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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Layered Raw Taco Salad (for two!)

Growing up in Southern California, I've cultivated quite a taste for any and all Mexican food. So, naturally, I'm always looking for ways to spruce up traditional recipes like enchiladas or tacos. When I found this recipe for a raw taco salad on Oh She Glows, I was really excited to try it!
I really enjoyed how the traditional elements of a taco salad were made non-traditionally in order to incorporate vegan, raw versions of them. This taco salad was flavorful, fresh and cooling on a warm night and packed full of powerful raw veggie and protein sources. Satisfying and delicious.
My nut cream sauce came out very chunky, as you can see in the photo...I think I just overwhelmed my food processor by putting too many nuts in at once (it is quite small), and could've achieved a better consistency by processing them in batches.

Layered Raw Taco Salad
Walnut Taco Meat:
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked for 2-8 hours
1 & 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
fine grain sea salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)

Nut Cream Sauce:
1 cup macadamia (or cashew) nuts, soaked in water for 2-8 hours
11-12 tablespoons water (use as needed to achieve desired consistency)
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
fine grain sea salt, to taste

3-Minute Guacamole:
1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 small tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Other Salad Ingredients:
greens of choice
salsa of choice
green onion
crackers or chips 

Taco meat: In a food processor (or by hand), pulse (or chop) the ingredients until combined. Make sure to leave the walnuts chunky. Remove and set aside.
Cream sauce: Drain and rinse the soaked nuts. Add them into a processor and process. Stream in about 1/2 cup water and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Add more water as needed to achieve your desired consistency. The nut sauce should be super smooth and not grainy. Add salt to taste.
Guacamole: In a medium-sized bowl, mash the avocado flesh with a fork, leaving some chunks. Stir in the chopped tomato, red onion, lime juice, and seasonings to taste.
To assemble: (per bowl) Add a hefty base of greens in a large bowl followed by a heaping 1/4 cup scoop of guacamole in the middle. Spoon on 2 tablespoons of salsa over the greens followed by half of the taco meat. Add a couple tablespoons of cream into a plastic baggie, snip off end, and pipe over top the taco meat. Garnish with a chopped green onion and leftover chopped tomato and red onion. Place a few crackers/chips into the salad before serving.

Observe awkwardly chunky nut cream sauce...not so pretty but still tasty! Practice makes perfect =)

Bottom line: A healthy and tasty twist on a basic Mexican recipe, I would highly recommend this to any raw vegan foodies out there...and to those of you that aren't, just for the experience! Fun, unusual, and impressive to family and friends!

Recipe found here on Oh She Glows.

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