I’ve eaten this raw taco salad almost every day for the last two weeks.
And that’s a big deal for me, because normally if eat the same thing more than four days in a row I never want to eat it again. Ever.
But not this delicious concoction.
I could eat it over and over and over and over and over and over again.
In fact, I have.
It’s slightly different every time, but it’s always delicious, and very satisfying. Even on cold autumn days.
Which is surprising, because it’s full of “salad-y” ingredients, and HEAPS of greens.
But so long as I stick to the recipe, I never feel like I’m eating a salad. Cool. (Or in fact, warm, not cool.)
Once you’ve made the walnut taco meat and the cashew sour cream, it’s so easy to throw together on the spot.
First, you get yourself a big bowl of greens.
I’m really enjoying my raw taco salad with salad rocket (aka roquette or arugula), but Paul really enjoys his with baby spinach, so it’s really a very flexible recipe.
Then you chuck on a generous handful of raw walnut taco meat.
Throw on some chopped avocado and tomato.
Drizzle your creation with cashew sour cream, and garnish with spring onion, or whatever else you feel inspired to add.
What a masterpiece.
I just grab myself a big forkful of greens, and snag some tasty toppings as I go.
One of the other things love about this recipe, is that you end up with a big pile of chunky, creamy toppings…
…to which you just add more greens!
You could eat them on their own, but I really think they taste better with an extra handful (or two) of greens.
I can’t believe how much rocket I’m eating, and on really cold days too.
And I always feel full and satisfied afterwards, like I’ve eaten the heartiest winter meal.
- 1 cup (150g) walnuts
- ½ packed cup (50g) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 2-8h and drained
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛-1/4 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- pinch chili (or more if you like it hot)
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 cup (140g) cashews, soaked 1-2h (soaking optional)
- scant ¼ cup (55g) lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup (85g) water
- ⅔ cup (95g) ice
- 2 cups rocket (arugula)
- ¼ cup Walnut Taco Meat (see above)
- ½ avocado
- 1 med tomato
- 1 tbsp Cashew Sour Cream (see above)
- 1 tbsp spring onion, sliced
- Cover the sun-dried tomatoes in water and leave to soak for 2 to 8 hours. Drain.
- Process all of the walnut taco meat ingredients in a food processor until well combined, but still chunky.
- Blend all of the cashew sour cream ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.
- Assemble salad ingredients in a large bowl (one per person), serve and eat.
- If your sun-dried tomatoes are in oil, you probably won’t need to soak them, as they’ll already be soft enough to process properly.
- If your sun-dried tomatoes are dry (my favourite way to buy them because of the lower oil content), you really need to soak them a minimum of 2 hours to get them soft enough to break up properly. But you can also soak them for longer and it certainly won’t hurt. For instance, you could start them soaking before you leave for work, and then you’re ready to make your taco meat as soon as you get home. And if you’re concerned about leaving your tomatoes soaking on the bench for that long, you can always soak them in the fridge instead. They will still get just as soft.
- The combination of walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes really, truly creates a texture like minced (ground) meat.
- I found 1/4 tsp of salt in the walnut taco meat too much for my tastebuds, so I added less. Start with 1/8 tsp if you don’t like things too salty, and then adjust it to suit your tastebuds.
- I seriously reduced the chili powder and cayenne from the original recipe because we don’t like things too hot. Feel free to add more, especially chili, until it satisfies your tastebuds.
- The taco meat should keep in the fridge for about a week (although ours never lasts that long).
- The ice in the sour cream recipe helps to keep the sour cream cold while you blend it thoroughly. Without the ice, your sour cream may overheat before it is blended sufficiently, especially in a high-speed blender.
- If you don’t pre-soak your cashews, the sour cream will thicken up quite a bit after a few hours in the fridge, so take this into account when adjusting the amount of water.
- The cashew sour cream should keep in the fridge for up to a week.
- This raw taco salad really should work with any greens you want to try. I love rocket, Paul loves spinach, and lettuce works well too. Try your favourite green and let me know how it goes.
- You could also top your salad with chopped red onion, sliced mushrooms, diced red capsicum, fresh salsa, flax crackers (or corn chips). The possibilities really are endless, but it doesn’t need to be complicated or fiddly.
Take it further
- Soak the cashews for 2-4 hours before making the sour cream to make them blend more easily, and also to release extra nutrients. You’ll need to add less water to keep the sour cream thick enough, and it won’t thicken up as much after sitting in the fridge for a few hours.
- You could activate the walnuts before making the taco meat. Soak them for 8-12 hours, and then dehydrate them for 12-24 hours. This helps to release the nutrients in the nuts.
I was looking for raw dishes with added spice, to help get my digestion moving, and I happened across this Layered Raw Taco Salad from Oh She Glows.
And then I discovered this walnut taco meat recipe with added sun-dried tomatoes at The Naked Avocado and once I toned down the spices, I was all set. The soaked sun-dried tomatoes do add something very special to this recipe.
I tried both the raw macadamia sour cream and the raw cashew sour cream recipes, and although both were delicious, I settled on the cashew version in the interests of keeping my fat intake on the lower side.
I did make the quick guacamole once, but it’s SO much faster (and still just as tasty in my opinion) just to chop up a whole avocado. And I just substituted a chopped fresh tomato for the salsa. And this dish would be even more delicious with fresh cherry tomatoes in summer.
Have an awesome day!
~ Nikki, Eating Vibrantly