December 13, 2011

Vegetarian Taco Salad with Homemade Taco Seasoning

I don't know about you, but I've been eating a lot of Christmas desserts these days. It's been a whole lot of cookies, chocolates, squares, tarts, cake, and pies around here. Don't get me wrong, I love desserts, but I think it's time we start balancing things out. I think we need a little more green and orange. A little more crunch and a little less sweet, because really, we are totally sweet enough as is. I think it's time we make a salad. Not just an ordinary green lettuce salad, but a hardy flavorful salad with lots of crunch. A taco salad.

In preparation for this taco salad, I bought a pack of Old El Paso taco seasoning. I was standing in the kitchen, spatula in one hand, cookie in the other. I was just about to mix the taco seasoning into my veggie ground round, and then the domestic goddess inside, demanded that I make it from scratch. To be honest, I am a little afraid of this domestic goddess, so I did what she said. I was completely unsure of what Old El Paso put into his pack of taco seasoning, sooooo.... I read the ingredient list. I went to the cupboard to gather my spices, but noticed that there were a few ingredients lacking in little M's spice cabinet. I improvised and added a few things myself. I came up with a recipe that's quite similar in taste, yet I can still call my own.

I added my homemade taco seasoning to some veggie ground round, which I've been using as a substitute for ground beef, for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love the texture of ground round, and it's ability to soak up flavors perfectly. For those of you unfamiliar with veggie ground round, it is a meat substitute with the consistency of ground beef, and contains mostly soy and wheat proteins. When frying, you must use lots of oil to prevent the ground round from sticking to the pan, and you must ensure that the heat isn't turned up past medium, because it will burn easily. Ground round should only be heated for a few minutes, and added at the end of a recipe.

Taco salad is the perfect meal. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fibre. With each fork-full you will find your taste buds dancing with joy, and your senses excited by each texture that compliments one another so perfectly.

makes 4 entree size salads

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Taco Seasoning Ingredients
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp red chill flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cocoa powder

Taco Salad Ingredients
3 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 package of veggie ground round
1/2 cup water
1 head lettuce, sliced
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup salsa
1 small tub of sour cream
1 - 2 green onion, chopped


1. In a small jar, combine the taco seasoning ingredients. Set to the side.

2. Fry the onions in oil, on medium head until translucent. Add the veggie ground round and continue to fry for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water and half of the taco seasoning. Save the rest for another day.

3. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the water has evaporated.

4. To prepare the salads, fill 4 medium sized bowls with 1 - 1 1/2 cups of chopped lettuce each.

5. Next, top each bowl with a handful of crushed chips, followed by the veggie ground round divided four ways.

6. Then add 1/4 red pepper, 1/2 tomato, and 1/4 cup shredded cheese to each bowl.

7. Finish with a scoop of salsa and sour cream, and top with chopped green onions.


  1. I agree, homemade taco seasoning is so good! Looks delicious!

  2. Yum! I enjoy having taco salads too because they are so filling and healthy. I love that you made your own spice mix and added tortilla chips.

  3. Thanks. It was surprisingly effortless.

  4. Thanks, I skipped making my own seasoning and it was still good! :)

  5. This looks yummy and I like to try it one time at-least. Definitely looking for make this recipe and share the experience.