Roasted Almond Lentil Taco Salad with Cashew Cream Sauce

I wasn’t planning on doing this recipe as a post, or doing a food post at all, but this was so good. It seemed like it would be a real shame not to share it.

This is a vegan meal. But honestly anyone (who likes taco salad) would enjoy it. So if you’re not vegan, or are nervous about food that is, or are cooking for someone who is, I promise this is not scary. Only awesome.

This salad came into being from a combination of a few different recipes floating around the Internet, and some mild improvisation with what I already had in my kitchen.

IMG_4274
Due to the unexpected awesomeness of this salad, this is the only picture I have.

Ingredients are as follows:

Taco ‘meat’ (This is enough for two people, or one monster salad.)

  • 1/3 cup uncooked truRoots organic sprouted bean trio (from Costco) (Lentils, Adzuki, Mung Beans)
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Pinch sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce

Salad

  • spinach
  • romaine lettuce
  • carrots
  • tomato
  • salsa

Cashew Cream Sauce (This will make much more than you need- very usable leftovers)

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Directions:

Cashew Cream Sauce

  • Soak cashews for 2hrs or even overnight
  • Drain cashews
  • Add cashews and water to blender, blend until smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients, blend until fully combined
  • Note: this is essentially just the ‘savory version’ of a cashew cream sauce, you could use your leftovers on sandwiches, in pasta, other salads… just about anything.

Taco ‘meat’

  • Cook beans/lentils as directed
  • If you’re feeling ambitious, roast or toast the almonds in your oven, if you’re lazy (as I was) use store-bought roasted almonds
  • Add almonds and seasonings to blender or food processor, add the cooked beans/lentils (if they’re still a bit damp this is good, if they’re completely dry add a tbsp or two of water), add olive oil and tabasco sauce- pulse. We are not looking to smooth this out too much. I actually enjoyed there being a few larger nut chunks left, but pulse until ingredients are combined and somewhat clumpy/chunky (like taco meat!)

Salad

  • First lay spinach and romaine
  • Shave carrots into large-ish pieces (the carrots added a nice fresh crunch to the salad), and add
  • Cut tomato (I opted to leave my tomato in larger slices to keep the fresh tomato clearly separate from the salsa), add
  • Dole out the taco ‘meat’
  • Top with salsa
  • Drizzle or dollop cashew cream sauce
  • DEVOUR

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I was actually floored once I dug in. I didn’t have extremely high expectations, and it was so delicious.

~JB

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