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This kale taco salad combines all of your favorite taco ingredients—beans, tomatoes and cheese—into one salad recipe that just so happens to be vegetarian and gluten free too.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help run this site!
This kale taco salad is SUCH an easy lunch recipe, so I figured I’d share it with you! See, I’m one of those weird people who actually likes kale. I might go as far as to say that I love kale. I know, I know, who am I? What’s wrong with me?! I like cooked kale and raw kale (and by raw kale I mean massaged kale) and try to eat it most days of the week. The one thing I don’t like is kale smoothies, but that’s another story.
Taco salads are always a good decision because they’re basically a deconstructed taco. …..which you already knew, but beyond that, they’re filled with the BEST ingredients. This taco salad just so happens to be vegetarian and gluten free, and can be made in under 10 minutes.
TACO SALAD INGREDIENTS
- black beans
- cheddar cheese
- salsa (I used store-bought)
- yogurt or sour cream
THE BEST KALE SALAD
Believe it or not, I typically have most of these ingredients in my pantry/refrigerator, so I’m guessing you do too?!
Walnuts: Have you ever tried walnut taco meat? Yes, it’s a thing and it’s surprisingly convincing. I used Diamond of California’s walnuts because they are the BEST–both as-is and as taco meat. I’ve included step-by-step instructions below on how to make this easy meat-free alternative.
Kale: The key to a quality kale salad is to massage your kale. Have you heard of this trend? It’s absolutely necessary because it helps to break down the bitterness of kale. Essentially, you’ll place your kale into a large bowl, sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then, using your hands, massage the kale for at least 30 seconds. I felt so weird doing this for the first time, but it makes kale taste SO much better and it’s the reason why kale salads are my favorite.
Yogurt: This might be weird, but I always use yogurt in place of sour cream. Even though they don’t taste identical, they taste similar enough that, when mixed with the right ingredients, you can’t tell the difference. Plus, yogurt is better for you than sour cream. Give it a try next time you make tacos!
HOW TO MAKE WALNUT TACO “MEAT”
First, add all of the ingredients–walnuts and spices–to your food processor; then pulse for 30 seconds or so. You want everything to be combined but still kind of chunky, resembling the look of ground beef.
Second, pour walnut mixture into a skillet and add one tablespoon of oil. Heat walnuts up for 3-5 minutes in a skillet until they’re warmed to your liking. That’s it!
MORE SALAD RECIPES:
Kale Taco Salad
for the walnut "meat"
- 1 cup Diamond of California walnuts
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1-2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
for the salad:
- 3-4 cups kale massaged with stems removed
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes sliced
- 1/4 cup black beans cooked
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 avocado diced
- 2 tbsp salsa
- Optional: yogurt or sour cream for topping
- Place kale in a large bowl, then drizzle it with 2 tbsp olive oil. Using your hands, gently massage the kale for 30 seconds, which will help break down the bitterness of the kale; set aside.
- Add walnuts and spices to your food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large skillet and heat for 3-5 minutes or until walnuts are warmed to your liking. The mixture should resemble ground beef.
- Pour cooked beans and walnut meat over the kale, then add the tomatoes, cheese, avocado, salsa, and yogurt/sour cream.