I recently made taco salad for my familia. We buy local grass fed ground beef and it typically comes in a small package so the amount that yields from the package is not much.
In spite of the lowered amount per package I would rather buy a smaller package of meat for my family when I know that the cows were fed well instead of buying a larger package of meat where the cows were fed junk. It’s no secret that we inevitably eat what the cow eats, or any animal we consume for that matter, and I just can’t bring myself to feed my family junk meat. This may sound a tad self righteous and I don’t mean to come across that way….I just feel strongly about feeding my family well.
Anyway…. I usually have a helpful tip to stretch the meat a bit; I add veggies to it.
I used our purple potatoes that we grew in our garden this past summer. I spiralized them using the small cutter blade. I don’t have to use many potatoes because the small cutter gives us very small curly fries which I then use a knife to chop them up. I washed them well and normally I keep the skins on so the process is pretty efficient time wise.
I sauteed one medium onion and the potatoes in coconut oil. Once they were cooked through, I took them out the pan and placed them on a plate. I then added the ground beef into the same pan I cooked the potatoes in and after the ground beef cooked thoroughly I added the potatoes/onions back in. While everything was cooking and merging together in the pan, I grated two large sticks of carrots and added that into the potato/meat mixture. I also sprinkled a bit of taco seasoning mix into it along with some garlic salt.
Here is a close up of the meat/potato/carrot/onion mixture.
My family loves it when I make our ground beef this way. I have to admit, its pretty delish.
The next picture shows how my husband plated his taco salad.
He placed purple tortilla chips on top of a bed of mixed greens. We are fond of purple tortillas chips for no particular reason other than they are pretty. On top of the chips, a few spoonfuls of meat. Then raw milk grated cheese on top. The hubs cannot eat tomatoes due to acid reflux so I don’t bother using them in many dishes. He can’t even have salsa but my kids put salsa on theirs. My son also cut up some red bell pepper for them to use on their salads but my husband can’t eat them either….again…..acid reflux inducer. I forgot to pick up sour cream so they had to make due without it.
Looks pretty tasty….right?
So….now for my version.
Recently, I have decided to go fully vegan, wholeheartedly I might add, not out of necessity but out of want, so I opted to not partake of the yummy meat mixture. I shared why on a previous blog post HERE.
Seeing as how I no longer eat meat, I had to come up with a different “meat” for my taco salad. I tend to use avocados to hearty up most of my veggie dishes but for my vegan taco salad avocados were a given. I had to figure out something else to use for my faux”meat”.
I saved a few handfuls of the spiralized purple potatoes and placed them on a cookie sheet greased with coconut oil, sprinkled with salt. I put them in the oven at 400 degrees for a few minutes. I knew they were going to cook up pretty fast since they were so thin so I had to be mindful of them and not leave them in the oven too long, lest they burn. At the most, 20-25 minutes.
I grated 2 more carrots, 1/4 beet, 1/2 zucchini, and used a few spoonfuls of the red bell pepper that my boy chopped up. (approx 1/4) I also chopped up 1/4 cup of broccoli, extra fine. I mixed in 1/2 of an avocado to bring it all together and sprinkled a bit of the same taco seasoning I used for the meat and mixed it in with a dash of Himalayan sea salt.
The potatoes came out of the oven at just the right time for them to have the right amount of crunch.
Smashing another avocado in a separate bowl with some garlic salt and I used this as the first layer for my taco salad lettuce wraps.
On top of the creamy avocado, a large spoonful of the crispy potatoes were placed in the middle of the lettuce leaf…….
and then the grated veggie mixture.
See how pretty they are. Lots of beautiful vibrant color.
My taco salad wraps….all plated up…..and ready to eat.
Let me also add…..
instead of salsa, I used this delectable turmeric raw sauerkraut that is just an absolutely perfect way to top off the taco wrap salad and well pretty much anything I eat this stuff is on it.
For dishes like this we like to also use this garlic sauce. My family likes to use it on just about everything from pasta, quesadillas, eggs, burritos….well anything. It’s amazing!!! It’s straight up crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. That’s it!
My son took the very last picture as I was just about to pick up the wrap to crunch into it. Please excuse the wall of Lego’s in the background. He had just finished working on a 2 month long Lego project. We had to get some pics taken of it to enter it into a contest. A friend came over and snapped a few pics and when that mini-photoshoot was over, we placed it on the end of our dining room table, where it sat for a few days.
Thankfully this project now sits downstairs in the Lego section of our house. Sorry for the rabbit trail. I felt like the Lego wall needed to be explained.
The purple potatoes inside the wrap had just the right amount of crunch and saltiness that I did not miss eating the tortilla chips typical of any taco salad. The turmeric kraut mixed in with the raw veggie “meat” gave it nice depth of flavor.
I will defiantly make these taco salad wraps for me again. It only takes a bit of extra prep work to eat vegan when my family is not.
The payoff is worth the extra time it takes to make a vegan rendition of whatever it is that my family is eating. Just a bit of extra chopping and grating.
I am thankful that my family is patient with me as I try to whip up something for myself after their food is already ready to go. We sit down together for every meal and it warms my heart how they are willing to wait until I prepare my own. How easy it would be to just throw in the vegan towel and convince myself one healthy dish of grass fed beef and organic tortillas chips should not hurt me. However, I know my tummy well enough to know that is not true.
As I reflect on this first week of vegan eating…….I think of things I am thankful for. I reckon, now would be a good time to list them.