Trendy Taco Salad

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Salad meals are not just for summer time. This protein packed taco salad is covered with a warm mixture of spicy black beans, chopped cauliflower and walnuts. Add your favorite toppings such as sliced avocados and shredded cheddar to make it your own.


  • One bunch of romaine lettuce or one head of iceberg lettuce, cut into strips or bite sized pieces

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil

  • One medium head of fresh cauliflower, finely chopped (to resemble rice kernels)

  • 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons chili power

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 2 cloves fresh minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder)

  • 1 teaspoon salt OR 1 beef bouillon cube (or vegetarian “beef” bouillon cube)

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

  • One 15 ½ ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

Topping Ideas:

  • Shredded cheddar

  • Chopped cilantro

  • Thinly sliced fresh jalapenos

  • Sliced avocados

  • Chopped or sliced onion

  • Black olives

  • Sliced grape tomatoes

  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

  • Salsa


  1. Heat oil over medium temperature in large skillet.

  2. Add chopped cauliflower and walnuts.

  3. Mix until well coated with the oil.

  4. Add spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt OR bouillon cube and paprika) and mix well.

  5. Add 1 tablespoon of water; continue to cook and stir (uncovered) for 8 to 10 minutes.

  6. Stir in black beans.

  7. Cover and cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes (stir as needed).

To Serve:

  1. Arrange chilled lettuce in plate or large bowl.

  2. Scoop the hot cauliflower, walnut and black bean mixture over the lettuce.

  3. Add desired toppings and sauces (see list above for ideas).

  4. Serve immediately with a few whole grain tortilla chips.


In a super hurry? If there is no time to prepare the spicy cauliflower, walnut black bean mixture, simply open a can of black beans and season as desired. Heat the beans and serve as above.

Follow Along

Follow along with Rachel, BCF Program Coordinator, as she makes this recipe on our YouTube channel!

Written by Jenny Favret, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.

Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program

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