Welcome to high-protein heaven! This Eat to Live Mexican Salad is full of authentic Mexican flavor without health derailers like added oil and salt!
Typically when you follow the nutritarian lifestyle you have your salad as the main course followed by your cooked food. I love that this salad is the beginning, the middle and the end. It’s a main-dish, full-meal salad that delivers on flavor, contrasting textures and freshness!
Delicious, nutritious and deeply satisfying, this hearty salad recipe is a go-to favorite at my house. Even my non-nutritarian hubby specifically requests this salad after his strength-training sessions.
You Can Make this Mexican Salad With Store Bought or Homemade Components
When I first uploaded this recipe in 2014, I made it using premade items from Trader Joe’s. And guess what? Five years later I’ve learned to make all of the components for this Eat to Live Mexican Salad recipe from scratch.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to!
When you’re first transitioning into a whole food plant based, nutritarian lifestyle, it can feel overwhelming to go from hardly ever cooking to preparing all the things. You can absolutely ease yourself into your kitchen time by subbing out the following ingredients:
- premade pico de gallo (aim to find a brand with 80 mg or less of added sodium per serving) instead of the homemade No-Added-Salt Pico de Gallo recipe
- premade fat-free refried beans (try to get as low sodium as you can find) instead of the homemade Oil-Free Refried Beans recipe
- 2 tsp. taco seasoning mixed with 1/4 cup tomato paste instead of the homemade Nutrtiarian Hot Sauce recipe
If you’re trying to be as clean as possible or you’re dedicated to following the Aggressive Weight Loss Nutritarian Guidelines, I advise taking the extra time to go homemade!
Perfect to Prep Ahead!
As you may already know, I’m the self-proclaimed queen of nutritarian weekly meal prepping (I think I deserve the title after developing my 6-week premium prep program)!
So, there’s nothing more important to me than providing you with tasty, easy-to-prep-ahead nutritarian meals ideas!
For this particular meal I recommend making the cooked components and storing them separately from the fresh components.
Also, if you’re going to be making these for the whole week be mindful of the avocado. You’ll want to add the avocado to each portion the same day you’re eating them or at most the night before. Drizzling some fresh lime juice over the avocado will help with oxidation overnight.
If you’ve been around Hello Nutritarian for a while, you might have noticed I have a “thing” for the white stuff.
Tofu that is.
And I get it, tofu has become a very controversial topic within the plant based community.
If you’re worried about eating tofu, or soy in general, I encourage you to read up on what Dr. Fuhrman has to say on the topic in his article, Don’t Fall for the Myths About Soy.
I completely understand if you’d rather forgo the ‘fu. In that case I’d recommend adding another 1/4 cup of the Oil-Free Refried Beans and a sprinkle of raw pepita seeds to your salad instead!
Oil-Free is the Way to Be!
If you’re already on board or you’re embarking on becoming nutritarian you’ll soon realize that you just don’t need to cook food in oil for it to taste good! Even a “stir fry” can be accomplished by using veggie broth or water instead of oil. And you’ll be so surprised at how you don’t really miss it–I certainly was!
Don’t worry, you’re getting a dose of healthy fat from the avocado (that has the added benefit of having lots of intact fiber) instead of the nutrient-and-fiber-vacant oil.
The Secret is Always in the Sauce
You can’t have super-amazing Mexican salad without a super-amazing taco sauce. I’m SO excited to have this homemade Nutritarian Hot Sauce recipe spicing things up!
Eat to Live Mexican Salad
You're going to love this easy-to-meal-prep high-protein vegan Mexican Salad recipe! This traditional favorite gets a healthy oil-free and low-sodium makeover!
- 1 14 to 18 oz. package firm tofu
- 1/4 cup, divided Nutritarian Hot Sauce (recipe link and substitutions below)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium veggie broth
- 1 head iceburg lettuce
- 1 cup Oil-Free Refried Beans (recipe link or sub store bought)
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (fresh)
- 1/2 cup diced Hass avocado (about 1/2 avocado)
- 1 cup No-Added-Salt Pico de Gallo (recipe link or sub store bought)
Press the Tofu:
Press tofu for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the lettuce. You can use a tofu press or layer napkins on the top and bottom of the drained tofu block and use a cutting board topped with books as a weight.
Prepare Fresh Veggies:
Wash and dry the head of iceberg lettuce. Allow to fully fry before cutting into bite-sized pieces.
Dice the bell pepper and avocado, and set aside. If you're making the homemade No-Added-Salt Pico de Gallo you can make that recipe now.
Cook the Tofu:
Cut the pressed tofu block into bite-sized squares.
In a large pan or dutch oven add veggie broth over medium-high heat. Place the tofu cubes into the pan and allow them to cook for at least 10 minutes without mixing on the first side.
Then flip the cubes to the next side. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes and then flip to the next side. Once your veggie broth is fully absorbed reduce the temperature to tow heat.
Add 1/8 cup of the homemade Nutritarian Hot Sauce recipe or you can substitute 1/4 tsp. taco seasoning mixed with 1/4 cup tomato paste. Combine well and remove from heat.
Assemble the Salad:
Divide the head of iceberg lettuce between two large plates. Add 1/2 cup heated Oil-Free Refried Beans (or sub with fat-free store bought brand)to each salad.
Divide the tofu "taco" meat in half and layer on top of the refried beans on each salad.
Garnish each salad with 1/2 cup pico de gallo, 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper and 1/4 cup diced avocado.
Makes 2 servings.
NOTES FOR PREPPING AHEAD: Make sure to separate the hot components (tofu, beans and hot sauce) from the cold components in different glass containers. Don't prep ahead the avocado more than 1 day--use lime juice to reduce oxidation.
The tofu "taco" meat will last up to 9 days in the fridge in a glass storage container.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this Eat to Live Mexican Salad recipe! Please leave a rating and comment below!
Your meals and salads that contain soy/tofu, what substitutes do you recommend. I cannot have soy based products due to the estrogen receptors for breast cancer.
You could always substitute with more beans–for this taco salad you could use lentil beans and it would work wonderfully!
I also found this article that may be helpful: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?catId=2&pageId=4865
Kristen, do you press your tofu before sautéing in the broth?
No, for this recipe I’d don’t press the tofu, I drain it well. Since I’m sauteing it in liquid, any extra liquid doesn’t really matter.
That being said, if you’re particularly fond of those neat little cubes then it may be wise to press the tofu. Lately I’ve been just chopping the tofu up so it looks more like a crumble.
I made this! Wow the cumin and cayenne were strong, was not expecting that. Happy to be mixing things up in my “mostly nutritarian” diet of the last few weeks with this recipe. Thank you!
I just updated the recipe to exclude the cumin and cayenne! You can use this hot sauce/taco sauce recipe or a taco seasoning blend of your choice!
My husband and I started Dr. Furman’s 6 week challenge from his Ear To Live book 3 days ago. We’ve been feeling discouraged because we’re struggling finding salad dressing and other recipes that we like. This, though……. We have how that we can actually last the 6 weeks!! Delicious….Thanks!!
Huge congratulations to you and your hubby for starting your nutritarian journey! Yay! I’m so glad you found this recipe helpful!
Wishing you the best and please check in during your 6 weeks to let us know how you’re doing!
Oh, I’m SO happy to hear that this Mexican Salad recipe has helped you find your footing on your nutrtiarian journey!
Great recipe! Does this work for during the 6-week plan? Mainly I ask bc of the salt in the TJ’s salsa and beans.
I would make sure to get low-sodium salsa like pico de gallo and (if you can find them) low-sodium refried beans! Otherwise it will work!