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Vegan Mexican Spinach Salad

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Erica Julson


  • 3 cups sliced carrot (from about 4 to 6 large carrots), sliced on the bias, 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, divided
  • ~1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz firm sprouted tofu, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices, then cut into 1/2 inch matchsticks
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 red jalapeño, deseeded and thinly sliced cross wise
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 large leaves of fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons shelled hemp hearts
  • 2 avocados
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the sliced carrots out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the melted coconut oil, and sprinkle with the paprika, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Toss with your hands to coat evenly, then re-spread the carrots out evenly on the baking sheet. Pop in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until tender and slightly browned.
  • Put the rinsed black beans in a bowl. Toss with the garlic powder, red wine vinegar, zest of 1 lime, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside for now.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet. Warm over medium-high heat, add the tofu, and cook for a few minutes per side until golden and crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate & season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cilantro, 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, mint, juice of 1 lime, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, and 1/2 avocado in a mini food processor. Pulse until well blended and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the spinach into 4 serving bowls. Top with roasted carrots, black beans, crispy tofu, avocado slices, sliced olives, a sprinkle of jalapeño, and a liberal drizzle of dressing. Sprinkle with extra hemp hearts, if desired. Enjoy!