I love Mexican food. Maybe it’s because I grew up in close proximity to the Mexican border. I suppose what I really love is Cal-Mex, the delicious fusion of California’s obsession with low-fat, healthy food and Mexico’s rich traditional cuisine. Cal-Mex is also very vegan friendly, since it features beans (black beans or refried pinto beans), veggies, salsa, rice and corn or wheat flour tortillas.
Raw Mexican food is something else altogether, since the centrepiece of Mexican food– the beans– must be replaced with something else. There are some beans that can be soaked and sprouted and eaten raw, but for the most part, raw Mexican food involves using nuts or seeds to replace the beans.
This week’s take-away burritos were filled with a walnut and sun-dried tomato based filling, along with shredded vegetables, fresh tomato salsa and a cashew cheese sauce. Instead of tortillas, I used organic spinach as the wrap. Delicious!
For dessert, cheesecakes. Little mini cheesecakes, made of cashew cheese. One bite of these little cheesecakes is enough to shoot down the misconception that raw food is bland, or not filling. They are positively decadent.
While I was at it, I decided to do a little experiment. I wanted to make a cheesecake that was not cashew based (for the sake of friends who can’t eat cashews), with a little less fat than the all nut cheesecake. So I tried out a blend of half macadamia nuts, half fresh strawberries. The verdict: yum! But I have to admit I’m still partial to the cashew ones.
Remember Joburgers, raw take-aways are available every Tuesday. Orders must be in by Monday morning to reserve your meal.
Walnut taco meat (see below)
Spinach leaves, washed and partially de-stemmed.
Shredded red cabbage and carrots
Fresh tomato salsa (see below)
Cheesy sauce (see below)
Walnut “taco meat” comes from this page. Where it calls for taco seasoning, I use cumin, coriander and cayenne: http://www.thedailyrawcafe.com/2007/06/taco-salad-serves-4.html
Fresh tomato salsa:
Cherry or plum tomatoes
Fresh coriander (cilantro)
Red bell pepper
–Roughly chop tomatoes, peppers, onions and coriander by hand or using pulse function of food processor. Stir together with salt and lime juice.
Cheesy sauce This is based on Carmella’s recipe, here, but I made a few small changes: http://www.rawfreedomcommunity.info/forum/showthread.php?t=80
Basically I used all cashews, soaked overnight. I left out the tahini and nutritional yeast, to make it a little lighter and 100% raw. I also used real onion instead of onion powder. I used more lemon juice, and more water to make it creamier.
Assembly: Spread some of the walnut taco meat on the spinach leaf. Top with shredded cabbage and carrots, then with salsa, then with cheesy sauce. Roll the whole thing up into a burrito.
I base the cheesecake on this recipe: http://livingmom.net/recipes/2007/03/just-like-cheesecake.html
To make mini-cheesecakes, use silicone muffin cups- if you have individual ones you can press the crust right in. If you have a sheet/tray of 12, I recommend lining them with plastic wrap. It makes it easier to take out the cheesecakes.
For crust, I used almonds. I made the chocolate sauce from this page, but with stevia instead of agave. I’ve made it with agave before as well- also delicious, just depends what sweetener you prefer. Instead of the raspberry sauce, I put a slice of strawberry on top.
Strawberry-mac cheesecake recipe
Mine is based on this one, with some modifications: http://superfoods.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=29
Crust: same as cheesecake above (almonds, dates, coconut)
1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked
1 cup strawberries
scant 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
scant 1/4 cup agave syrup
lemon juice (of half a lemon)
pinch of salt
Directions: prepare crust and press into pan (or in this case muffin cups). Puree all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Pour filling into crusts. Put in freezer to set, then move to refrigerator.
Drizzle with chocolate sauce.