You know how it is when you settle in to a big plate of tacos… You savor every ingredient and the mixture of salty, creamy, pungent and sweet. And after every crumb has been licked away, you feel like pulling on a pair of tennis shoes and bolting out the door for a run. What? A plate of tacos doesn’t make you feel so energized that you need to get up and move? Well, this batch of collard leaf tacos could change all of that. It’s a balmy 20 degrees where I live right now, but there’s something about this time of year that makes me crave raw foods. Maybe it’s my body’s way of crying out for sun through plant-based chlorophyll. Who knows? In place of corn or wheat tortilla shells, raw collard leaves hold all of the taco goodness in place. (If the leaves are large enough, you can have one leaf equally torn into two shells after the thick, center rib has been removed.)
I decided to play with a recipe of my own for walnut taco filling. I’ve made Ani Phyo’s taco walnut meat in the past and really enjoyed it, but my curiosity was piqued earlier this week when I saw that Rose over at the Dandelion Vegan Blog uses sun-dried tomatoes in her taco filling. The sweet, chewy texture of sun-dried tomatoes is the perfect companion to the salty umami of tamari-seasoned raw walnuts. I recently wrote about my favorite sun-dried tomatoes from Trader Joe’s, which are sealed and bagged like raisins. They’re not packed in oil, and they don’t need to be rehydrated. But this recipe could easily utilize rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes or oil packed sun-dried tomatoes that have been rinsed.
This has been my lunch for two days in a row. It’s that good. Best of all, this meal comes together quickly with only plates, a food processor, cutting board, and knife to clean afterwards. No heavy pans or pots to clutter up the dishwasher. That leaves more time for going on a hike or turning on a workout DVD if you live somewhere cold like me. Get your tennis shoes ready. You’re going to need them.
Serves 2 hungry people
Walnut Taco Filling with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 1 cup raw walnuts (unroasted and unsalted)
- 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tsp tamari
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
Process all of the taco filling ingredients in a food processor until crumbled into small pieces. Take time to stop and scrape down the sides, if necessary, as you process.
Taco Shells and Fixings:
- Collard leaves, rinsed and patted dry with center rib removed (to be used as shells)
- Red bell pepper, diced
- Cilantro, chopped
- Kalamata olives, sliced
- Red onions, chopped small
- Avocado, chopped
- Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Fill collard leaves with taco fixings and a scoop of walnut taco filling. Grab a napkin. It’s going to get messy.