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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Meatless Fridays #7 Vegetarian Taco Salad

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     Welcome Back to Meatless Fridays. The more I do these posts the more challenging it becomes. For today’s effort I had a taste for something South of the Border. I have always loved a Taco Salad but wondered if I could get all the depth of flavor without the meat. I believe I came up with a very satisfying answer.

     I began by making the shell. I heated a pan of vegetable oil to 350 degrees and dropped a flour tortilla in. I then used a big ladle and pushed it down. The tortilla curled around the ladle to make my bowl. When it had crisped I carefully turned it over with a pair tongs to complete the crisping process. I then drained my shell on a paper towel and let it cool.

VEGEATRIAN TACO SALAD       I though about the flavors I wanted in my Taco Salad. Beans,Tomato, Avocado and Corn all came to mind. Rather than just toss the ingredients together I decided to deconstruct the Taco Salad. I took a ring mold and began layering. First Beans,than Corn,more beans,Avocado and finally  Tomato and Cilantro salad.

     I must confess I was very pleases with the results. As with all great dished every element on the plate comes together and just pops in your mouth.

Vegetarian Taco Salad (for 1)


  • One large onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 can Cooked Black Turtle beans (drained and rinsed)
  • Cumin to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Can whole kernel corn
  • 1  ripe Avocado
  • 1 Ripe tomato
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Flour Tortilla
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Sauté 1/2 the onion with the garlic until translucent. Add the Black beans and cumin to suit your taste and toss until the beans are warm.  Season with Kosher salt. Remove and mash slightly.

Drain the corn and toss in a pan with the chili powder. Season with salt to taste.

Dice the Avocado and toss with the remaining onion and 1/2 the lemon juice. Add some Olive oil to carry the flavor.

Make a quick tomato salad using diced tomato, chopped Cilantro, Olive oil and the remaining Lemon Juice.

Fry the flour tortilla in vegetable oil using a ladle ( or other implement) to hold the center of the tortilla in the oil creating a bowl. When it begins to crisp gently turn it over to complete the frying process.

     While I took the time to make a tower this really isn’t necessary. Put a scoop of your Black beans in the bowl and top with the corn, Guacamole and Tomato and enjoy.

Hasta Luego!!


Meatless Fridays #4 – Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

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Rice noodle salad1

     With the weather getting warmer my creative juices have started flowing. One of my passions is Asian cuisine. In the past I’ve worked my way through Japanese,Chinese,Korean and Thai cuisine and most recently my culinary adventures have taken me to southeast Asia and in particular Vietnam.

    Vietnamese cuisine, in general, is characterized by the use of fresh meats and vegetables flavored with fish sauce (nuoc mam), along with a variety of fresh herbs. Each dish strives to achieve a balance between five elements. They are spicy,sour,bitter,sweet and salt.

     For my fourth “Meatless Friday” I decided to prepare a Vietnamese Rice Noodle salad. While a lot of Vietnamese dishes are very spicy I decided to leave out the peppers. What I didn’t leave out is flavor. The balance between sweet, salt and sour along with fresh cilantro creates a salad that is remarkably refreshing. For protein I have added some cooked shrimp and crushed peanuts.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad


1/4 # (dry) rice noodles ( 1/4 of a package)
2 carrots (julienne)
1/2 English cucumber ( seeded and Julienne)
1/4 package fresh bean sprouts (about 2 oz)
2 green onion sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
4 medium cooked shrimp




1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1 teaspoon Fish sauce ( or soy sauce)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Place to rice noodles in a pan and cover with boiling water. When softened  drain and set aside.

Combine all dressing ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Toss the noodles, vegetables,peanuts and shrimp with the dressing and serve with a wedge of lime on the side.


  •      This should make 2 entree size salads or 4 appetizer size.
  •       If you like you spice add a teaspoon or so of sambal or a diced jalapeno.
  •       To make this Vegetarian/Vegan just leave out the shrimp.
  •      I didn’t have any fish sauce so I used soy. The change ( and the omission of the shrimp) also makes this a Vegan dish.

Khi an trai nho ke trong cay”

“When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree”

Written by Ed Schenk

March 21, 2010 at 12:24 am