Yes, you can still enjoy a delicious “taco” without all the nastiness of ground meat!
The base (i.e. the taco “meat”) is simply made with walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and your favorite taco seasoning mix. I choose to make my own taco seasoning so that I can control the salt, ensure it has no sugar, and uses organic spices. I’ll share my special taco recipe here, but feel free to tweak or use your favorite!
What’s a taco without all of the fixins’? Well, it is not a taco! I’ll share my recipes for vegan/GF/sugar-free condiments including: Guacamole, Salsa & Sour Cream. No, I can’t share my Notcho Nocheez recipe with you…but you can purchase that through our website. But any cheese-alternative recipe can suffice for the cheese. I’m not a fan of the processed bagged-cheese so if you can’t get your hands on a jar of Notcho Nocheez, make your own. I’ll share one that is quite tasty on the tacos although a lot different than Notcho Nocheez.
The great thing about this recipe (aside from it being amazingly delicious!) is that the condiments can be used for other snacks. I love to make taco-salads out of the leftovers. But you can also put some organic chips on a plate and top with your favorite condiments. Viola! A delicious nacho snack!
I try to use all organic ingredients when possible but if they aren’t available or affordable, just do your best! Be sure to check out the list of produce that uses the most pesticides (i.e. the “Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen”) on www.ewg.org to help to understand which veggies/fruits are the most contaminated.
Let’s get started. Here is a summary of the directions:
- Clean and dry leaves from Bibb lettuce or Romaine lettuce (and cut into smaller pieces if serving as “appetizer/finger-food”)
- Spread a thin layer of your desired flavor of Notcho Nocheez on the lettuce (or a cheesy-like sauce that I’ll show at the end; recipe #5)
- Spread a thin layer of “Meat” (see recipe #1 below)
- Spread a thin layer of Guacamole (see recipe #2 below)
- Add a small amount of Salsa (see recipe #3 below)
- Add a small dollop of “Sour Cream” (see recipe #4 below)
- Wrap/fold up the lettuce and ENJOY! They are a little messy, but worth it!
- Recipe to make the “Meat”:
- 1lb Walnuts or Pecans (I like the walnuts better because they have less flavor on their own and tend to absorb the flavors of the seasonings)
- 1 oz. (about 3 heaping TBSP) Sharon’s Special Seasoning mix (see below) or your favorite taco-seasoning mix!
- 1 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (soaked in water to reconstitute for a couple of hours)
Drain soaking water from tomatoes and place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly, about 30 – 60 seconds.
Sharon’s Special Seasoning Mix (this will make more than you need for this recipe but is a great flavor to use on other dishes that need some extra seasoning!):
- 4 TBSP chili powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 6 tsp. ground cumin
- 4 tsp. sea salt
- 4 tsp. black pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar. Measure 1 oz. (about 3 TBSP) for the “taco meat” recipe.
- Recipe to make Guacamole:
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, halved
- 1 Roma tomato, quartered
- ½ cup (10g) fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup (40 g) chopped red onion
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed and secure the lid. (You can also use a food processor)
- Select a medium speed (if your blender has this option)
- Pulse 5 – 6 times or until ingredients are mixed; If you have a Vitamix, you can use the tamper tool to push the ingredients into the blades while processing.
- Do not over blend. Leave chunky!
- Recipe to make Salsa:
- 6 tomatoes (seeded & chopped, about 3 cups)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste (optional, this will make it a little thicker)
- ½ cup red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/3 – ½ cup onions (can also add a tablespoon or two of chopped red onion)
- ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers (according to taste); for a milder flavor, be sure to take out the seeds and membrane (Be sure to use gloves when handling the jalapeno peppers!)
- ½ tsp salt
Mix everything in the blender or food processor using the pulse function. Blend or process to your desired consistency.
- Recipe to make “Sour Cream”:
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 or more hours to soften
- ½ – 1 cup filtered water, to blend
- 2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 ¼ tsp. sea salt
In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Stop the blender often to stir. If you have a Vitamix, use the tamper tool to force the mixture down to the blades. Add water as needed to reach desired thick, mayo-type consistency. It should take a minute or more, depending on your blender, to get a smooth mixture.
- Recipe to make a “Cheesy Sauce”:
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for a few hours or overnight in water, to soften
- ½ cup water
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- 1 ½ TBSP finely diced chives
- ¼ cup finely minced parsley
- 1 ½ TBSP finely minced shallots or red onion
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Blend the soaked cashew with water and lemon juice in high-speed blender, until smooth. Pause often to scrape sides of blender and fold ingredients to ensure a creamy consistency. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, chives, parsley, shallots, salt, and pepper, mixing thoroughly. You can also do this in the blender, it won’t need much additional mixing.