The Veggie Dog

Barefoot. In the kitchen. Dancing and singing at the top of my lungs to Ed Sheeran’s album is how I spent my late afternoon. Meredith spent the weekend at home with her parents so only Murdoch had to put up with my off key voice. He ate carrots and did not seem to mind.

See! I have a veggie dog. Terrible joke.

Today was my only day off in a twelve day stretch at work so I spent the day doing absolutely nothing. It was glorious. A run, laundry, and a pedicure is how I spent my day. For dinner I was craving something spicy but with minimal effort and relatively healthy. So I decided on a taco-ish style salad. Minus the meat, the tortilla, cheese and sour cream. I topped the salad with “taco meat” made from quinoa. The thing trying to stay a vegetarian with Celiac disease is that all the faux-meats have gluten in them so I couldn’t even top the salad with veggie ground round. The base of the salad was purple kale with corn, black beans, cucumber, tomatoes, with a creamy chipotle dressing and topped with raw pepitas.

The Un-Taco Taco Salad

serves 4


For the quinoa “taco meat”

1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 large onion chopped

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp coriander seed

For the salad

4 cups purple kale, washed and chopped in to bite sized pieces

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup corn

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cucumber, chopped

For the dressing

1/2 avocado

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

2 tablespoons cilantro

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of water

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp lime juice


sour cream

greek yogurt




  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions
  2. Over medium heat in a large pan heat olive oil, add onion and cook until the onion is translucent- about eight minutes
  3. Add the garlic powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, coriander, stir and let cook for one minute. Add the quinoa and stir until combine. Remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender mix the avocado, chipotle pepper and sauce, cilantro, lime juice, cider vinegar, water, and salt to make the dressing
  5. In a large bowl mix the kale, cucumber, corn and black beans
  6. Put the kale mixture in to four bowls, top each with quinoa “taco meat”, and drizzle the dressing on top
  7. Garnish with greek yogurt or sour cream, salsa, pepitas and a lime wedge
  8. Eat, enjoy, crave more!

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