Friday, October 26, 2012

Raw Tacos

You're probably thinking.. enough with the raw food already. 

Where are all of the recipes featuring brussels sprouts and acorn squash and cranberries.  Where are the warming comfort foods?

Patience, little grasshoppers.  We've got five good, solid months of cold weather ahead of us, so I'm in no rush to be eating squash (and blogging about it) every other day of the week.  Check back in a month or so when I'll be bitching about the cold and living off of hot toddy's.

There are some recipes featured on my blog that in no way resemble the "real thing".  I'm not trying to fool anyone by convincing you that this here raw taco will taste just like something that you would pick up at your nearest Mexican restaurant.  There is no fried corn tortilla, no ground beef and no sour cream.  The only thing that you might find in both of these versions is some fresh salsa and guacamole.

But, then again.. why should we have to compare something that is delicious and thoughtfully prepared to something else when we can just enjoy it for what it's worth.  Just like my raw carrot and parsnip fettucine or these raw brownies.  I'm not trying to pass them off for pasta made with wheat or brownies made with eggs, butter, sugar and flour, but they are still tasty nonetheless, and much healthier too!

Cabbage leaves are a great vehicle for anything that you would normally put into a taco shell or corn tortilla except they contain no fat or wheat but still give you some crunch.  Ground walnuts with some traditional taco meat spices (chipotle, cumin, chili powder and garlic) mimic the flavor and substance that you would get with ground beef.  Soaked raw cashews blended with a little lemon and salt makes a creamy alternative to sour cream and is great for those that have an intolerance to dairy.  Adding a dollop of guacamole and a little fresh salsa made with cherry tomatoes and bell peppers is a given because they are delicious and belong in a taco.

The ingredient list or instructions may seem a bit daunting, but everything comes together very quickly. If you're pressed for time you can always throw in a couple slices of avocado instead of making a batch of guacamole.  Just remember to soak your cashews ahead of time for the sour cream!

Raw Tacos
From My New Roots

Walnut Taco Filling:
1 c. raw walnuts
1 T. nama shoyu (raw, unpasteurized soy sauce) or tamari
1/8 t. ground chipotle
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. extra virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix

Cashew Sour Cream:
½ c. raw cashews
1 ½ T. lemon juice
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1/8 t. salt
Water, as needed for blending

Soak cashews in enough water to cover by 3 inches for at least 6 hours, or overnight.  Drain cashews, then place in a blender with the remaining ingredients.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and blend, scraping down the sides as needed.  Add water in 1 tablespoon increments until desired consistency is reached. For a thinner sauce, use more water, for a thicker sauce, use less.

Raw Salsa:
1 c. chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
½ red bell pepper, chopped
½ orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
½ red onion, minced
¼ c. chopped cilantro
½ clove garlic, minced
Juice of ½ lime
1 t. raw honey
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt

Whisk the garlic, lime juice, honey, olive oil, and sea salt in the bottom of a bowl and set aside. 
Cut up the vegetables into small pieces, chop the cilantro and add everything to the dressing bowl. Fold to combine and let sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Cabbage (red or green)

To assemble your tacos, gently peel off the outer leaves of cabbage, then carefully remove several inner leaves.
Place a small amount of tacos nut meat in the bottom of your cabbage leaf.  Top with a generous amount of salsa, a spoonful of guacamole and a dollop of sour cream.  Fold up like a taco and eat!  Don't forget the napkins, even raw tacos are a messy affair!

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