Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mostly Raw Taco Salad

I have been very unfocused today in terms of food. It was about 6pm before I knew what I was making for dinner. Good thing the hubby is working late tonight. As soon as I decided on a raw taco salad I threw the walnuts and raw cashews into water to soak hoping 2 hours was long enough. Thankfully it was adequate to make them soft enough to process easily.

The beauty of this dish is that it doesn’t require a dehydrator or juicer. If you have a blender and food processor you can make this dish quickly and easily.

I added raw savoy cabbage to the salad for its anti cancer properties. It adds a nice sweetness to the salad and textural variation. This is a mostly raw taco salad because the corn chips are baked, the salsa is jarred and the beans are cooked. However the raw components do make up the majority of the volume of the salad. The nut taco meat, and cheese sauce are both raw. If I had planned better there would be raw corn chips and salsa. Well, there is always the next time. Here is what I made tonight.

Mostly Raw Taco Salad
Serves 4

Taco nut meat ingredients:

1 cup walnuts, soaked for two hours (or more) and drained thoroughly
1 carrot, cut into small chunks
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Raw cheese sauce ingredients:

½ cup raw cashews, soaked for two hours (or more) and drained thoroughly
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and finely minced
½ carrot, cut into smallish chunks
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon chil powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Water necessary to make a thick sauce (I started with ½ cup of water)

Salad ingredients:

12 cups baby spinach, julienned or left whole
4 cup savoy cabbage, julienned
1 bell pepper, julienned
1 cup salsa
¼ cup cilantro, for garnish
2 cups black beans for additional protein
Baked or dehydrated Corn chips, if desired – optional


In your food processor combine the walnuts, and seasonings and pulse to combine. You don’t want a puree, but instead want some chunky bits like “ground meat”. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as necessary. Hold until composing the salad.

In your blender combine the sauce ingredients and process. Stream in water until you have the texture your desire.

To make the salad top the spinach and cabbage with salsa, red bell peppers, taco nut meat, cashew queso, and fresh cilantro. Add beans if using. Serve with chips, if desired

Nutritional Information (doesn’t include optional chips):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 457.77
Calories From Fat (47%) - 214.92

Total Fat - 25.68g
Saturated Fat - 2.98g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 513.29mg
Potassium - 1586.42mg
Total Carbohydrates - 45.87g
Fiber - 17.16g
Sugar - 8.45g
Protein - 20.14g


This is a nice salad with the flavors of taco salad. It is obviously a raw salad, but is quite tasty. I think it is good enough that you can serve it omnis. If you like olives they would great in this salad.

Each serving of this salad contains 15,900IU of vitamin A, 100mg of vitamin C, 210mg of calcium, 7mg of iron, 420mcg of folate, 500mcg of vitamin K, 410mg of phosphorus, and 250mg of magnesium. Next time I make this I am going to reduce the amount of nuts in the taco nut meat mixture and increase the carrot to reduce the fat. I may also reduce the amount of cashew cheese for the same reason. Overall we were very happy with the taste of this salad.


  1. ooh, I love the idea of nut taco "meat" what a great idea...the salad looks fab!

  2. This sounds interesting....Does it taste like traditional taco salad???

  3. Rose,

    Thanks! The nut meat was a wink to ground beef. The flavors were similar due to the spices. If you try it, be careful not to process the nuts too far or they could turn into pate.


    I used the same flavors to make it similar to taco salad. If you have had the traditional version with ground beef the answer is no because the salad isn't greasy. The hubby and I thought it was similar to taco salad. Next time I am going to use less nuts to reduce the overall fat content of the salad. But I won't be changing the spices much if at all.


  4. Ok, it is not my fault if you get me on here thrice.... my comp is messed I said thrice!

  5. Brandi,

    No problem. I rejected the two duplicates.


  6. love how you arranged the toppings, this is much prettier than my heaping bowls of salad:)

  7. Michelle,

    All my years of eating out have come in handy for something. ;) All I did was copy salad compositions I have seen at restaurants. It doesn't take much longer that putting it in a bowl. My incentive is that I know I have to take pictures of our food. Otherwise ..... well you know. ;)


  8. Yum. I haven't thought of a taco salad in eons. Now I really want one!!!

  9. This looks so pretty, and loving the black beans!

  10. Heather,

    I don't know why I thought of taco salad either. It must have been the black beans in the frig. The walnut and carrot "taco meat" worked out well too. Don't know where that idea came from either.


    Thanks! I tried to make it photo worthy without being too obsessive. ;)


  11. Colorful plate! In this case that translates to so much nutritious goodness, bravo! I will tuck away that nut meat idea for a rainy day :)

  12. Sarah,

    Thanks! I was playing Picasso with the plate.

    When you make the nut meat be careful not to overprocess or you will get an oddly flavored nut and carrot butter. It will probably taste good, but be strange none the less.

    talk to you later,

  13. Mmmm...I love taco salads! They are a staple for me for sure. Yours looks great! I love putting nutritional yeast on mine for a little "cheesy" flavor, but your nut cheese sounds good too!


  14. Courtney,

    Thanks. I like your idea of sprinkling nutritional yeast on top of the the salad too! That would be much quicker, and lower in fat. Thanks for sharing the idea.



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