Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cool Tacos

A few of you know that Scott and I have gone semi-vegan. Plant-strong. 90/10. "Mostly vegan" is how I like to describe us.

Not vegan as in Tofurkey-eating vegan. Or any other processed meat substitute, for that matter. More like herbivores who occasionally indulge in meat or dairy.

As we power through the last few days before our CSA starts again and we have access to the freshest, tastiest food plants around, I've been pulling together a few more grocery-store-based meals.

Tonight was Cool Tacos. Cool as in room-temperature and mostly raw, not cool as in awesome. Although, they were that, too.

Our meal tonight was based on this recipe for Magical Raw Tacos, but since I added cooked pinto beans to the recipe, they're no longer raw. But they are cool.

I look at recipes as guides, not so much as mandates, and I tend to use what I have on hand rather than going to the store to get what a recipe requires. The next time I make these tacos, they will probably look and taste a bit different. But here is what I put in our Cool Tacos tonight:

Cool Tacos (serves 6)

2 heads romaine lettuce, larger leaves only

1 1/2 red bell peppers diced
2 large carrots shredded
1 bunch cilantro finely chopped
3 green onions finely sliced
1/4 large jicama finely diced
1 medium cucumber diced
1/4 head red cabbage finely diced
juice of one lime
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

3 C dry pinto beans rinsed, soaked, rinsed, cooked, rinsed again in cold water
seasoning (I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, coriander, and chipotle powder to taste.)

1 diced avocado
Cashew-Chipotle Crema

Cashew-Chipotle Crema:
(makes about double what we needed for the tacos)

2 C raw cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours and rinsed
1/2 C water
1/2 red bell pepper coarsely diced
1 whole lime, peeled and sectioned
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp chipotle powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt

First make the Cashew-Chipotle Crema. In a high speed blender, combine all crema ingredients and blend on high speed until smooth. Place in freezer to chill. Stir occasionally.

Next, start cooking your soaked and rinsed pinto beans in your pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker, start cooking your beans before starting your crema. (When I soak my beans ahead of time, I can cook them in my pressure cooker for about 10 minutes at medium pressure. It takes around 30 minutes total for heating up, cooking, and cooling down.)

While the beans cook, prep all filling ingredients and wash your heads of lettuce. Combine all filling ingredients and place them in the fridge to stay cool until you are ready to serve.

Once your beans are cooked, rinse them in cold water to cool them down and then season them to taste.

Fill your romaine leaves with beans and filling. Top with sprouts, salsa, and avocado. Pour on a generous helping of Cashew-Chipotle Crema because it is heavenly.