The mild autumn here in Tahoe ended abruptly with snow storms and freezing temperatures. The sudden change in the weather meant a hasty farewell to salads and grilled dinners outdoors in tank tops and flip-flops. And a very reluctant hello to months of slow cooked meals while wearing flannel and thick socks. I don’t even like flannel.
It brings to mind Nicolas Cage’s opening narrative (as H.I. “Hi” McDunnough) in Raising Arizona: “These were the happy days; the salad days as they say….” To say I’m bummed is a serious understatement. Buh bye, pretty flowers.
Then, just as abruptly, the snow is melting off and the temperatures are climbing back into the 60s and 70s once more. And it is supposed to be sunny every day for the next week or so. Woo-hoo! Sadly, my tomatoes will not be revived as easily as my spirits.
I hate to tempt fate and pull out the flip-flops again, but it looks like I can prolong the fair weather foods another week or so. In fact, I plan to extend my salad days as long as I am able.
Oh, how I love me some taco salad. Made with the usual cast of characters: lettuce, shredded carrot, green onion, tomato, avocado, sweet corn, beans (black or pinto), black olives, taco meat (I like the taco nut meat from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, but Yves taco meat is good in a pinch) and raw pumpkin seeds.
What’s better than a taco salad on a plate? A taco salad in a baked (not fried) tortilla shell, of course! I like to spray the tortilla shell with some coconut oil and sprinkle it with the seasoning mix from this recipe before baking the shell in the tortilla bowl maker.
But, what makes this taco salad really special is the creamy chipotle dressing. The original recipe calls for a cup of vegan mayonnaise (yikes). In my humble opinion, my version of the recipe, made with silken tofu, is better. And lower in fat, too. So you can really pile it on. 🙂
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Creamy Chipotle Dressing
Makes about 2 cups
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1-1/4 cup prepared salsa (I like Costco’s organic salsa)
1 small lime, juiced
1 12.3-ounce package lite firm silken tofu (Mori Nu)
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Blend coriander seeds in blender until coarsely ground. Add the salsa, lime juice, silken tofu, chipotle chili and black pepper. Blend until smooth.
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As for the weather outside, I’ll be sure to enjoy every second of it while it lasts. But, “…I preminisced [sic] no return of the salad days.”