Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!
I’m sharing another beautiful new cookbook recipe today! Slightly higher vibration, very fresh taco salad are a regular thing in our house (tortilla strips for dinner yessss), but somehow I’ve never shared one here. This version from the brand new Love Real Food is incredible! It’s also the perfect vehicle for showing off the stunning romaine lettuce and radishes growing in our garden right now :D

Last summer was brutal hot/dry around here, and our plans to build slightly raised vegetable beds came a little too late in the game. This year we’ve been going full swing, and that vitality from the just-cut greens gives me life in the most sincere of ways. That pure and simple earthly connectivity makes me smile big when I’m mowing my salads or sipping those green shakes. I imagine all of my cells going “Yaaaaay” in unison hehe.

This salad gave us more of that ecstatic “this is so good for me, but also so delicious” kind of feeling. The two core ingredients (a quinoa-based taco filling and a zippy avocado dressing) are so easy to fix up, and then you can build up a massive salad bowl to your heart’s content. This is how we eat in the summer for the most part. The spiced quinoa and black beans along with the rich avocado make this filling and light at the same time.

I think you’re all going to love Kathryne’s book. Every once in a while, I flip through a new cookbook and think to myself “Well, I wish I had thought of that, and that…. And HOW did I not think of that before?!” It’s annoying how talented Kathryne is seriously—she has a knack for conjuring up recipes that you never knew you wanted, but upon seeing them, you need them in your life immediately. I plan on making these ones soon: Avocado, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Tahini Kale Caesar Salad, Chickpea Tikka Masala with Green Rice, and the Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies. This book is vegetarian, but Kathryne notes a substitution for dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and soy-free preferences for every relevant recipe.

Hope you guys get to try this one out soon, and that you’ll check out Love Real Food. While you’re here, I’ve got a book tour and events update below! See you next week, LA ;)

❤︎ Tuesday June 20th 6-8pm: Cookbook celebration and signing at Moon Juice (Silver Lake location) with Lily Diamond + Jessica Murnane. This is a drop-in party!
❤︎ Wednesday June 21st 5:30-8:30pm: A very special 6-course, all plant-based dinner at Botanica Restaurant with Jessica Murnane! You have to make a reservation for this one. All info HERE.
❤︎ Wednesday July 5th 6pm: For my local Niagara people, I’m participating in a discussion panel after a screening of Dream, Girl, an inspiring film about female entrepreneurs and the next wave of leadership. This event will be held at Warehouse in downtown St. Catharines. Tickets are $15 and can be found HERE or via the Facebook event page HERE.

Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!Fresh Taco Salads from "Love Real Food" (vegan recipe)pin it!

Recipe from Love Real Food ©Kathryne Taylor, 2017. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Rodale Books.
NOTES: I made the quinoa “taco filling” and the dressing from this recipe and kind of just free-styled the rest. It’s always about the dressing, know what I mean?

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans)
sea salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
½ medium-large avocado, pitted
¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
1 small-medium jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
sea salt

greens (Kathryne suggests a combination of arugula and chopped romaine)
halved grape or cherry tomatoes
sliced radishes
chopped avocado
tortilla strips (baked route HERE, fried route HERE)

To make the taco filling: In a medium saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the rinsed quinoa and water, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Then, uncover and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Gently stir in the black beans, salt, and pepper. Cover and set aside for a few minutes to warm up the beans.

To make the dressing: In an upright blender, combine the lime juice, olive oil, and water. Scoop the avocado into the blender. Then, add the cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, and salt. Blend on high until the dressing is nice and smooth. Kathryne notes that it should be zippy, but if you find it too sharp/difficult to blend, blend in a couple more tablespoons of water.

Assemble the salads: Dress greens with ¾ of the avocado-lime dressing and toss to evenly distribute. Arrange greens in shallow bowls and top with taco filling, the tomatoes, radishes, extra avocado, and tortilla strips. Drizzle a bit of extra dressing over each salad. Enjoy immediately.

