janet @ the taste space

Raw Tacos with Walnut Taco Meat, Cashew Sour Cream and a Cherry Tomato Salsa

In Mains (Vegetarian) on August 3, 2011 at 6:19 AM

My brother and sister-in-law recently moved into their new condo. The best part, though, is that they live closer to me. I think we’ve been able to see each other more often this past month than I have during the past year.

As I said, I invited them over for dinner and giggled as I planned my menu. I nonchalantly pointed out that I didn’t want to cook in this atrocious heat so I would make tacos. I told them to come with an open mind and a hungry belly!  You see, I wanted to make raw tacos.

A few weeks ago, Rob and I had a celebratory dinner at Raw Aura, where we were blown away by the food. In particular, we devoured the raw nachos which included corn chips with guacamole, cashew sour cream, fresh tomato salsa and walnut taco meat. It doesn’t sound that exciting, but it was delicious. The corn chips had so many levels of flavour, the cherry tomatoes were so fresh, the sour cream so creamy, and the walnut meat.. let’s just say I was blown away that it was made from walnuts, which I don’t typically like. The flavours were impeccable. I wanted to try to make it myself. I remembered seeing Sarah’s post for post for raw tacos, so I was eager to try my hand at something new.

So what exactly are raw tacos?  The main component is the “meat” which is simply coarsely chopped walnuts with cumin, chili flakes, tamari and a bit of oil. Super simple to whip together in a food processor. My brother snuck some before it was served and exclaimed, “This tastes like taco!”. The walnuts are really a vector for the seasonings (aka a heavy dose of cumin and soy sauce) and in this case, I thought the meat itself was a bit salty when eaten solo. Combined with the rest of the ingredients, though, it worked wonderfully. I also whipped together a cashew sour cream with lemon juice, and a delightful cherry tomato salsa (my favourite part of the wrap). I used Swiss chard leaves to eat my tacos, but had tortillas for my guests.

The tacos were a hit! The walnut meat was devoured. None left. You can tell Mom everything tasted great.

I was worried they may have turned up their noses if they knew they were going to eat raw food, but as they pointed out – it wasn’t like I was going to feed them raw eggs or meat, so they weren’t phased in the slightest.

The perfect dinner guests: adventurist eaters with lovely conversation. 🙂

For the record, these tacos were great, but not nearly as fantastic as those at Raw Aura. It just gives me more incentive to go back to the resto. At least it is closer than Thrive Juice Bar in Waterloo, which is my other favourite restaurant.

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Simona from Briciole and to this week’s potluck party for raw foods.

Raw Tacos

1 recipe Walnut Taco Mix
1 recipe Cashew “Sour Cream”
1 recipe Raw Salsa
3 avocados, sliced (oops, I forgot to include them)
6 Swiss chard leaves (or tortillas for those who don’t want to go all raw!)

1. Remove stem from Swiss chard and top with walnut meat, salsa, sour cream and avocado. Garnish with extra cilantro. Wrap and eat!

Serves 4-6.

Walnut Taco Mix
2 cups raw walnuts
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/8 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse just to mix. Don’t over-blend, or you will end up with walnut butter!

Cashew “Sour Cream”
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least 2 hours
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp water (approx.)

1. Put all ingredients except water in a high speed blender or food processor and blend, adding water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. If you want a thick cream, use less water, for a thinner sauce, use more. (You will not achieve a perfectly smooth sauce with a food processor, but it is still delicious!)

Raw Tomato Salsa
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 red onion or 4 green onions, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp raw honey or agave
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt

1. Whisk the garlic, lime juice, honey or agave, olive oil and sea salt in the bottom of a bowl and set aside.
2. Cut up the veggies into rather 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 flavours to meld.

  1. Jinx! I did the same walnut meat post today. I can’t remember if I told you I made them but I loved them!!!!! I did mine with mango salsa. Your photos are better though. I didn’t get to being very creative with a hungry family at the table. I guess I should be thankful I got the one!

  2. oh my goodness! i love lettuce-type wraps..and i love walnuts in everything. i feel like we have the same taste in food 😉 i need to make these!

