Saturday, January 15, 2011

Raw January Day 12 - 14: Butternut Squash Tacos with Cilantro Cilantro Cheese

Since I'm almost the only one partaking of the raw food-ness in my house, I've been living off of leftovers quite a bit. I plan to do a fair amount of raw experimentation this weekend, so hopefully I will have more recipes soon! Until then, you'll have to settle for a taco recipe I played with tonight....more on that later.

Tonight's raw prep included making almond milk and juicing oranges. I changed out the vinegar I'm using to reconstitute some raw sun-dried olives (I received a case for free, and the darn things are entirely too bitter to eat as is).

I also cataloged the leftovers I had in the fridge to make sure I wasn't wasting anything. Happily, there wasn't much to worry about. Speaking of leftovers, remember my Marinara Sauce from earlier this week? I enjoyed that at work over kelp noodles and dehydrated baby bellas. It was quite tasty. This pic--taken on my phone--doesn't do it justice, so just trust me.

Without further adieu, I give you squash tacos! My friend Amie sent me a recipe to try out. Her version used walnut taco meat, but frankly I'm scared of anything that uses the words "nut" and "meat" in the same sentence. Childish? Most likely, but it still squicks me out. I'm working on changing my opinions on that....

Butternut Squash Tacos


Cilantro Cashew Cheese (shown right):
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 c raw cashews, soaked and rinsedjuice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 c packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 green onion stalk, sliced
water sufficient for processing (I used about 3 tbs)

Southwest Butternut Squash:
1/2 butternut squash, sliced into thin ribbons
1/2 tbs ground cumin1/2 tbs ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Nama Shoyu
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 chipotle pepper, minced (optional)
sea salt to taste

Other Ingredients:
8 small-to-medium romaine leaves
1/2 c pico de gallo
additional toppings, as desired (avocado, cilantro, etc)


Southwest Butternut Squash:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, massaging the spices into the squash. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

Cashew Cheese:
Place garlic and salt in a food processor and chop into small pieces. Add cashews and process into paste. Add lemon juice, cilantro and water; purée until smooth. (see close up photo, right)

To Make Tacos:
Spread each lettuce leaf with 2 tablespoons of the cashew cheese. Add 1/4 cup of the squash and top as desired. Serves 4.

This "cheese" is, quite frankly, amazing. The zesty garlic, hints of acid, and cilantro give it the perfect balance to go with the earthy flavors of the marinated squash. While I listed the servings at four in the recipe, I think you'd be hard-pressed to feed more than two. I scarfed down 4 tacos on my own without a second thought.

One last look....


  1. Ohh, do NOT be scared of the nut meat! Just ground, seasoned walnuts...nothing to be afraid of :) It's one of my favorite savory raw things.

  2. Hey, I'm just getting used to the whole "nut cheese" thing! The meat I think will be reasonable to my palate soon. Although, I think I'd prefer to only have one source of nuts on a taco. Piling nuts on nuts just seems like a lot of fats (or a porno, and I don't want that either!).

  3. GIRL!!! You are on FIRE... or, shall I say, "On RAW!!!!" all of this food looks fantastic... I've been doing Door to Door Organics... but have been cooking most of the fare...... hope ur well... am blogging solely here now talk soon!!

  4. Lisa! I use Door to-Door, and LOVE it. It's been driving what I make each week, actually. I got your email, but haven't had a chance to ponder it yet. Your blog is back on my list :).