Sunday, April 21, 2013

[meatless] taco salad + black bean salsa

Do you think that you have tasted the best taco salad ever?
Think again.
Because you haven't until you've tasted this one.
It's so good it will make you cry.
Scout's honor.

It's all about the layering.
Lime cilantro coconut rice, black bean salsa, lettuce, veggies, avocado, more black bean salsa (yes please), and southwest chipotle dressing.

A combination made in heaven, I tell you.

I have been making this black bean salsa for a long time.
And let me tell you, I have yet met someone who didn't love it.
It's true. 
People always ask me for the recipe, but the problem is...I only make it by taste.
However, yesterday I was feeling exceptionally nice and I decided to measure every little thing I added to the salsa. So yes, I will be sharing my recipe with you today.
Hurrah for those tender moments!

Oh, and of course.
A taco salad is not a taco salad without home-baked chips.

[Meatless] Taco Salad

makes enough for 4-6 people

1 head Romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
Black Bean Salsa (see below)
  1. In a serving bowl, scoop 1/2 cup rice. Top with bean salsa. Top that with romaine lettuce. Top that with veggies. Top those with more bean salsa and avocado slices. Drizzle on the dressing. Garnish with tortilla chips.
  2. Devour.

Cilantro Lime Coconut Rice

2 cups white rice
2 cups water (or 4 cups if using brown rice)
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut 
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cumin  
additional salt, if desired
1 lime, juiced
  1. In a saucepan, stir together rice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Steam should be coming out from under the lid; keep the pot covered and don't peek under the lid.
  2. Reduce the heat to very low. The rice will swell as it absorbs the water. Set a timer for 20 minutes (or 40 minutes for brown rice).
  3. When the timer rings, turn off the burner and remove the pan from the heat. Let the rice sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in coconut, cilantro, garlic powder, and cumin. Add in the lime juice. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Black Bean Salsa

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 can diced green chilies (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
2 Tbl. brown sugar, packed (add more if desired)
3 tsp. hot sauce (I like the taste of Tapatio)
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
3/4 to 1 tsp. salt
small handful cilantro, chopped

  1. In a large bowl, mix together beans, corn, tomatoes, chilies, and onions. Add in sugar, hot sauce, lime juice, and spices. After mixing well, stir in cilantro. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Home-baked Tortilla Chips

corn or flour tortillas (as many as you want)
garlic salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lay the tortillas on a cutting board. Stack in a pile. Slice tortillas with a knife, cutting into 4-8 equal triangles.
  3. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on baking sheets. Lightly spray with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for about 6-7 minutes until crisp and the edges start to curl and turn slightly brown. Watch chips carefully after 5 minutes because they can burn easily. 
  4. Once chips are done, removed from the oven to cool. They will continue to crisp as they cool.

Southwest Chipotle Dressing

1 Tbl. chopped onion
1 Tbl. chopped garlic
2 tsp. dijon mustard (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro
1/2 cup vinegar (rice wine, white, or balsamic)
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. honey
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeds removed (or chipotle sauce)
1 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. While blade is running, pour olive oil in a small stream into mixture. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.


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