Spring is here which means it's time to refresh the menu and incorporate more uncooked meals into your life. Which is great news because, generally speaking, these types of meals are also easier and quicker to prepare. No one will be complaining about that!
If you prefer a nice balance of both raw and cooked plant foods in your life, and you're a fan of all things Mexican food, you'll surely enjoy this recipe.
It turns out you don't need meat, or any animal products for that matter, to enjoy a delicious, fully-loaded taco salad bursting with delicious flavor, texture, and spice.
All you need is a bunch of fresh plant foods: greens, herbs, tomato, avocado, fresh lime, your favorite beans and chips, and last but not least, a killer vegan nacho cheese sauce.
It's all about the SAUCE
Have you ever been to a vegan restaurant and been blown away by their astonishingly cheese-like sauces that leave you craving more? This recipe is definitely restaurant-worthy. So flavorful with that perfect cheese-like tang and smokey spice from fresh jalapeno and chipotle. The secret is using soaked raw cashews and sunflower seeds, and a generous spoonful of Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Butter, which really adds to the flavor and richness of texture.
Building Your Taco Salad
Try using the following ingredients...
Fresh greens of choice – try a mixture of mesclun mix, finely chopped kale, purple cabbage, and even fresh sprouts
Herbs – meaning plenty of cilantro; it adds amazing flavor and is also a great heavy metal detoxifier
Beans – Better Beans all the way! They have simple real-food ingredients and contain no aluminum or BPA since they're not in a can. Beans are an amazing source of plant-based protein. We love their Skillet Refried Red Beans.
Avocado or guacamole – because duh – it's avocado and needs no further explanation
Fresh salsa or tomato - because we could all use a little extra lycopene plus fresh tomatoes are just a must for any Mexican dish.
CHIPS – We love Siete Foods cassava flour chips in Lime. Not only are they 100% grain-free they're also made with avocado oil instead of a generic vegetable blend that is likely oxidized and rancid. They also just taste amazing.
Fresh lime wedges - there's no such thing as too much lemon or lime.
Hemp seeds or sprouted seeds - this is a nice addition if you want a little additional texture and crunch. And more protein!
Spicy Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce - recipe below...
Time to invite some friends over for taco salad night!
Spicy Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice (or an even 1/2 cup if you like extra tangy cheese)
½ Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped – remove seeds for less spice
¾ tsp chipotle pepper
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
3 dashes black pepper
1. Soak your sunflower seeds and cashews for at least 4 hours to soften. Drain and rinse well.
2. Blend all ingredients except olive oil and spices until smooth and perfectly creamy.
3. Add olive oil and blend again briefly to incorporate.
4. Add salt and spices, blend, and taste test. Add more spice if desired.
Store in an airtight glass container for up to 7 days