I was on a phone call today while starting dinner (not paying attention obviously) and before I knew it corn was roasting, a mound of veggies lay before me sliced, and some kind of green sauce was in my food processor being processed…. I really had no idea what the heck was going on or what any of this was going to magically turn into. Once I gathered myself from the madness and the mess, I quickly realized that I had to pull it together and needed to do it STAT.
While looking around at this catastrophe in my kitchen I told myself it couldn’t get any worse than this. I then realize how wrong I was…. In walks the husband (home early today of all days) and asks “wow what are you making because I am hungry!?” I instantly play it cool and say “OH ahhhh ummmm it’s a surprise honey?!?!?!” I knew that would buy me a little time to figure this whole thing out… I assessed the damage I had done and instantly came to the decision that this was going to be some type of mexican grub. And so it was!!! Behold the “MONSTER” taco salad was born! The ball and chain gobbled it down in no time giving his approval repeatedly and kindly thanking me for this hearty filling dinner. Then he ask me where I got the recipe….(((((gulp)))) So to save you the hassles I encounter more that I’d like to admit here is the recipe of this monstrous salad (initially shared on my instagram feed) Enjoy!
MONSTER Taco salad with chimichurri quinoa and roasted corn
For the chimichurri quinoa:
- 1 1/2 cups of quinoa, cooked
- 1 handful of fresh parsley
- 1 handful of fresh cilantro
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- Salt & pepper
- Apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar – start out with 2 tablespoons and work as you go
- A splash of agave nectar
- ½ cup of Avocado oil or you may substitute extra virgin olive oil-
- * if you want a thinner consistency use more oil and/or vinegar. Taste the sauce as you go and season the chimichurri as you feel necessary. All tastes buds taste different so add what you feel is right for yours.
- In a food processor add all of the ingredients for the expect for the quinoa. Blend until the sauce is smooth and velvety.
- In a bowl add the cooked quinoa the chimichurri sauce. Mix well until the quinoa is evenly coated and set aside.
For the Salad:
( Yield – 2 large dinner salads)
- 1 large bunch of organic romaine, shredded or roughly chopped
- Your favorite brand of veggie burgers (2 patties one for each salad), thawed – I used a homemade veggie burger and that recipe will be given in the near future.
- *Note – you can substitute ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey if you prefer
- 1 tbsp of homemade taco seasoning – or your favorite store bought brand
- 1 tsp each of cumin and garlic powder
- 1 large bell pepper
- 1 large sweet onion
- A big handful of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, sliced or diced
- 1-2 ears of corn, cleaned and kernels removed from the cob
- Shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack or any or cheese) I used shredded daiya style shreds in pepper jack flavor
- Hot sauce/Fresh cilantro/Sliced green onions/Sour cream (I used toffuti), optional
- Salsa, any flavor – I used a mango peach salsa
- Preheat to oven to 375 degrees
- Toss the fresh corn kernels in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and roast until they are golden brown and start to have a charred look to them (not burnt!) once done remove from oven and set aside.
- In a pan over medium heat crumble the veggie burgers and add the taco seasoning. Cook until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the sliced peppers, onions and mushrooms, cumin and garlic powder cook over medium heat until they are cooked but still a little “crisp”.
To arrange the salad:
- Divide the chopped/shredded romaine among 2 large salad bowls.
- Begin layering each salad with the chimichurri quinoa, the taco veggie burger crumbles (or beef, chicken, turkey etc) fajita vegetables, roasted corn, halved cherry tomato, avocado, salsa and shredded cheese.
- Top each salad with a dollop of sour cream, hot sauce and fresh cilantro