Friday, October 12, 2012

{VeganMoFo} Raw Taco Salad

This raw taco salad is something of a revelation.

In it, crisp lettuce marries with seasoned taco meat and tangy cashew cheese to form the main components of the most coveted raw recipe in my arsenal.  The trick is to throw in just a few of the usual taco suspects:  tomatoes, scallions, olives, and cilantro, and to top the whole thing off with nothing more than a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice, which allows every flavor to shine through brilliantly.

Yes, there's a little advanced prep work here.  Yes, it's totally worth it.

This is pretty much heaven in a bowl.

Recipe: Raw Vegan Taco Salad 
(advanced prep required)
As with any salad, the end result is best when one's personal tastes are used as a guide.  Thus, measurements are only listed for the walnut meat and cashew cheese.  Add the remaining ingredients to your heart's content! 

Walnut Meat:
1/2 c. raw walnuts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. salt

Cashew Cheese:
1 c. raw cashews, soaked in filtered water for 2 hrs; then drained & rinsed
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. nutritional yeast*
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. water (+ more as needed, to thin the cheese)

Salad Base:
romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
green olives, sliced
scallions (white & green parts), thinly sliced
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
freshly squeezed lime juice (optional: slices for garnish)

1) To prepare walnut meat:  In a small food processor, pulse walnut nut ingredients until walnuts are chopped, but not completely ground.  Taste, add additional salt/spices if desired, & set aside.  Alternatively, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
2) To prepare cashew cheese:  In a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, add cashew cheese ingredients & blend until completely smooth.  Add additional water, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.  Set aside, or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
 3) To assemble salad: In a medium-sized bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, olives, & scallions, to taste.  Top with a few tablespoons of walnut meat & several dollops of cashew cheese.  Sprinkle with cilantro & dress with a few squeezes of lime juice.  Serve at once.

*Nutritional yeast is not technically raw, so feel free to omit it if you're on a 100% raw diet.  However, please note that the flavor of the cheese will vary greatly.

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  1. raw taco bowls are one of my favorites! thanks for this recipe, the prep ahead is totally manageable.


    1. I agree, a bit of advanced prep is NOT wasted when it comes to raw taco bowls. Mmmm...

  2. Beautiful pictures and delicious salad. Perfect for a lunch at work! Love the finger nail polish as well.

    1. Perfect lunch for work? Are you hinting here? If so, I'm on it... but we both know what happens when I make you lunch. Somebody doesn't go in to work. Haha!

  3. this salad looks great! we often make raw tacos and this sounds good

    1. Thanks so much - I definitely need to start making raw tacos more often. They're fantastic!

  4. so yummy! Love raw taco bowls. Feel sad for my friends who are allergic to nuts. :(

    1. I have no idea what I'd do if I were allergic to nuts - talk about unfair!

  5. raw tacos and raw taco salads are the best raw meals

    1. Absolutely! Raw food in general is so fantastic - make it "Mexican" & I love it even more! :)


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