Thursday, 25 November 2010

Walnut Taco Salad With Roasted Fixings

Did you know you can make really good taco “meat” with walnuts? Well you can. This take a bit of day before planning to make it work. You need 2 hours to thicken your yogurt for sour cream. This can be done the day before if needed. You need to soak your walnuts for about 6-8 hours--put them on to soak before you go to work and they’ll be ready when you get in. If you don’t have a high powered blender like we do then you need to soak your cashews for the cheeze sauce overnight. This isn’t the sort of meal you can just decide to have today. But you can decide today and have it tomorrow. It’s totally worth the wait. 

The make ahead of time bits:
Sour Cream
Yes, you can buy something like Tofutti Sour Supreme but it has a bucket load of fat. This is far better for you. All you need to do is thicken some yogurt. I shouldn’t have to tell you again how to do this as I’ve mentioned it several times, but in case you’re just popping in to read and can’t be arsed to go look for it elsewhere--here it is again

Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Pour 500g pot of plain soy yogurt in the tea towel. Tie it up in a hobo bundle and hang it from your tap in the sink. Gravity will make some of the liquid  drip out. After 2 hours you will have thick Greek style yogurt. Scrape it back into the pot it came in and add enough lemon juice to make it taste tangy and sour. That’s all.

Walnut Taco Meat

1 ½ cup walnuts
They need to be soaked for about 6-8 hours. I just put them on to soak before I go to work and then drain them really well when I come home and they are ready.

Pulse in your food processor:
The soaked, drained walnuts
 1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp tamari soy sauce
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Smoky chipotle Tabasco to taste

Pulse until it looks like ground meat. Store in the fridge when not eating. Will last for 3 days in the fridge. Bring to room temperature or heat slightly in a pan before eating if you want it warm.

The fixings. Because taco salad needs fixings. Right?

Roasted Fixings

Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F

2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
4 tomatoes, guts scooped out and cut into quarters
1 red onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of half a lemon
1 TB agave syrup
1 tsp chilli powder

Mix all these together and put them in a roasting tin. Put the tin in the oven and set the timer for 13 minutes. You need to stir half way through so when the timer goes off stir and back in it goes for another 13 minutes. Now get working on your Vegveeta Cheese sauce.

This is our favourite cheeze sauce recipe. We adapted it from Dreena Burton’s fantastic blog.

Vegveeta Cheeze Sauce

½ cup raw cashews (soaked if you need them to soften)
1 TB tahini
1 ½ TB lemon juice
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup plus 3 TB “milk” --we use oat milk
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp mustard powder
Scant ½ tsp paprika--smoked if you can get it
¼ tsp turmeric--for colour
1 TB arrowroot powder
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 TB rapeseed (canola) oil

Blend it all in the blender until very smooth.
 When the timer goes off and you take the fixings out to stir it will soon be time to  start the cheese sauce heating up. When the timer gets to 10 minutes then begin. In a small saucepan, heat it slowly--over low or medium heat as it can easily scorch--until bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat and take out the fixings and get serving!

We layered ours with a bit of lettuce, roasted fixings, walnut taco meat, cheeze sauce and a blop of sour cream. Spiderman put some olives on his that were lurking in the fridge. Delicious!

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