I grew up loving taco salad, however it’s not something I find myself eating very often these days, as it’s not always the healthiest meal. However when I stumbled upon a recipe for a Skinny Taco Salad from Well Plated and a recipe for a Roasted Chickpea Taco Salad from Two Peas and their Pod, I knew I needed to make my own Healthy Taco Salad. I’m always excited to make any recipe including chickpeas as they are just SOO delicious, healthy and filling, so this recipe was right up my alley.
Chickpeas are a go-to staple in my pantry; they’re packed with protein and fiber and make wonderful addition or substitution to any meal. Did you know, that in addition to being high in protein and fiber, they are also a good source of Manganese (healthy bones), Folate (DNA synthesis + repair), Copper (trace mineral necessary for survival), Phosphorus (helps keep metabolism running smoothly), Iron (healthy blood) and Zinc (helps fight colds). Chickpeas pack quite a nutritional punch! They have also been shown to help control blood sugar and can lead to weight loss. Big claims, I know! These legumes are a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, meaning they slowly release their energy (glucose) in a way the body is able to use without causing a spike in blood sugar. As I mention earlier, they are chock full of fiber and protein which make you feel full longer, increasing your satiety, causing you to eat less. The more you fill up on plant based nutritional powerhouse foods, the less room you will have for unhealthy alternatives. In addition to all these great health benefits, they are also extremely affordable, so they benefit my wallet too!
If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of chickpeas, here are a couple of informative articles:
Chickpeas Nutrition, Benefits & Recipes: https://draxe.com/chickpeas-nutrition/
Chickpeas: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280244.php
12 Ways Chickpeas Can Improve Your Health: http://www.foodofy.com/chickpeas.html
Anyhow back to the Spiced Chickpea Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing. This recipe combines some of my favorite ingredients like avocado, pickled red onion (if you haven’t tried this yet – it’s a MUST), and roasted chickpeas. Honestly I could stop there and just eat those three ingredients mixed together, but I digress – this is a taco salad recipe!
Spiced Chickpea Taco Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional – if you like it a bit spicy)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Avocado Lime Dressing
- 1 avocado
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 ounces greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 4 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper as desired
- 1 ounce water as needed to achieve desired consistency
Taco Salad Fillings
- 2 heads of lettuce roughly chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can organic corn
- 1 (15 ounce) can organic corn (rinsed)
- 1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans (rinsed)
- 20 mini heirloom tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 red onion pickled
- 2 avocados (sliced)
- 2 green onions (chopped)
- Cilantro and lime as garnish
Pickled Red Onion
- 1 red onion
- 2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- To make the pickled red onions, remove outer skin, then slice onions into thin slices, then place them in a medium/large tupperware container covered with rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix to combine and place in the fridge for at least one hour. (This step can be done in advance, the onions will get better the longer they sit in the pickling mixture.)
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
- Combine spiced chickpea mixture into a medium sized bowl and then add the chickpeas – make sure all chickpeas are coated evenly.
- Place spiced chickpeas on a greased baking sheet and place into the oven to roast for 30 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Make the Avocado Lime Dressing by placing all ingredients into a blender and blending until a creamy dressing is formed, about 1 minute. You can add more water, in one ounce increments, if you would like a slightly thinner dressing.
- Assemble the salads by splitting all salad ingredients and seasoned chickpeas into four medium sized salad bowls and topping with desired amount of avocado lime dressing.