This is not your average vegan taco salad. It's full of butter rich flavor from sweet potato noodles as well as smooth cashew cream. The avocado pico de gallo brings a pop of color, and a bed of kale ribbons finishes off the picture of perfection. Not only does it look delicious, it tastes heavenly! Whoever said vegan food isn't filling hasn't loaded up on this vegetarian taco salad...
Not Your Average Taco Salad
I've eaten a lot of taco salads at a lot of restaurants. Any time I ask for the vegetarian option, I'm told to swap the meat with beans. Every once in a while I'll get a mushroom topping option. The tomatoes are usually slimy and not ripe, and the iceburg lettuce is wilted. Not in this salad! I chose spiralized sweet potatoes for the base, as they add a mild sweetness to the dish, as well as a heartiness. The avocado pico de gallo ups the fat content, and provides a rich creaminess. And don't skip out on the cashew cream! It ties the whole dish together, in my opinion.
Vegan Taco Salad Swaps
While this recipe was designed to be eaten on a Seasonal Cleanse, you can definitely make it your own. Each component of this salad is meant to fuel your body with a balance of healthy fats, fiber, protein, and some carbs. So keep that in mind while making swaps. If you're looking to lower the fat (or just get rid of the avocados), then you can replace the avocado with diced tomatoes or bell peppers.
Swap the cashews with almonds or macademia nuts in the cashew cream recipe. Change out the walnuts with cashews or almonds. And don't be afraid to go wild with toppings! If you like it on your tacos, then you'll probably like it on this vegetarian taco salad.
Tips for the Best Vegan Taco Salad
Because I want you to get the best from this salad, I'm offering all my tried and true tips + tricks for making this vegetarian taco salad a hit from the first bite. First, don't skip on soaking the nuts! Walnuts have a completely different texture raw vs soaked. If you want the right consistency for the 'meat,' then soaking is important. The same is true for the cashew cream. If you are a sour cream lover, then this cream is for you! Yet the cashews need time to soften up through soaking before they can become the cream of your dreams.
Finally, if you like taco salad that you eat with crunchy chips, then you can still love this version! Just bake those spiralized sweet potatoes until crispy. This will give you a crunchy base for your vegan taco salad, as well as give a satisfying crunch to each bite. Need help getting the noodles crispy? Make sure to rub in the oil with your hands, so every bit of sweet potato is covered. Spread out the noodles on the baking sheet, to give them a bit of breathing room. And don't be afraid to broil them (watching closely!) at the end of baking to finish.
Whole Foods to Help You THRIVE
This vegan taco salad recipe comes directly from the pages of my Seasonal Cleanse. This reset is NOT: a juice cleanse, a punishment, or a starvation diet. It's not a diet at all. It is a week long, whole food, plant based meal plan designed to help you reset your body, eating habits, sleeping habits, energy levels, and more. Yes people often lose weight while doing this, because your fueling your body with 100% plants (delicious ones, I might add). Yet even greater, you'll find that following this plan for 7 days will bring you better, more restful sleep. It will give help your body feel energized, and clear brain fog.
I knew I needed to do more than survive in my life, so I created a plan to help me and this community THRIVE. And guess what? It did just that!
Spiralized Vegan Taco SaladRate this Recipe Print Recipe
- ⅓ cup walnuts (soaked overnight)
- 1 teaspoon lime (juice)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin (ground)
- pinch sea salt
For sweet potato/swoodles:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 sweet potato (peeled, spiralized)
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin (ground)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch ground cayenne (optional)
For avo pico de gallo:
- ½ avocado (diced)
- ¼ cup mango (diced)
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper (minced)
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon lime (juice)
- pinch sea salt
- 1 cup kale (cut into thin ribbons)
- 1 tablespoon cashew cream (see below)
- 1 lime (wedges)
For Cashew cream:
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 1-4 hours in water)
- water (for soaking, plus ¼ cup for blending)
- 2 tablespoon lemon (juice)
- pinch sea salt
- Prep cashew cream: Place cashews in a medium bowl. Cover with plenty of water. Let soak 1-4 hours. Drain and rinse well.
- Blend: Place soaked cashews, ¼ cup fresh water, lemon juice, and sea salt in food processor or blender. Puree until smoothie and creamy. Stop and scrape down sides as needed, and add a little more water if mixture is too thick to blend.
- Transfer: Move cashew cream to airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat: Set oven to 425°f. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
- Process: Place presoaked walnuts, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Alternatively, finely chop the walnuts with a chef’s knife, place in a bowl and add the lime juice and spices. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Mix: Toss the spiralized sweet potato with olive oil and season with the spices, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
- Mix: Meanwhile, prepare the avo pico. Stir together all of the ingredients and season with a pinch of sea salt.
- Serve: To serve, place the baked swoodles on a plate. Top with the walnut “meat,” kale ribbons, avo pico de gallo, cilantro, and some cashew cream. Serve with lime wedge(s) on the side.
- Use less walnut meat and cashew cream to keep the calories down.
More Cleansing Recipes
Curious as to what kinds of recipes are in this Seasonal Cleanse? Here are some recipes you can expect in Thrive. All of these recipes are in either my Seasonal Cleanses or Seasonal Cleanses:
- Mediterranean roasted veggies
- Turmeric tea
- Maple apple cauliflower smoothie bowl
- Tamari almonds
- Spiced almond milk
- Carrot ginger soup
- Brain fuel smoothie
- Protein 'warrior' bars
With recipes like these, how can you not try this reset?! Make this vegan taco salad, leave a comment + rating below to let me know how you liked it, then sign up for our next live Thrive Seasonal Cleanse. Your body and mind will thank you!