  3. OMG I’ve got to try this walnut taco meat thing, it sounds amazing. I love new things!!

  4. Sounds great! Though, I think rather than a lettuce wrap I’d like to try it with a tortilla of some sort… something similar maybe to the corn chips you mentioned, just tortilla size – I assume they were dehydrated?

    • At Raw Aura, they had the nachos with bite-size dehydrated chips. They told us it took them 6 days to make a batch of crackers, so they are something special. 😉

  5. It’s so great that you’ve been seeing more of your brother lately! Mine is moving into manhattan in two weeks and I’m super excited about it! I don’t think I’ve ever had anything explicitly raw like this before, but that walnut meat sounds so tasty!

  6. I’ve made a similar raw dish – I used the recipe in one of Ani Phyo’s cookbooks. I used Romaine leaves for the ‘shell’ and, yes, the tacos were fantastic. Now I’m craving them again…..

    I’ve tried one recipe for a raw corn chip and it didn’t turn out so great. Not worth the prep and dehydrating time.

  7. Loved seeing you and Dawn both post these today! Bet they’re very yummy 🙂

  8. Gorgeous! I remember those tacos at Raw Aura–a fabulous place. Your photos are stunning and those raw tacos look amazing. I know if I made them, there would be none left!! 😉 Thanks for submitting this to WW this week. 🙂

  9. […] tsp ground cumin 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp dried thyme 1 cup chunky tomato-based salsa (I used this one) 1.25 cups chopped mango (from 1 large mango) 2 tbsp toasted almonds, chopped, optional, for […]

  10. This looks fabulous. I am tagging it to make for sure. Love the idea of the walnut taco “meat.” 😉

  11. What an interesting post! I am very intrigued by the various component of your raw tacos. I am glad the guests appreciated the meal. Beautiful colors too. Thanks for contributing to WHB!

  12. Love the walnut taco meat idea. The more vegetarian cooking I do, the more I find that certain dishes really do come down to the spices. Doesn’t really matter if you’re putting them on meat or something else. Your tacos look lovely, great photos.

  13. I made this for my in-laws the other day and the first thing they said was ‘Wow! This tastes like a real taco!’ They’re even going to make them for their vegetarian friends. By the way, for those who aren’t vegan and need cheese on their tacos, a couple thin slices of applewood smoked cheddar are most excellent to tone down the saltiness of the walnut meat. Yum.

  14. […] me down: the raspberry dream cake, the sultry peaches and blueberries, the 11-spiced lentil salad, the raw tacos with walnut meat, cashew sour cream and a cherry tomato salsa and the chickpea salad with the Mexican mango […]

  15. Oh wow Janet this looks seriously outstanding! Your brother and sister-in-law are so lucky. 🙂

  16. PS – That Swiss chard looks so perfect and pillowy. Ahh I love fresh perfect veggies!

  17. […] I think this original recipe is Ani Phyo’s, but I found it the taste space. […]

  18. My first raw recipe! Absolutely terrific. I used rainbow Swiss chard, which made it gorgeous.
    Your blog is incredible. The photos are gorgeous, writing topnotch, and recipes look amazing—lots of grains (you definitely like quinoa, don’t you?), veggies, etc.

  19. […] After eating the kale chips at Raw Aura, it was enough to suggest that a dehydrator may be a good idea, too. […]

  20. […] for dinner, and I surprised them with a handful of macaroons for dessert (they are, thankfully, not afraid of raw foods).  They were as equally surprised as my mom that I was making sweets. Anyhow, Rob and […]

  21. […] of them, Rob and I have been slowly visiting vegan-friendly restaurants in Toronto. Our favourite raw restaurant has now been usurped. Raw Aura serves delicious food, but we seem to leave the resto filled to […]

  22. […] ♥ Raw Taco ‘Mince’ + ‘Sour Cream’ + Tomato Salsa […]

  23. […] netiku, iemesls parastais – busy. Za to pusdienās bija tako, oriģinālā receptīte no šejienes. Nu vienkārši ņamma – must try! Lieku topa otrajā vietā aiz burkānkāpostsalātiem. […]

  24. […] how about a raw taco filled with walnut meat, cashew sour cream and a cherry tomato […]

  25. […] wrap it all up. With a nod to my raw tacos, I decided to serve this in a Swiss chard leaf. Pick your poison: leafy green, flour tortilla or […]

  26. […] Pagaidām atgriežos pie raw, jo tā vajag. Apnicis kasīties 🙂 Šodien ēdienkartē: melone, tomātu salsa ar rupjmaizi. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  27. I made ths or my husband and my two best girlfriends last night – it was brilliant , thank you
    I would love to feature this on my anticancer website http://www.verityslifestyle.com
    Please email me verityslifestyle@gmail.com if this is of interest
    Thank you once again!

