Mason Jar Taco Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing and Walnut Meat

Mason Jar Taco Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing and Walnut Meat

Perfect for Meatless Monday, this vegetarian riff on the typical taco salad is spicy, creamy, and 100 percent healthy. Chunky ground walnuts take on a similar texture to ground beef, but without all the saturated fat.

Pack it up: In order to keep your salad from getting soggy, always layer Mason jar salads from wettest ingredients at the bottom to driest at the top—it’s the golden layering rule.

Swap it out: Feel free to use whatever ingredients you have in your fridge or pantry in this versatile salad (shredded carrots, celery, navy beans, etc.), but just keep in mind the golden layering rule.

Dressing

1/4 cup (60 mL) plain, low-fat Greek yogourt
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegan mayonnaise or reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup (60 mL) skim milk or milk alternative
Zest from 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cumin
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped cilantro (optional)

Walnut Meat and Salad

1 cup (250 mL) walnut halves
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
3/4 tsp (4 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) low-sodium soy sauce or shoyu
1 cup (250 mL) black beans
1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 avocado, diced
2 cups (500 mL) halved grape tomatoes
4 cups (1 L) mixed baby greens

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in bowl and whisk until smooth. Set half aside for Tuesday’s lunch and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, to make walnut meat, add walnut halves to food processor and pulse to break up into large chunks. Add cumin, chili powder, olive oil, and soy sauce to food processor and pulse until walnuts pieces are small but still chunky and mixture resembles ground beef. Do not overprocess.

To assemble salads, clean and dry 4 large Mason jars. Split dressing among jars. Layer remaining ingredients as follows, splitting up among all 4 jars: black beans, corn, avocado, tomato, walnut meat, and greens.

Seal jars and place in fridge for up to 2 days (will keep up to 4 days without avocado).

To eat, shake up ingredients and eat directly out of jar, or pour into large bowl and toss.

Makes 4 salads.

Each serving contains: 423 calories; 13 g protein; 29 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 11 g fibre); 121 mg sodium

source: “Resolve to Brown Bag It“, alive #363, January 2013

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