It’s not unusual to share tacos on Tuesday, my family asks for some version of this Mexican and Tex-Mex staple nearly every day of the week! What is outside convention is today’s taco filling – it’s my take on Ceasar Salad! These Plant Power Caesar Salad Tacos are a veggie-lover’s delight as kale, avocado, chickpeas, quinoa and seeds and a robust Caesar dressing are tossed together and stuffed right in the shell.
You heard right, a cool, crisp salad in a taco shell! This 10-minute recipe has minimal cooking (just warming the shells) and offers hand-held, utensil-free convenience for backyard munchers – it’s an awesome summer dinner! Read on to get more delicious details. When I said we were having a vegetarian taco for dinner the enthusiasm from my carnivorous teenage boys was low. They were expecting tacos with the traditional seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken or carnitas. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they though even fish tacos would be better.
But, let me tell you, every taco had vanished by the end of supper . . . and I only had one. The hearty mixture of chickpeas, quinoa avocado, seeds and a little extra grated Parmesan cheese was very tasty and filling – plus the Caesar Caesar dressing from Lighthouse foods is rich, robust and so nice they named it twice. No one felt they were getting deprived with “just a salad.”
Instead of using Romaine, the classic lettuce for a Caesar salad, I chose kale – both for the added nutrients and also that it holds up so well when dressed. This dark, leafy green just doesn’t get that nasty wilt that lettuce does when it’s been sitting around too long – and you could never keep dressed Romain as leftovers – but kale you can! For maximum enjoyment, I do suggest removing the stalk that runs top to bottom on each kale leaf and then “massaging” each handful of chopped kale before adding to the bowl.
To offer enough protein to call these tacos a meal, I added chick peas, quinoa and seeds. I used roasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) but you could add hemp seeds or sunflower seeds – or even nuts! I’ve saved on time by using quinoa that I’ve meal prepped and keep in the freezer — get the quinoa meal prep instructions here.
Finally, let me talk taco shells, the varieties seem to be endless these days. I used shells that had chia seeds in them! You can also bake homemade shells by dangling tortillas off your oven rack if you are feeling crafty. Or, wrap up the filling in a tortilla, Naan bread or a gluten-free alternative. Even jicama “tortillas” would be so crisp and fresh. If you don’t have an official taco rack, keep your tacos upright and spill-free when serving with lightweight cardboard or poster board that has been accordion-folded – so frugally genius!
If you are searching for more vegetarian taco ideas, here are two more recipes in my repitorie: