If you follow Adeline on Instagram, you know that her brilliantly colored, veggie-packed recipes are an instant dose of happy… so flipping through her beautiful cookbook is like pure sunshine.
I can’t wait to try so many of the recipes from the book, from Sticky Sumac Salmon with Pomegranate Chimichurri to No-Bake Lemon Honey Blondies. Everything is nutrient-packed and anti-inflammatory, with Adeline’s notes on keeping it simple and making it beautiful. The first one I’m going to tackle is this Chipotle Lentil Taco Salad, because — who doesn’t love a taco salad? And since I’m eating plant-based most of the time at home lately (although all bets are off when I’m out with friends), I love that I can satisfy my taco cravings with all vegan ingredients. I’m planning to double the amounts for the lentils, pico, and dressing, so I can do enjoy this salad for lunch leftovers the rest of the week.
Scroll on for the recipe, and Adeline’s inspiration behind this feast-for-the-eyes salad…
Is there anything the almighty lentil can’t do? This is a question I ask myself often.
Lentils are my favorite because they are insanely easy to make and have a shocking amount of protein (18 grams per cup!)
They also have such a hearty and grounding quality, making them the perfect plant-based protein alternative to many meals that typically use meat. You can use lentils to make pasta, burgers, meatballs—you name it! And, in this recipe, we’re using them in place of taco meat. You’ll be getting all the taco flavor, but with way more gut healthy fiber—win win!
Reprinted with permission from Vibrant & Pure by Adeline Waugh, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Adeline Waugh. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
for the lentils:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup black lentils, cooked and drained
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
for the pico de gallo:
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ white onion, diced
- ½ jalapeno, diced
- Juice of ½ a lime (1 tablespoon lime juice)
for the salad:
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 2 heads of romaine, shredded
- ½ cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Spicy Lime Chipotle Dressing (recipe follows)
- Make the lentils. In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the red onion, bell pepper, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onions and peppers have softened. Add in the cooked lentils, cumin, and another pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low, stir to combine, and cook 5 minutes more, or until the flavors meld together.
- Meanwhile, make the pico de gallo. In a small bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, white onion, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt, and toss to coat.
- Make the salad. In a large bowl, combine the avocado, romaine, and corn and toss. Drizzle with the Spicy Lime Chipotle Dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad between two bowls and top each with a big spoonful of the lentil mixture and the pico de gallo. Serve immediately
Spicy Lime Chipotle Dressing
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Juice of ½ lime (1 tablespoon lime juice)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons veganaise or mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ? teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- ½ teaspoon honey
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, cumin, avocado oil, veganaise, crushed red pepper flakes, chipotle pepper, and honey and whisk until fully combined. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
makes 1/4 cup