Comfort food. What does this phrase mean to you? To many people, it conjures images of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and chicken noodle soup. To me, though, there’s nothing inherently comforting about foods like these. My idea of comfort is peace of mind, and I feel peaceful when I’m enjoying a meal that you can feel good about before, during, and after the meal itself: the meal should be made out of ingredients that come from a good place (i.e., no unhappy animals), should be delicious, and should go down easily and not make me want to die thirty minutes afterward.
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here’s a recipe for tacos! Tacos are a really excellent option for a mixed-diet household because they consist of several discrete ingredients combined atop an edible vehicle, usually a tortilla. Because the ingredients are all kept separate until serving time, it’s really easy to make sure everyone gets his or her version of comforting food.
When I was making the raw, marinated veggies for these tacos, Reese referred to it as a salsa. There is a lesson here, friends: lots of people who look with scorn upon food that claims to be healthy will happily tuck into generous helpings of chips and salsa. Guess what? Salsa is just raw, marinated veggies and herbs. The lesson? If you want to trick your friends into eating veggies, try chopping the veg up really small and calling them a salsa, then heaping them on your guests’ plates! I’ve titled the recipe Veggie Confetti because it’s colorful and cheerful and, just like confetti, you’re not quite sure if they’re an accessory to celebration or a cause for celebration in and of itself.
Black Bean Tacos, Two Ways
- 4 cabbage leaves, 4 taco-sized tortillas, or a combination
- ½ cup cooked black beans, drained
- ½ cup Veggie Confetti (see recipe below)
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 4 Tbsp cashew crema al limòn (see recipe below)
- Shredded pepper jack cheese for omnis
- Sunflower sprouts for garnish
Top each cabbage leaf or tortilla with about 2 Tbsp each black beans, Veggie Confetti, and quinoa, and shredded pepper jack, if using. Drizzle on cashew crema and garnish with sprouts.
Serve with salsa.
- 1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
- 1 small orange bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, diced (about 1 cup)
- ½ medium tomato, chopped
- ½ tsp dried Mexican oregano
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lime (about 1 ½ Tbsp)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 dried red chiles
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. When you add the red chiles, just let them sit in the bowl with the other veggies. The idea is just to let them impart some flavor as a part of the marinating process.
Cashew Crema al Limòn
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 8 hours
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Juice + zest of one lime
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
*Note: this will make some leftovers, but it’s a great thing to have around. You can use it as a salad dressing, turn it into kale chip sauce – the possibilities are endless!