Vegan Taco Salad

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on June 28, 2011

What an eventful day yesterday! I’d taken the day off from work to catch up on things but ended up having to deal with a major computer problem for a huge chunk of the day.

At 12pm, I found myself in my car, rushing into the city with my damaged computer tower nestled in the back seat.

Unfortunately it will be 2-3 days until I get it back. Thankfully, Kevin has a computer that I can use in the meantime.

I’m trying not to think about the fact that I may have lost all of my files, and remain optimistic about the whole situation.

Come 5pm, I was famished and wee-bit frustrated. I walked into the pantry and realized that I’d had the same can of navy beans for over a year.

I bought said can last summer when I’d wanted to try to try my hand at a rosemary hummus, but never got around to it. Can you believe I’ve never had navy beans? I know, crazy, right?

In any case, it was getting late, I was near exhaustion, and the navy beans were calling my name.

What’d I do?

Made some rice, grabbed my homemade taco seasoning, and went to work.

Within less than an hour, I had a beautiful salad in front of me and for a brief moment, I forgot all about my computer troubles.

Thankfully the recipe makes 4 entree sized salads, so I got to eat before taking pictures [this is a rarity around here].

I’ve packed the leftovers in my lunch today and cannot wait to dive in!


Vegan Taco Salad

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Taco salad is one of my favorite Mexican dishes. Instead of cooking up ground meat, try opting for a grain + pulse based “meat”. High in fiber, and protein, this salad is light and refreshing and wont weigh you down.

Yield: 4 entree sized salads


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 14oz can navy beans [yield: 1 3/4 cup]
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning – I used smoked paprika instead of regular paprika
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 8 cups of mixed greens
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 batch of homemade salsa
  • 1 batch of corn-free nachos


Place water, rice and coconut oil in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30-40 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from heat and set aside with the lid off.

Place cooked rice, beans, seeds, and taco seasoning in food processor and pulse until ingredients are broken up. Transfer to a large frying pan, add 2 tbsp of coconut oil, and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat and serve with mixed greens, peppers, tomatoes, and avocado. Use homemade salsa as salad dressing and top with corn-free nachos.


note: the taco seasoning recipe will yield a bit more than what you need for the recipe. You can store the mixture in a small airtight container and sprinkle over-top pasta, mix in with hummus, or save for your next taco salad!

You better believe I’ll be trying the ground “meat” in a rice tortilla tonight.

Before my computer crashed yesterday morning, I created an almond flour recipe handout for JK Gourmet that documents a couple of my favorite almond flour recipes. Although these recipes have been posted on my blog, I thought that some of you may find the handout useful.

To download the pdf, click here.

Have a fabulous Tuesday!

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Aine @ Something to Chew Over

Wow this looks yummy! I love any combo of rice and beans, and avacado is a great partner for them. Great job :)


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

So sorry to hear your computer crashed…that’s awful. ugh

Your taco meat sounds and looks wonderful! I have this one

that is super easy and is a crowd pleaser, a crowd fooler, and takes 30 secs to make in the vita. So.Fast.

I love your recipe. That you used beans and rice and all those wonderful seasonings. Mine is much more of a dump and quick blend and 30 secs later it’s done. lol



Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn

That is the best “meatless meat” recipe I have seen thus far. KUDOS girl!!


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

UGH, I hate computer issues. They tend to ruin the day! The taco salad would have easily been a highlight for me though. I’ve been loving fresh salsa lately. Your dinner looks perfect! I hope youhave a better day today!



this looks great I have been craving mexican food lately but I think this would be perfect, with lots of guacamole on top:)


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

I could eat Mexican fodd every meal. *sigh*

Love the use of coconut oil here! This may just make me run to the store for an avocado…


Lisa @ Healthful Sense

There you go again creating amazing beautiful meals. I love the idea of a meatless grain & nut -based taco “meat” so much better than “soy” meat.



Love that taco “meat” recipe! It looks so yummy and super healthy and high protein too :)



Everyone’s posting fab recipes today!! This looks great. And thanks for the almond flour pdf, another ingredient to add to my list! The colors in your dishes are amazing, so rich. And I love the placemats! Where did you get them?


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks, Kaitlyn! I [think] I got them at Pier 1. I collect things here and there as I go, so I’m not 100% sure. It was either that, or home sense. Good luck!


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty

OOOOOOOOOOh this sounds sooo good!! I always want taco salad or taco meat, but I don’t get excited about using turkey or meat – I could get excited about this!

Do you think the “meat” would freeze well?


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I haven’t tried freezing it, but I freeze rice and beans, and this is just mashed up rice + beans… so I think it would be fine!



Looks delicious! I think not having to wait to eat is the best part :) Hope your computer issues get better!


Andrea @ Vegvacious

Taco salad is definitely something I miss since I became a vegetarian! I love it when I can find satisfying alternatives! This looks so good.


Stefanie @TheNewHealthy

This sounds so tasty! I usually just use tofu or beans and call it a day for meatless taco salads. Yours has so many wonderful ingredients!!

Ah, so sorry about your computer! I hope everything is recovered!!



This looks delicious! I love taco salads.


Kristina @ spabettie

I love tacos and taco salads – this looks great!

good luck with your computer… I hope it’s all okay. (I lost half a cookbook on my laptop a few years ago… recovered some, most has to be redone). yeah, now everything I save is cloud-based! :)



This looks delicious! Wonderful recipe! :)



I recently decided to go full vegetarian, but I spent my last two weeks in Texas and you would not believe how much I wanted one of those tacos. I think mostly because they’re very fragrant, I will have to make this and send pictures to my friends back in Texas. I finally get my taco (and a much healthier one too!)



Oh boy .. loosing files from computer can be so frustrating. I had been there once.. i just couldn’t stay calm at all!
This looks delicious and healthy :)



As long as their is avocado in there, I’m game! :)) They sound terrific!


Michelle {lively kitchen}

I thought I had tried most every vegan option for taco salad and then, lo and behold, you publish this. I’m adding it to next week’s menu!


Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan

You never cease to amaze me, this looks fantastic!!! I love the “meat”



This taco mix is delicious! We had the salad with lime-cilantro vinaigrette (using what I had). An instant classic at our house–thanks so much.


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