I absolutely LOVE Mexican food, so I took my tacos with lentil walnut meat to the next level and made a vegan taco salad! We expected it to be good but it was actually AMAZING!! And the best thing is that I made waaay too much, so I could take it to work the next day. Flo and I are both pretty good eaters, but the lentil walnut meat is super filling, so we just couldn’t eat it all! But I absolutely love having leftovers, so that wasn’t a problem at all. Especially when it’s this healthy and delicious!!
Plus, this vegan taco salad is packed with tons of nutrients!!
Lentils are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, folate, magnesium, and iron. They’re actually real superstars! I usually use red lentils to make soups, spreads, and curry but for this recipe I used brown lentils instead.
And it’s even healthier when you pair them with walnuts. They contain plant-based omega-3 fat acid, which is good for your heart as well as a lot of rare and helpful antioxidants. Besides, eating healthful amounts of nuts can help you maintain your ideal weight. And they’re even said to reduce the chance of cancer and diabetes. So it’s pretty safe to say that this lentil walnut meat is a lot healthier than ground meat.
We enjoyed the lentil walnut meat with some lettuce, corn, black beans, green onions, fresh cilantro, and some homemade salsa and vegan sour cream. Oh, and of course we also added some nachos, so I guess it’s basically a nacho salad.
The recipe for the vegan sour cream couldn’t be easier. You only need four ingredients (not including salt and pepper): cashews, water, one clove of garlic, and lemon juice. Just combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. It’s best to soak the cashews for at least 30 minutes. If your food processor got problems processing the cashews just add a splash of water.
The vegan sour cream is not only super delicious with this vegan taco salad, but it’s also great with potato wedges or baked potatoes!
I hope you like this healthy vegan taco salad as much as we do!
Have a great week! xx
Vegan Taco Salad with Lentil Walnut Meat
For the lentil walnut meat:
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 2 teaspoons oregano
For the cashew sour cream:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic
For the salad:
- 1 cup corn
- 1 cup black beans
- lettuce, roughly chopped
- 2 green onions, cut into rings
- 1/2 red onion, cut into half rings
- 1 cup nachos
- 1 avocado, cut into slices
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tomato
- 3/4 cup tomato salsa
- Cook the lentils according to the instructions. Drain and set aside. In a medium pan, roast the walnuts without oil for about 2 minutes or until they're lightly golden. Put the walnuts and the cooked lentils in a food processor and process until chopped. Make sure to leave some texture!
- In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sautée the onions for about 3 minutes. Then add the lentil walnut mixture and stir in the tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and the spices (paprika powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper).
- Make the sour cream: Drain the cashews and put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, the corn, the tomato, the avocado, the salsa, and the black beans. Serve with the lentil walnut meat, cashew sour cream, and the nachos on top and sprinkle with green onions, red onions, and fresh cilantro.
Can I sub the walnuts for something else?
Unfortunately, I haven’t tried this recipe with any other nuts yet. You could maybe use almonds instead if you’re allergic to walnuts.
Let me know if you give it a try. :-)
I used sunflower seeds and it was great.
I have done it with sunflower seeds and it totally works.
Can you refrigerate left overs
yes – this is amazing stuff. And like most vegan food, without dairy or meat, the cooked leftovers last FOREVER in the fridge. Like a month, I swear.
It does not only look good…it tastes amazing! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe…please try it it’s worth it!
Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite
Taco salad is one of our faves! We use lentil walnut meat on ours too and it’s the perfect added topping! This looks so good and so colorful. I love pretty food and extra bonus when it’s delicious!
Krisi von Excusemebut...
Wow sieht das lecker aus, eine tolle Idee. Werde ich sicher probieren=)
Hey Krisi, hast du den Salat inzwischen probiert? BIn am überlegen, ihn für eine Party zu machen… Würde mich über deine Meinung dazu freuen. :)
bei mir ist der Salat bis jetzt immer sehr gut angekommen und alle waren total erstaunt, was man mit Linsen alles machen kann. Es ist nur wichtig, dass man die Linsen und die Walnüsse nicht zu lange mixt. Falls du ihn mal ausprobierst, kannst du ja mal berichten wie er dir geschmeckt hat. :-)
PS:Falls du erstaunt bist, dass ich auf deutsch zurückschreibe. Ich komme selbst aus Deutschland und Vegan Heaven gibt es auf deutsch (veganheaven.de) und auf englisch. Wobei ich auf dem englischen Blog mittlerweile mehr Rezepte habe. :-)
I seriously need to try this. I don’t eat beef, but I do love nachos. And I have a whole bunch of lentils just begging to be used. Looks great!
This sounds like such a fulfilling vegan meal Sina. I’ve had walnut “meat” before and loved it. Lentils sound like a nice complimentary addition.
Mel | avirtualvegan.com
Tacos in salad form is such a great idea and I am loving that walnut ‘meat’! The colours are beautiful too.
What gorgeous tacos. Love that vegan meat!
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit
I love taco salad, but I have yet to make a vegan version! Filling nutritious protein-packed taco “meat” sounds like the perfect match for lots of fresh raw veggies! Plus it’s so beautiful, I always love how colorful your meals are Sina :)
That looks delicious! Love the color in toppings and flavor combinations.
I love taco salads! Nuts work so well as a “meaty” component. Love all of your topping choices too! I want to dig in!
Aimee | Wallflower Kitchen
I love using walnuts in “meaty” mixtures, there is something about the taste, look and texture that just works so well! This looks fantastic :-)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
No joke, that “meat” looks scarily real!! (But so much better!!!) I haven’t been doing much Mexican lately…I’ll change that stat!
These look so good! I love a taco night.