  • Rosie15/06/2017 - 5:56 am

    Taco salad – what a fab idea! I’m hearing a lot about Kate’s new book, and am thinking I’ll have to snaffle a copy for myself from somewhere… Amazon here I come! I also love the garden shots here :) keep those coming pleaseReplyCancel

  • Roshni15/06/2017 - 11:59 am

    Would love if you could do an event in SF :) we’re closer than LA!ReplyCancel

  • Shauna | Linden & Lavender15/06/2017 - 1:18 pm

    This is a lovely alternative to my rather unhealthy version of taco salad. I’m learning- slowly but surely. Thank you for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder15/06/2017 - 1:30 pm

    LOVING this bowl Laura! And your garden. Mega green-things-swoon. I’m hoping I can make it up for your meet and greet next week, but if I can’t I hope you have the best time hanging and celebrating your book with those two rad ladies. Happy almost summer time to you guys. xxReplyCancel

  • Michella Wempen15/06/2017 - 8:10 pm

    This was too good to pass up and we made this for dinner. I am not a large fan of fresh tomatoes so I roasted the grape tomatoes. Best taco salad ever!ReplyCancel

  • Kate15/06/2017 - 11:11 pm

    Laura, thank you so much for this! Totally made my day. I definitely had the same experience when I was flipping through your book—damn it, why didn’t I think of that?! xoReplyCancel

  • Alex16/06/2017 - 4:03 pm

    Haha, funny – I was just reading through your book (it’s been sitting on my coffee table for weeks and last night I finally had some time) and thinking the same things, like “Why didn’t I think of that??”

    Can’t wait to try that hemp-mocha-coffee shake!ReplyCancel

  • Ugh this looks gorgeous. Seriously, so damn good.ReplyCancel

  • Angela17/06/2017 - 5:34 pm

    Beautiful salad! Looks so yummy and healthyReplyCancel

  • Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper21/06/2017 - 8:39 am

    This looks so delicious! I had no idea she had a cookbook coming out. Good for her! I’ll have to check it out :-)ReplyCancel

  • Maria22/06/2017 - 4:44 pm

    I am loving Kate’s book!! This taco salad caught my eye but I haven’t gotten around to making it yet! Will definitely have to remedy that ASAP!! YUM!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia24/06/2017 - 2:37 pm

    I have made this twice now, and it is absolutely fabulous. It will be on regular rotation here.ReplyCancel

  • McKenzie26/06/2017 - 11:17 am

    Your greens! They’re stunning! If I try to grow anything like that around here the rabbits and turtles take out these big chunks. So frustrating, but I guess they’re entitled. Your pics remind me of this beautiful illustrated version of Sleeping Beauty that I had as a kid. Beauty’s mother is pregnant and craves the big luscious heads of cabbage in her neighbor’s garden. The illustrations always had me craving cabbage, even as a child.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole29/06/2017 - 2:57 am

    I love that your ingredients are fresh from the garden. The dish looks so beautifulReplyCancel

  • Haley Hansen29/06/2017 - 11:50 am

    I just got BOTH yours and Kate’s cookbooks as a birthday gift and I have not been able to put them down!

    She was one of the first bloggers I ever found and followed, and you are one of the most recent. I absolutely love and admire you both!!


  • Go Do21/07/2017 - 2:08 pm

    […] lunch salad game going on the past few weeks. My favourite addition of late has been this little quinoa method. Let the record also state that The First Mess is a totally welcome addition to my regular reads. […]ReplyCancel

  • Sandra Haile26/07/2017 - 4:16 pm

    I just found your website and it is stunning! Beautiful. I look forward to looking at everything and trying your food which also looks beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn26/07/2017 - 6:58 pm

    Even just the quinoa part sounds dreamy! Probably never making plain quinoa again……ReplyCancel

  • […] Laura made my Fresh Taco Salad […]ReplyCancel

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