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Vegan Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco


Making COOL RANCH even COOLER by making it VEGAN!


Growing up, I had my fair share of Cool Ranch Doritos (washed down with Mountain Dew naturally) and I can safely say that these come pretty dang close to what I remember. Either way they are freaking delicious so it doesn't really matter!


Now, I was also a Del Taco guy, not sure why I didn't like Taco Bell, so unfortunately I never got to try these Doritos Locos Tacos before going vegan. However, this was better than anything I've gotten at Taco Bell, so I'm guessing it's just as good if not better (if you have tried both let me know!)


Besides, this is really a recipe for the Cool Ranch seasoning as you can use it in a variety of ways. Obviously we're making said Doritos Locos taco today, but you can also use this seasoning on Chips, or in a dip / sauce! In fact, the sauce on this taco is a Cool Ranch sauce I made with cashews and the seasoning!


It's super great to have on hand to add to any dish too! I have yet to try it on a burger but I'm sure it'll be amazing as well!




The seasoning is a blend of typical Ranch ingredients, onion, garlic, dill, parsley etc. But the one ingredient that I think elevates it is the Lactic Acid. This stuff is super powerful and adds a lot of cheesy zip to this seasoning. I've recently fallen in love with it and this recipe is a great example of why.


If you'd like to get some click HERE. Otherwise you can skip it, but I can't say how good or bad the seasoning will be without it! I'm sure it'll still be good, just won't be nearly as cheesy and zippy! That being said, I would start off with only 1/2 Tbsp of the lactic acid and add more to taste if desired. It's powerful stuff and you don't want it to totally overwhelm all the other flavors.


Once you have the seasoning made, all you need to do to make the chips is cut up and fry some tortillas and then dust them with the seasoning. Likewise for the Doritos Locos taco shell, you just need to spray it with some cooking spray and then dust it to your heart's content (be careful though, I found out the hard way that you can definitely OVER season the taco shells too.)


Here's a video that goes into more detail, and a recipe below naturally!



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RECIPE

Cool Ranch Seasoning

  • 1/2 - 1 Tbsp Lactic Acid (or to taste)

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp MSG (or use mushroom umami seasoning)

  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • 1 tsp dried chives (minced)

  • 1 tsp dried parsley

  • 1 tsp dried dill

  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

  • Black pepper to taste


INSTRUCTIONS


Simply mix everything in a bowl and keep it in a seasoning shaker if possible. The lactic acid can be quite sour, so start off with 1/2 Tbsp and add more as you see fit. Same with the salt. It's always easier to add it, but you can't really take it out. You can also add this all to a blender if you want to grind it up finer.


RECIPE

Cool Ranch Chips

  • Yellow Corn Tortillas

  • Cool Ranch Seasoning

  • Oil for frying


INSTRUCTIONS


  1. All you need to do is cut your corn tortillas into chips, I usually just quarter the tortillas then quarter again, so 8 chips per tortilla.

  2. Then fill a wide skillet with about an inch of oil, ideally peanut, but vegetable or canola is fine too. Bring the oil to 325 - 350 F, then fry the chips until crispy. Shouldn't take long, a couple minutes or so at most. Make sure you flip them and keep them from sticking to each other. Don't crowd the pan!

  3. Once fried, add the chips to a wire rack, they should still have a little residual oil. Dust them with as much of the Cool Ranch seasoning as you'd like. Flip them over and dust them again. Bam, Cool Ranch Chips but VEGAN!


RECIPE

Doritos Locos Taco

  • 4 - 6 Hard Taco Shells

  • Cool Ranch Seasoning (for the shells)

  • 4 oz. vegan cheese (grated)

  • 12 oz. vegan ground beef

  • 3/4 packet of Taco Bell Seasoning or make your own with recipe below

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water

  • Chopped iceberg lettuce

Taco Seasoning

  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp MSG

  • 1 Tbsp masa harina

  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Cool Ranch Sauce*

  • 1 cup cashews

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp lactic acid (or to taste)

  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

  • 1/2 tsp Cool Ranch Seasoning (or to taste)

  • 2 Tbsp plant milk

  • Juice of half a lime (more to taste)

*or use store-bought Vegan Sour Cream if you want!


INSTRUCTIONS


  1. To make the Cool Ranch Sauce, cover the Cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then add them and the rest of the ingredients to a high speed blender and mix until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning, then set aside in fridge.

  2. Lightly spray your taco shells with cooking spray, then dust them with the Cool Ranch seasoning. That stuff can be strong so go easy on the seasoning, a light coating should be good! Set aside.

  3. In a skillet over medium heat, crumble and brown your plant based meat.

  4. Add in your taco seasoning, and then add in 1/4 cup water and stir to combine. Add more water if necessary. Once it's at your desired consistency, remove from heat.

  5. Pile up some plant based meat in your Dorito taco shell, then some of the Cool Ranch Sauce, followed by some lettuce and the shredded vegan cheese.

  6. ENJOY!

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