Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Word About Rawcos

Raw Tacos. Rawcos. They rock. I've been indulging in a bit of word play around this latest run at raw cuisine. So many possibilities! So potentially annoying! I've been thinking of this last three day stint as Rawmageddon. Because of this, I've frequently had Def Leppard crowding out a plethora of other musicians whose songs tend to compromise my inner soundtrack. Not so bad, really. Are you getting it? Rawmageddan it! Really getting it? Rawmageddon it!

Now that that's out of the way, I can tell you about our week, which culminated nicely with raw tacos. Produce is just so much cheaper and more plentiful here in California than it was in New York that I keep being tempted back into rawness. Such a seductress! After securing C's only slightly hesitant agreement, I planned out three raw nights. The first night, I made raw pasta and marinara. The pasta was thinly cut red bell pepper, zucchini, and bok choy. The marinara is made from sun dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and some other stuff. The resulting dish was not terribly pretty--thus no picture--but quite tasty. We both enjoyed. The next night was rather more of a bust: raw egg salad. I couldn't honestly tell you how much of the failure of this dish had to do with my total disregard for measurements, or the liberties I tend to take with ingredients, or my impatience at trying to reduce cauliflower to egg salad sized bits. Probably quite a bit. The resulting "salad" was only really "salad" in the gloopy sense of that word. It was fine, but I'm not a fan. We'll have the rest of it on bread, I imagine, or using bok choy stems as vehicles. Both recipes can be found here.

All of that is a preamble, though, to what I really want to tell you about: the raw tacos. I made these once last summer during my first foray in raw food. I really liked them then, but this time they were even better. These rawcos are also evidence of my ongoing love for Ani Phyo. The following recipe is from her blog, and pretty damned close to those found in her book Ani's Raw Food Kitchen.

Baja Fresh Taco Boats Filled with with Cilantro Cashew Cheeze, Fresh Corn and Tomato Salsa, and a Ground Almond Taco Meat
(makes 4 servings)

GROUND ALMOND TACO MEAT
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon  sea salt
CILANTRO CASHEW CHEEZE
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, fresh, from about 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup water, as needed
SALSA
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, cut off cob
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro,  chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped green chilies, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
BOATS AND TOPPING
  • 12 small romaine leaves
  • 1 avocado, pitted, sliced
To make taco meat, process almonds into small pieces. Add oil, cumin, coriander, and salt, and process to mix well. Set aside.
To make cheeze, process garlic and salt into small pieces. Add cashews, juice, cilantro, and only enough water to process into a thick cream texture. Set aside.
To make salsa, mix ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
To assemble, fill romaine leaves with about 2 tablespoons cheeze. Sprinkle on 1 to 2 tablespoons taco meat and salsa. Top with avocado slices and serve.
 The recipe from her book uses half walnuts and half almonds for the nut meat. Also, C is deeply averse to eating raw corn (which totally sucks because it's awesome), so I used zucchini in the salsa instead. The salsa recipe I followed also called for a red pepper, and I added a bit of sweet onion. I also used whole green cabbage leaves instead of romaine for the taco shells. Believe me when I tell you they work much better. I also skipped the cheese because I haven't had much luck with it. It's also just one more thing to make, and frankly, I liked the tacos better without it.

I filled the cabbage shells with a layer of fresh field greens (from our farmbox), then topped with the nut meat, salsa, and sliced avocado. Freaking delicious. Dear reader, if you think you're not into raw food. If you fear it's gloppiness and over-dependence on ground flax. You must try these tacos. If you make no other rawcipe (see how insidious!), make these.

4 comments:

ani phyo said...

thanks for the post and for enjoying my recipes. nice job too, the photos look delicious. i have more videos and recipes on my website at http://www.aniphyo.com/. my new book, Ani's Raw Food Essentials, will be out on June 1. it's a huge hard cover book packed with over 250 recipes. printed in 2 color with gorgeous color inserts, it's going to cost less than $28, which I'm happy about. i hope you'll check it out and enjoy it too. thanks again for the post and mention.

b3carmain said...

I am not going to pretend to be on board for Rawmegeddon in all its full and very flax-y glory, but I did hit the RAWcos. And they were fab! My "mostly committed vegetarian" husband agreed the RAWcos were great. I made some additions and variations on the recipe, but it was pretty close to yours and DAMN!
Being a rawhead is not going to happen as long as pie (as I LOVE it) requires baking.

As always, Vegan Squared is ROCKIN!!

My friend says: everest
(he typed that himself.)

Marla said...

Ani--Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! I'll look forward to checking out your new book this summer. Keep up the good work!

Bethree--There is a raw apple pie recipe in Ani's book that I've had my eye on for a while. Could be good... I haven't really done the raw dessert thing, yet. Time enough.

b3carmain said...

Nope. I like pie crust too much..... I can't make the leap. I could try it and think, "Oh, this is nice," but I don't think it could be PIE to me.... Just sayin....