Warm Vegan Chicken and Black Bean Salad over Zucchini Noodles

BM Salad (3)

The weather is finally getting milder and the huge mountains of snow are starting to melt. It’s been in the 40s the past two days but the nights are still really cold, in the 20s. I have been craving salads lately and I plan to make them for dinner but by the time I get home and am ready to cook, I’m cold and I want warm food and soup.

So last night I compromised. I made a salad but part of it was cooked and warm while other parts were raw and room temperature. I wanted to make some kind of taco salad with all my favorite Spanish flavors – cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic and chile powder.

I had a bag of Beyond Meat Beyond Chicken Strips, I had a can of black beans and I had an avocado so it was in the realm of possibility. I was about to start cooking the rice but I didn’t feel like waiting 45 minutes for it to cook (I always make brown rice). Plus, I wanted something lighter than usual and I had a few large zucchini and you know what that means – zucchini noodles!

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Since I wasn’t making rice or actual pasta, I rationalized that I could make a couple of potatoes to throw on the salad. So I cooked up 2 large red potatoes ( I might have roasted them if I weren’t trying to make a quick dinner) with my favorite spices. Then I quickly sauteed the Beyond Chicken strips that I chopped up into smaller bite-sized pieces. I put both those things aside and tried hard not to pick at them and munch them before dinner. It’s hard, I’m a picker.

Then in the same pan where all the flavors from the potatoes and Beyond Chicken were, I sauteed red onion and bell pepper with jalapenos, green olives and garlic. Next I tossed in the black beans and let them cook until they made a thick sauce to put over the noodles.

While everything was cooking, I made the noodles. I don’t have a spiralizer since I’m not into gadgets. I also feel like the gadgets make cooking take longer than it does by doing things by hand. I use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler and I get beautiful, thin veggie noodles.

orange chicken with zucchini noodles (17)

I line our plates with the zucchini noodles and topped them with the black bean sauce, potatoes and Beyond Chicken. On top of that, the raw chopped tomato and avocado with a bit of lime juice.

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We didn’t want any other toppings but you could certainly add vegan sour cream, vegan cheese or salsa if you wanted to. You could also make this with tofu, tempeh, seitan or just veggies.

This was a perfect mix of warm and cool, cooked and raw. The hot black bean sauce warmed the cold zucchini noodles and the tomato and avocado were bright, fresh touches in the otherwise, warm salad. It was delicious!

BM Salad (6)

I may never be a raw foodie but sometimes I do like to add raw components to dishes or cook some foods a little less and a little lighter. This was the perfect compromise for a night that was warmer but still cold, when I wanted a good meal but didn’t really feel like cooking a lot. I will definitely be making this again. Enjoy!

Warm Vegan Chicken and Black Bean Salad over Zucchini Noodles

BM Salad (4)

GF
Makes 2 large salads

For the spice blend:­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

3 tsp. ground cumin

3 tsp. ground coriander

3 tsp. paprika

3 tsp. red chile powder

3 tsp. garlic powder

3 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

 

For the salad­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­:

2 large red potatoes, chopped

1 package Beyond Meat Beyond Chicken Strips, lightly seasoned, chopped

3-4 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided

1 small red onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 Tbs. jalapeno peppers, minced

10 green olives, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-15 oz. can black beans, drained

2 large zucchini, julienned

1 plum tomato, diced

1 avocado, cut into small cubes

Kosher salt and black pepper

Lime Juice

Extra lime wedges

Combine all the ingredients for the spice blend in a small bowl and mix well. Boil the potatoes until just shy of fork tender or microwave them for 5 minutes. Heat 1 Tbs. vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. While they are boiling, toss the chicken strips in 2 Tbs. of the spice blend. Add the potatoes to the skillet, toss with 1 Tbs. of the spice blend and cook until browned and crisp, flipping often, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a paper towel-lined bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt.

In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil and add the chicken strips to the pan. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and saute the onion and peppers for 4 minutes, until softened. Add the jalapenos, olives and garlic and saute, tossing to coat the veggies in the aromatics. Add in the black beans and another tablespoon of the spice blend. Toss to combine and cook until most of the liquid from the beans evaporates but not all of it. You want it to be a little saucy for the noodles. If it gets too dry, add water.

While the beans are cooking, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to make thin “noodles” out of the zucchini. Dice the tomato and the avocado.

To assemble the salads, place a bed of zucchini noodles on each plate. Top with the black bean mixture, chicken strips and potatoes. Garnish with the diced tomatoes and avocados. Season with salt and pepper to taste and squeeze a bit of lime juice on the salad, if desired. Serve with extra lime wedges and any other toppings you like such as vegan sour cream, vegan cheese or salsa.

BM Salad (10)

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

 

Warm Vegan Chicken and Black Bean Salad over Zucchini Noodles
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Spanish/Mexican
 
Ingredients
  • For the spice blend
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tsp. paprika
  • 3 tsp. red chile powder
  • 3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • For the salad
  • 2 large red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 package Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips, chopped
  • 3-4 Tbs. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 Tbs. jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 10 green olives, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 2 large zucchini, julienned
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Lime Juice
  • Extra lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the spice blend in a small bowl and mix well. Boil the potatoes until just shy of fork tender or microwave them for 5 minutes. Heat 1 Tbs. vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. While they are boiling, toss the chicken strips in 2 Tbs. of the spice blend. Add the potatoes to the skillet, toss with 1 Tbs. of the spice blend and cook until browned and crisp, flipping often, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a paper towel-lined bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  2. In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil and add the chicken strips to the pan. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and saute the onion and peppers for 4 minutes, until softened. Add the jalapenos, olives and garlic and saute, tossing to coat the veggies in the aromatics. Add in the black beans and another tablespoon of the spice blend. Toss to combine and cook until most of the liquid from the beans evaporates but not all of it. You want it to be a little saucy for the noodles. If it gets too dry, add water.
  4. While the beans are cooking, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to make thin “noodles” out of the zucchini. Dice the tomato and the avocado.
  5. To assemble the salads, place a bed of zucchini noodles on each plate. Top with the black bean mixture, chicken strips and potatoes. Garnish with the diced tomatoes and avocados. Season with salt and pepper to taste and squeeze a bit of lime juice on the salad, if desired. Serve with extra lime wedges and any other toppings you like such as vegan sour cream, vegan cheese or salsa.

 

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