Hello lovelies! This was one of those "we need something quick" meals and it sure was delicious.
The walnut taco meat was spot on...the cheese sauce still needs a bit of work...I was trying to make pepper jack flavour and it wasn't quite there yet. I used tapioca starch which really does make it stretchy, but hadn't quite got the proportions right. This was tasty, but not drizzle-y enough--it would be perfect for scooping out as a dip though. I will keep trying on the cheese and report back at a later time but you will definitely want to try the walnut taco meat (unless you have a nut allergy...then obviously you won't want to try it.)
Basically for taco salad just use whatever fixin's you want. We had some lettuce that needed to be used up. Sometimes I use sauteed kale, but this time I used the more traditional lettuce.
I also added lots of pickled jalapenos as I had a jar that I am working through (hence the pepper jack cheese). You can make pico de gallo or just crack open a jar of salsa like I did. Salsa jars are my favourite jar--they are great for reusing and I use them to store hummus, olive tapenade, pesto etc in my freezer.
You could also just do these in taco shells and eat them as tacos...but shells cost a lot more than a bag of tortilla chips, so we tend to make taco salad and eat it all in a glorious pile.... and you get more fixin's this way. I just can't stuff enough of the good stuff into a teeny-tiny taco shell. Why not just pile it on and enjoy yourself?
Walnut Meat Taco Salad
For the walnut meat you need:
1.5 cups walnuts
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 TB tamari or soy sauce
Pulse the walnuts in your food processor until they resemble coarse crumbs. Take out the blade and stir in everything else. Mix well. That's in. Taco meat in under 5 minutes.
It made enough for 4 plates, but if you need this to go further and feed more people, add in a tin of kidney beans. Taste for spices. Feel free to add more garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika and tamari/soy sauce to the beans.
a caramelised white onion, cut into rainbows
half a red pepper
jar of salsa
Top with vegan cheese sauce. I used a variation on this recipe Quick and Dirty Cheese Sauce but substituted tapioca starch for the flour and added jalapenos. As I said...you need less tapioca starch than flour, but it did make it stretchy. So play around with it or just have really gooey cheese like we did.
That's it. It was on the table in 20 minutes, so will definitely become a regular meal in this house over the summer.