for a chewier consistency. The husband is an excellent grill master on his Big Green Egg, so the grilled zukes injected a savoury smokiness to the salad. Yum!

INVIGORATING VEGGIE TACO SALAD

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Mexican Ingredient Inspiration:

Fresh lettuce leaves, chopped and plated in a ring

1 can black beans (preferably organic), rinsed and drained

1 small can corn niblets (drained) or corn on cob cooked and sliced from the cob or 1 grilled zucchini, chopped

125 ml finely diced red and green peppers

6-8 halved cherry tomatoes

60 ml diced red onion (I was out, so I substituted chopped chives from my herb garden)

Mixed olives, pitted & sliced

1-2 ripe avocados, chopped

250 ml or more mixed Grated sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, Applewood smoked cheddar, or whatever type of cheese you love (I avoid the bright orange varieties because I don’t like food colouring in my cheese)

Fresh Cilantro or Basil shredded for garnish

125-250 ml crushed tortilla or corn chips

Dressing: It’s super easy & economical to make your own salad dressings. I put olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, cumin, as well as salt & pepper in a clean jam jar. Shake vigorously and store for up to one week in refrigerator.

Lovely Additions: guacamole, sour cream/cashew sour cream, salsa

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This ‘Living’ lettuce you can find at Save On Foods is very cool–it comes still growing from its root system. Hopefully our garden lettuce is ready soon.

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Build it and they will Devour it:

  1. Plate shredded lettuce.
  2. Place black beans, corn (or grilled zucchini), peppers, tomatoes, olives, and onion in a medium bowl.
  3. Drizzle dressing lavishly over top and gently stir.
  4. Place in center of plates; top with avocados, cheeses, and garnish.
  5. Sprinkle generously with chips.
  6. Devorar!

I must say this salad pairs beautifully with a glass of ice cold Strongbow cider on ice with a slice of lime or lemon. But I’m pretty sure the standard margarita pairs well too.

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Happy belated Cinco de Mayo!

Tequila!

(Honestly, the price of Patrone is worth every penny)!!

Millions of people around the globe are embracing a more vegetarian lifestyle. This salad is full of nutrition and deliciousness with beans for an excellent source of meatless protein. We all need energy this time of year for building and growing our own gardens. Work now and eat like a king or queen in a few months. Olé!

TARA PANRUCKER COPYRIGHT 2020
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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