Tempeh Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado dressing

Tempeh Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing

I was asked by an eblast reader to health-up her favorite taco salad. I was up for the challenge, but first I had to consider for a moment what makes a taco salad unhealthy?

Tempeh Taco Salad with Avocado Cream

I came to the conclusion that it boils down to composition. Oftentimes, and especially in restaurants, there’s too much of the not so good stuff and not enough of the healthy stuff. What’s interesting (and annoying) about this is that restaurants think that’s what we want. They think we want it loaded with meat, cheese, sour cream and dressing and we could care less about the greens, beans, veggies and tomatoes. I don’t know about you, but I’m just the opposite. I hate ordering a salad where the focus is on the meat and cheese and the veggies are basically just condiments thrown in for good measure. I want a salad that’s piled high with greens and veggies. That other stuff is just fluff.

Healthy Tempeh Taco Salad

This easy to make salad is great if you love taco flavor! The base is a huge handful of baby spinach atop a bed of Romaine lettuce. Then it’s piled high with cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, and black beans. I sprinkled the top with fancy shredded cheddar (I only used about a tablespoon) and about 5 sliced olives. Then I topped it with about 5-6 sprouted tortilla chips and drizzled on just enough avocado-Greek-yogurt-lime-cilantro dressing.

Tempeh Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado dressing

You might  be wondering what about the meat? Well, that’s not meat, folks. That’s tempeh. I steamed, crumbled, and sauteed tempeh with my favorite Trader Joe’s taco seasoning. Tempeh is fermented soybean and it’s great for your gut health (it’s also pretty yummy if you make it right).

This is how I made your typical taco salad just a little bit healthier: 

  • added baby spinach
  • switched out ground meat for crumbled tempeh
  • used less cheese
  • used less chips
  • used a moderate amount of healthy dressing

“Healthing it up” is pretty simple and something you can easily do yourself with any salad.

Healthy Tempeh Taco Recipe with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing. Made with Greek yogurt. Super delicious, healthy and easy to make recipe for quick weeknight meal!

Tempeh Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing

Yield: 1 serving

Tempeh Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 package Tempeh
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 big handful baby spinach
  • 2 big handfuls Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/2 cup roasted corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 5 black olives, sliced
  • 5 Tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon fancy shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • dash water

Instructions

  1. Steam tempeh in a steamer basket for about 10 minutes until soft. Heat a small saute pan with olive oil. Crumble steamed tempeh with hands into pan. Add taco seasoning and a tablespoon or so of water. Stir until well combined. Set aside in small bowl. To a blender add the avocado, Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt and garlic powder. Blend until well combined and taste for seasoning. Add a little water if too thick. In a salad bowl, add greens, tempeh, and remaining salad ingredients. Top with salad dressing. You will have dressing and tempeh left over for another salad tomorrow!
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/05/26/tempeh-taco-salad/
Miso kale caesar with sprouted bread croutons

Miso Kale Caesar

Salad month continues with my Miso Kale Caesar recipe. It’s a healthed-up version of an iconic salad. It deliciously delivers all that is great about this beloved menu mainstay: lettuce, cheese, and bread. Does it get any better than that?

I remember in high school I went on a Caesar salad kick. I decided that whenever I ate out, that’s all I would order: a fully dressed Caesar salad. No dressing on the side business. No fish or protein on it, either.  It was pretty easy to do, most menus offer a Caesar salad of some sort. I’m not sure why I did this or how long my Caesar salad kick lasted, but I bet I enjoyed it!

kale caesar salad

My taste buds have grown up a bit since then and now I tend to go for the Caesar when it’s doing a little something special. Like my Miso Kale Caesar with homemade croutons. There’s little not to love about this healthy bowl of creamy greens topped with toasted bread! 

kale Caesar salad

The Miso Caesar dressing is a delicious mix of Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, miso paste, garlic, and Dijon mustard. I tend not to over-dress my salads, which is great because a little goes a long way with this flavorful dressing.

Kale Miso Caesar Salad with homemade croutons

I massaged the miso caesar dressing into the curly kale and let it sit in the fridge while I made the croutons. I brushed some olive oil on two slices of whole grain sprouted bread, seasoned them with Herbamare seasoning (Italian blend) and then just popped them into the toaster oven.

Miso kale caesar with sprouted bread croutons

Once the toast was ready, I added a few slivers of Parmesan cheese and this salad was ready for eating! I love serving it topped with the warm croutons.

If you’re a Caesar salad fan, I hope you’ll give my version a try!

Miso Kale Caesar

Miso Kale Caesar

Ingredients

  • 1 head curly kale, de-stemmed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cold water
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Parmesan shavings, as garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the grated Parmesan cheese, miso paste, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and mustard. Blend until mixed and then add water as needed to thin down dressing. Remove kale from stems and place in large bowl. Add dressing and massage into kale with both hands until kale wilts and shrinks down. Brush olive oil onto bread slices and season with salt and pepper (or seasoning salt). Toast bread and then slice into squares. Add salad to bowls and top with croutons and Parmesan shavings.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/05/19/miso-kale-caesar/

misokalecaesar

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad with Lentils

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad

I noticed while whipping up this delicious roasted cauliflower and potato salad that I tend to make a lot of different variations on the same theme. Clearly, I’m a sucker for anything cauliflower related. 

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad

This recipe came about because Whole Foods had cauliflower on sale: 2 for $5. I’ve learned to take advantage of a cauliflower sale, especially at Whole Foods, where one head is usually $4.99! I often end up buying my cauliflower at other stores because even for this cauliflower lover, that is just too expensive, especially when I can literally eat the whole head standing at the stove. Once those freshly roasted babies are plucked from the oven it takes an act of God not to finish them off right then, floret by delicious floret.  Good thing I had some potatoes in there to slow me down.

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad with Lentils

I created this salad in celebration of May being salad month, but also because I needed to eat up that cauliflower. I have another head in the fridge…any thoughts on what I should make?

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad

This salad is the perfect use for roasted cauliflower and potatoes, two of my favorite veggies to roast. I roasted them pretty simply with just olive oil, salt and pepper. I placed the roasted veggies on a bed of sunflower microgreens (another favorite from Whole Foods), but you could use any green you prefer. I also added a bit of steamed lentils for some protein and fiber and topped the salad with roasted pistachios for some crunch. Pumpkin seeds would have also been a great choice.

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad with Lentils

I don’t think this salad even needed dressing, but I drizzled on a bit of Tessemae’s Ranch dressing. It’s a tangy, slightly creamy dressing that really tastes nothing like traditional Ranch, which is a good thing (not a Ranch fan).

I hope you’ll try this satisfying and tasty roasted cauliflower and potato salad! It’s a delicious lunch or quick weeknight dinner. You could even throw some protein on top if you’re so inclined.

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad

Yield: 1 serving

Roasted Cauliflower and Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower florets
  • 5-6 baby potatoes, halved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup steamed lentils
  • Big handful microgreens (or any green)
  • 10 roasted pistachios
  • drizzle of your favorite salad dressing

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl toss together cauliflower florets and potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Make sure to use enough oil to coat the veggies. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. In a serving bowl, layer greens, lentils and roasted vegetables. Drizzle with dressing and top with nuts.
http://foodconfidence.com/2016/05/12/roasted-cauliflower-potato-salad/