First of all I would like to apologize to anyone who saw this post publish on Friday with nothing but the photos. My computer died on Wednesday evening, and in the craziness of not having the most important part of running this blog, I missed the fact that I still had the post scheduled for Friday, just without the words.
But, I am back, and ready to share with you the recipe for this taco salad.
As I shared last Wednesday on my Balsamic Cherry Dressing, we have been having a lot of salads on whole30. In an attempt to have a lot of variety within those salads, I decided I could try figuring out a dairy and corn free taco salad for the 1,030,065th time. Trust me. I kept count.
I have really been taking advantage of the #whole30 tag on instagram and love seeing all the creative meals. One thing I frequently saw was plantain chips as a corn chip sub in taco salad. Brilliant I say! While I saw that idea frequently, it was on the tabs_whole30 account that really inspired me to actually get in the kitchen and start cooking. So, I wanted to give a shout out to her and the creative meal ideas she shares.
I have tried many corn chip subs in my taco salad, and the plantain chips (aff link) really are the best I found. They are super crunchy, and are the perfect size. The price was pretty decent too, cheaper than most other corn chip subs I have found.
All the corn-free crunch in the world though doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a great dressing. I really wanted something creamy, and even contemplated using the ranch dressing I finally figured out how to make dairy, egg, and nut free. But in the end I felt the dill and parsley in the ranch would compete, not compliment, all of the spices I added to the beef.
I did use the same method though. I had, after all, spent a very long time figuring it out. Basically hemp seeds (aff link) and water are blended together for a creamy off-white base and then oil is added for the creaminess. Since I grew up with taco salads made with Catalina I wanted the dressing to have some sweetness, so used dates. Then to go well with all the taco-y flavors I used cilantro and chipotle.
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- 1 batch taco meat (see below)
- ¼ cup black olives, chopped
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3 sweet peppers (I used red, orange, and yellow), chopped
- 1 avocado, cut into cubes
- 2 heads of romaine, ripped or cut into bite size pieces
- Appr. 4 oz plantain chips
- 1 recipe creamy cilantro and chipotle dressing (see below)
- You can make one big salad as pictured by tossing everything together, or building individual salads with all of the ingredients. I recommend building individual salads buffet style, unless you are going to a pot luck or serving a family style dinner.
- ¼ cup raw hemp heart seed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (1-2 small limes)
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 medjool dates, or a bit of honey to taste if not on whole30
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon real salt
- ¼+ teaspoon chipotle (I have to keep it mild for Natalia right now)
- ½ cup low-flavor oil (not refined coconut as it will get hard, refined olive or virgin avocado will both work)
- ¼ cup rounded cilantro leaves
- Blend together the hemp, lime juice, water, medjool dates, garlic powder, salt, and chipotle until smooth.
- Drizzle in the oil while blending.
- Add the cilantro leaves and pulse in to combine. I chopped them pretty small (as you probably can see).
- Add more chipotle to taste, I would have made it spicier but my middle daughter can not really handle heat right now.
- 1 lb beef,
preferablegrass fed but lean also works
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup unsalted beef stock or water
- 1 teaspoon starch (use arrowroot starch or tapioca starch for whole30)
- Cook the beef with the spices. Mix the starch in the stock or water, add to the beef. Boil away until the taco meat is moist, but there is not really standing water.