Build Your Own: Vegan Taco Salad Bowls



After a summer filled with lobster rolls, G&Ts, cheese burgers, and ice cream, its time for a little culinary restraint. But don’t worry, shifting towards healthier ingredients and cooking methods doesn’t require sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. These build your own vegan taco bowls come together quickly and can easily serve a large or small group. This recipe packs so much flavor that you won’t even miss the usual greasy taco beef and fatty sour cream. Enjoy this outside and soak up the last few weeks of Indian summer sunshine.

Chickpea Sauté   

  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  1. Over medium heat, warm the oil and sauté the onions, garlic, and peppers until softened and golden brown, add the chickpeas, cumin, and lime zest and juice, and toss to combine.
  2. Heat everything through, then season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • Cilantro, minced, to taste
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. Mash up all of the ingredients, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Smokey Cashew Cream

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the cashews, cumin, and the garlic clove, and toast until the cashews are a nice golden brown. (Careful not to burn them!). Add the cashews to a blender, and add the remaining ingredients. Blend everything on high until completely smooth, adding more water as needed to reach your desired texture.

Salad Ingredients (Feel free to improvise!)

  1. 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  2. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  3. Salsa
  4. Tortilla chips
  5. Lime wedges
  6. Chopped cucumbers
  7. Shredded cabbage

Set out all your components in bowls, and allow everyone to build their own taco bowl. This recipe serves roughly four people, but add more or less depending on what you think you’ll need.

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