I completely believe our bodies know what they want and January is all the proof I need. After eating all the candy and all the cookies in December, without fail in January, I’m literally craving fruit and vegetables and will gladly pass up a big bowl of ice cream in favor of a huge salad.
Maybe it’s not just the holiday sugar rush—maybe it’s because by the time January rolls around, our bodies are missing the fresh fruits and vegetables that are so abundant in the spring and summer. I don’t know!
All I know is that I’ve been making meals out of salads a lot this month and this particular salad is a long-time favorite.
If you like salads that fill you up, that don’t need any sandwiches or soups to accompany them, this Vegetarian Taco Salad will be your jam. It’s got black beans, whole grains, and a zesty, creamy dressing to tie it all together—not to mention all the fun fixings that go with taco salads like tortilla strips and such. It’s totally worthy of a meal.
Any leftover farro taco “meat” can be frozen for later or used as a filling for lettuce wrap tacos–or even traditional tacos! We’re big fans of farro in our household, probably using it more than rice and even quinoa. If you haven’t tried it, you might be pleasantly surprised by the meaty, chewy texture. (It’s awesome as a substitute for arborio rice in risotto too!)
This Vegetarian Taco Salad also has the bonus of being great for meal prep. It’ll last almost a whole week in the fridge as long as you keep the components separate and add the dressing just before eating.
Photos by Lindsey Johnson
Huge Vegetarian Taco Salad
For the Creamy Lime Dressing
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in water for 4-8 hours and rinsed
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
For the Farro Taco Meat
- 1 cup farro cooked according to package instructions and drained (about 2 1/2 cups cooked)
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
For the salad
- 2 medium heads romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 large tomato diced or 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn kernels thawed
- 1 cup broken tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- Cilantro lime wedges, salsa, sliced black olives, and/or guacamole for serving, if desired
To make the Creamy Lime Dressing:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy and season with salt to taste.
To make the Farro Taco Meat:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook the farro, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Set aside.
To assemble the salad:
- Divide the lettuce onto 4 salad bowls or plates. Layer the remaining toppings as follows: diced tomato, black beans, corn, farro taco meat, tortilla chips and green onions. Drizzle the Creamy Lime Dressing over the salads. Top with optional garnishes, if desired.