By Michael Alexander
If you like tacos, you’ll love this recipe from Vegan Man, my alter-ego certified raw chef who loves making – and eating — spicy, satisfying, vegan comfort food. Although we love to eat these healthy raw tacos during our quarterly 30 day raw detox, it’s such a hit with Bianca (and friends) that we end up eating it year round! Especially on Tuesdays.
Why, you ask? Let me count the ways. The crunch of freshly picked red cabbage leaves, spicy scallions and arugula over perfectly blended ingredients; the tangy vegan sour cream and spicy jalapeño cheeze sauce; most of all, the savory taco meat reminds me of the ground beef tacos I used to make by mixing the "taco flavor" packet with ground beef for dinner as a kid.
This recipes makes approximately 6-8 tacos. There’s lots to love here, so let’s get “cooking!”
6-8 red cabbage leaves (= the taco shells)
1 ripe avocado, sliced or chopped
½ lime to squeeze on the top of each taco
1 medium tomato sliced or 10 cherry tomatoes quartered
¼ bunch of arugula
2-4 sliced scallions
If you like it hot: jalapeño slices (or Sriracha—not raw)
Jalapeño Cheddar Cheeze Sauce:
1.5 cup cashews (soaked for a couple hours—walnuts also work well here, giving it a slightly more cheddary flavor)
1.5 red/orange bell pepper, deseeded
Juice of one lemon (3 tablespoons)
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 jalapeño, de-seeded (for more spice, add an additional jalapeño, or prepare without it of you don’t like spicy. Note: without the seeds, the jalapeño is surprisingly mild)
1.5 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Jalapeño Cheddar Cheeze Sauce Directions:
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and let it do its thing for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. You can store this sauce in the fridge about 5 days, and it’s also freezable.
1 cup raw walnuts (in a pinch, you can also use sunflower seeds or ½ walnuts, ½ sunflower seeds)
1 cup mushrooms
1.5 teaspoon cumin
1.5 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons nama shoyu (or tamari if gluten free, but not raw)
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how spicy you want it!)
Taco Meat Directions:
Add the nuts to your food processor and pulse into small pieces. Add the remainder of ingredients and process until smooth but still some small pieces of nuts. Take the mixture and place 6-8 handfuls on dehydrator paraflexx sheets. Each handful should look like the middle 1/3 of a burger with the height of a macaroon or a haystack cookie (1” or so). Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 2-4 hours. You can also go without the dehydrator and place directly into your tacos, but we like the “ground beef” texture and warmth that dehydrating provides. Stores 1-2 weeks, also freezable.
Raw Vegan Sour Cream:
1 cup cashews (soaked 2-4 hours)
½ teaspoon probiotics (or 2 caplets taken out of their capsule)
1 teaspoon unpasteurized light miso paste (you can also use ½-¾ teaspoon nama shoyu (or tamari – not raw – in a pinch)
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
¾-1 cup of water
Raw Vegan Sour Cream Directions:
Place all ingredients and ½ of the water in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add additional water as needed (less water = thicker consistency). Place in a covered container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Vegan sour cream will thicken as it chills. Keeps 3-4 days in the fridge, also freezable.
PREPARE TO SERVE:
Place cabbage shells on a large plate. Crumble 1 portion (or spread if you haven’t dehydrated) of taco meat in the shell. Add a handful of arugula, then several generous slices of avocado and tomato. Spoon on a generous helping of the cheeze. Drizzle the vegan sour cream, then the chopped scallions and jalapeños (optional), and add a squeeze of the lime to top. Make it look pretty.
Enjoy, and don’t be surprised if your loved one's scream out with delight:
“Dios Mio! This is good!”