    • Verity, I am so happy to hear everyone loved it as much as me and my family! Definitely feel free to include it on your website. Thank you for connecting with me, because it is a such a cute site. 🙂

  28. […] up Raw Cashew Recipes! Those have been my favorite! Raw Cashew Cheese and Cashew Tacos were both […]

  29. Hi, I’ve never had raw food (except fresh veggies and fruits, lol). I am a bit hesitant about walnut taco meat…does it taste crunchy?

    • It is slightly crunchy.. like crumbled walnuts. 😉 It actually tastes like ground meat in texture, rather soft but crumbly… maybe not crunchy per se. Try it and then let me know what you think. 🙂 Just don’t overprocess the walnuts because then it will taste like a spread which is not what you want here. 😉

  30. Amazing!!! We love these so much! Thanks for sharing!!!

  31. […] though: Apple Strudel (my Oma would be proud), Mexican Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing, Raw Tacos, and Lemon Basil Almond Pesto. Only one post from 2012 was equally as popular (#1 below) and it […]

  32. […] Raw Tacos | The Taste Space | Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.  These raw goodies are actually delicious!  You don’t even miss the meat. […]

  33. […] for Lisa’s birthday (I’d also serve this with Savoury Hemp Crackers as a side, Raw Tacos with Walnut Taco Meat, Cashew Sour Cream and Tomato Salsa as our main and Raw Tropical Mango Pie for […]

  34. […] Raw Tacos, Baked Chips & Salsa – This is actually amazing!  We were surprised at how much the walnut “taco meat” was satisfying and delicious!  This is also a quick dinner to make, which is a hit for me. […]

  35. […] daunted by a special diet request, I mustered up a few suggestions (Raw Zucchini Alfredo, Raw Tacos skipping the onion in the salsa, Thai Tempeh Wraps with a Mango Ginger Sauce, Sushi Salad Bowl […]

  36. […] Smoothie, Warm Balsamic Rosemary Cabbage Salad, Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Orange-Tahini Dressing, Raw Tacos, Chickpea Salad with Mexican Mango Dressing, Grilled Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms, The Best […]

  37. […] my breakfast, but I can’t wait to have leftovers from last night’s dinner. I made raw tacos (though I made it non-vegan with real sour cream, applewood smoked cheddar slices, and honey in the […]

  38. […] Despite my lack of collard greens for my New Year’s Day black eyed peas, I ended up eating tacos on New Year’s Day. Not these ones, mind you (cleaning out the blog backlog!), but I will tell you more about that in due time. Ever since going to Mexico City, I have been smitten by tacos. The fresh corn tortillas blew my mind and I am working on finding a suitable replacement. Until then, fresh collards will have to suffice. A bit non-traditional, these lentil-based tacos were delicious. I had been meaning to make them for a while, especially after Johanna had success with them, too. Cauliflower is riced and added to up the hidden veggie content.  Leanne cautions against baking mashed beans and cauliflower, but this was delicious. It is all about the spices. With a nod to my delicious Ancho lentil tacos, I added copious amounts of Ancho chile powder. I topped it with a simple tomato-oregano salsa, a variation from the cilantro-based tomato salsa from my raw tacos. […]

  39. […] 4. Raw Tacos with Walnut Taco Meat, Cashew Sour Cream and a Cherry Tomato Salsa […]

  40. […] make the walnut taco mix and cashew sour cream directly from this blog, but I place it on a bed of […]

  41. […] combination of the salty/spicy walnut “meat” with the sweet and tart onion salsa and the creamy guacamole is absolutely divine. These babies […]

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