Anyone else feeling like summer is whizzing by? I was at several farmer’s markets in the past week and they all were featuring fresh, local corn on the cob. In JULY? And what’s more, the corn was super sweet and really tasty. So, I’m not complaining because we love and look forward to corn season…..but corn season is usually an indication that Labor Day isn’t far off. Hey summer, can you stick around for awhile, please? In addition to this healthy taco salad, I’d like to make some Israeli Corn Salad, and some Corn Chowder, and some grilled corn.
Colorful Veggies for a nutritious taco salad
So many summer recipes to explore….so little time! Don’t you agree? This recipe for taco salad is a fantastic summer find. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner, extremely customizable, super light but also satisfying and tasty. I’ve kept this salad really healthy without compromising on flavor or crunch. Say what?
Many taco salad recipes call for crushed tortilla chips—-and let me just be honest right here: salty/crunchy is a weakness of mine. I’ll rarely order a taco salad if I’m out because there are just too many land mines there…..me ordering a taco salad in a restaurant would be comparable to a scene from when Harry met Sally…..seriously there would be one substitution after another and the result would be something plain, boring, tasteless and certainly not enjoyable. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love a good taco salad. It means that I save those meals for when I’m dining at home and don’t have to compromise all of the flavor and the fun.
Rather than tortilla chips that have been fried in heavily processed oil, I bake sprouted tortillas in healthy oil and load up on flavorful spices. The result is still salty/crunchy but there is no health goal compromise. These spiced tortilla strips are simple and quick to make and totally worth the minimal effort. You will love these. I’ll give you a little tip from a lesson a learned the hard way: make more of these tortilla strips than you think you need so that there will still be some left if you happen to snack on them while making the rest of this salad.
The dressing used in restaurants for a taco salad is another spot that things can go horribly wrong—-if you’re trying to keep your health and wellness goals in mind. Restaurants use extra salt, refined and often hydrogenated oil and sugar to make salad dressing creamy and tasty. The purpose of a good dressing is to make sure the salad isn’t dry and to also add some flavor and creaminess to what you’re eating. After all, if your food is not enjoyable, there isn’t any reason to eat it. BUT, it’s possible to have a great tasting taco salad dressing without having to abandon your health goals. This dressing does not take long to make, does not use any weird or hard to find ingredients and will satisfy your taste buds. Win. Win. Win. This green goddess avocado dressing would also be super tasty on this healthy taco salad.
After the dressing and the spiced tortillas, the rest of this salad is super simple and easily customizable to your taste. I chose veggies that I like in a taco salad—some for color, some for crunch, some for texture and some for taste—and some for their nutritional value—-but by all means, make this salad your own and use the veggies you prefer.
If you consume animal products, some grilled chicken is nice to include—-and plants are still the main focus. With the added beans and the sprouted whole grain tortillas, there is plenty of nutrition in this healthy taco salad either way. If you like a dollop of sour crème on your taco salad, you can find a good vegan sour creme in this lentil taco recipe.