Healthy Taco Salad Recipe, Perfect for a Summer Picnic!

This recipe came together in about half an hour, after my boyfriend and I made a spur of the moment decision to head over to Central Park for a free concert and bring a picnic dinner with us. This meal is so delicious, easy, and healthy! It is naturally gluten free, and can be made vegan with substitutes for the ground beef and Greek yogurt I used as sour cream. I’ll put a note in with my recipe for a vegan cashew sour cream that is super yummy!


Ingredients:

1/2 cup basmati rice

Olive Oil

Garlic

*1 package organic ground beef

Cayenne pepper

Salt

Black pepper

Cumin

1/2 head of organic romaine hearts

Salsa

1/2 can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained

Avocado

**Grass-fed whole milk greek yogurt as sour cream (I like the brand Stonyfield)

Nutritional Yeast

Cilantro

(feeds two)


1. Cook 1 cup of rice according to package instructions and set aside to cool.


2. In a large pan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Once garlic begins to brown, empty ground beef into pan and use spatula to break into smaller pieces. Sprinkle salt, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper to taste. Sauté this occasionally until it is cooked all the way through.


3. While your meat cooks, tear, rinse, and spin 1/2 head of romaine hearts.


4. Place your desired amount of rice at the bottom of a big bowl or container if you are taking it to go. My boyfriend and I used about 2/3 of the rice that we cooked.


5. The lettuce goes on top of the rice, which is then followed by your meat (or substitute) and black beans. Now for the good stuff. I layered chunks of avocado and dollops of salsa and the Greek yogurt (as sour cream) all over the top of the dish. Then I garnished with nutritional yeast and cilantro.


6. Enjoy! This is a great recipe for a picnic, quick and healthy lunch or dinner, or for a potluck that the whole family will love!


*For the ground beef, you can substitute ground turkey or any plant-based option that you like!

** For a vegan sour cream alternative, all you need are: 1/2 cup cashews that have been soaked for 4-6 hours or 20 minutes with boiling water poured overtop, garlic salt to taste, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, pink Himalayan salt to taste, and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Blend all of this up in a food processor or blender, and add any extra ingredients to suite your taste buds! Let it chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until cooled through. Then you’re all set to serve!


There is lots of room for foodie freedom here! Some organic shredded cheese would be delicious, and you could also switch out the rice for another grain like quinoa, or omit completely! However, the rice was one of my favorite parts of every bite because of how light and fluffy the basmati is.


HEALTHY HIGHLIGHTS

Macros:

Rice and beans provide you with unrefined sources of carbohydrates to keep you satisfied. Grass-fed ground beef and grass-fed whole milk yogurt as the sour cream load you up with protein for happy muscles and hormones. You get a nice plant-based source from the beans as well. Olive oil, avocado, and the yogurt dose you with a hit of healthy fats that your hormones and brain will love you for!

Micros: All of the color from the romaine, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro along with the cumin and cayenne, provide you with tons of essential vitamins and minerals. Garlic is also amazing to support your immune system.

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