Short But Sweet

I’m late in posting this week. It’s been a whirlwind. We’re heading out on a little vacation this week before school starts and there’s always so much to do before leaving the house. This is especially the case when we come back to a school year in full swing. So this trip required a little more organization, so that once we get home we’re ready for the end of summer. So, much like summer, this recipe is short, but sweet. vegan cafe

I had another volunteer day recently. This time it was at the Thanks Jordan Foundation’s Raw Vegan Cafe. The restaurant, as the name suggests, serves all raw vegan cuisine. It’s also run by volunteers. Well, not entirely, there’s an owner, a chef, a teacher, and a few servers, but the rest of the kitchen help is all volunteer-based. The cafe is a non-profit with proceeds going toward cancer research. While I don’t think we’ll be going vegan or raw anytime soon, it was an absolute pleasure to work in the restaurant and I have to admit the food was amazing. I brought several items home and Mike and the kids agreed. They do a fabulous job – particularly with dessert. soaking almonds

And talk about an incredible volunteer opportunity – I got to work in a restaurant! How fun is that?! Not only did I get to help the community, I got to live out a little dream of mine. Even doing dishes was fun – too bad that doesn’t carry over to home. ;) While at the cafe, I had the opportunity to make the raw vegan taco “meat.” I did my best to replicate the recipe at home because after one bite, I was sold. Not only is it healthy and full of protein, but it has an incredible smoky flavor. It starts with almonds which are soaked for a bit. The almonds are then processed until they are crumb-like. chopped almonds

Next up are the carrots – peeled and chopped. carrots

They are then processed until crumb-like as well. chopped carrots

And then the carrots and almonds are mixed together – this creates the texture of the “meat.” carrots and almonds

Next it’s onto the sauce that will give the “meat” its smoky flavor. Again we turn to the food processor (gotta love a one pot meal) where we blend the remaining ingredients – garlic, agave, Tamari (gluten free soy sauce), cumin, fresh oregano, cayenne, chili powder and sun dried tomatoes. sun dried tomatoes and tamari

While processing the sauce, a bit of water is added and blended until smooth, or at least until there are no big chunks hiding in the sauce. taco sauce

The sauce is mixed together with the almond-carrot mixture and voila – you have your taco “meat.” vegan taco meat

We decided to serve some fresh sweet corn with our tacos. Mike took the kids outside for a lesson in shucking (Good thing they learned to shuck before heading to Miss C’s farm to feed the animals!). shucking corn

We seasoned our sweet corn with a mixture of olive oil, shallots and sage before tossing it on the grill. sweet corn

The sage and sweet corn combo is absolutely delicious. I never would have guessed it, but it’s really a good marriage of sweet and savory. shucking the sweet corn

But enough about that, back to the vegan tacos. So you might be wondering how these went over with my carnivorous husband and children. We served the taco meat on organic (albeit not raw) tortillas and topped them with fresh chopped avocado. vegan tacos

Believe it or not, the vegan tacos were a big hit. I’ve already admitted to being a fan of the smoky flavor, so these were 3-1/2 spoons for me. Much to my surprise, they were also 3-1/2 spoons for Mike. So you can be sure these don’t taste like what most meat lovers think of as vegan or raw. This stuff is tasty enough to have Mike ring in a near top mark! raw vegan tacos

The key to this meal (and the others I sampled) is the generous use of various herbs and seasonings. There’s nothing bland about this meal. Even Mr. N was impressed. He came in with 3-1/2 spoons as well. He couldn’t believe that it wasn’t meat. gluten free tacos

Unfortunately Miss A was not as impressed. This meal was a bit too spicy for her. She would have much preferred the raw vegan brownie (which both kids swore tasted just like a homemade brownie). She did enjoy her corn though as well as the fried sage, courtesy of Greg and Katherine over at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide. vegan taco night

Overall, this meal was a success and made for some great lunches the rest of the week. I think we’ll be making it again (with something on the side for Miss A). I never would have expected this much flavor out of raw food, but I guess when it’s done right, just like anything, it can be flavorful and satisfying.

Print this recipe: Vegan Raw Tacos

So for the next week, we’re going to head for some peace and quiet. So if we aren’t frequenting your blogs, you’ll know why. We’re heading somewhere we can cook, read, play and just be – the four of us – before the busy new school year kicks into high gear. You see, this year is going to be especially new for us…Miss A will start her first full day of school and her first full week of school. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage watching my baby get on a bus, but I know she’s ready. Mom’s just not ready. Childhood – another thing that is far too short, but sweet. Fortunately, I have a few more years of childhood with my babies…so here’s to the short and the sweet whether it’s summer, a good meal, childhood, vacations or any of those other things that we love so much. Cheers!

39 thoughts on “Short But Sweet

  1. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    I am in love with this vegan taco meal and I am definitely going to try it real soon!
    As for short and sweet my little boy had his first full day of school this month and I have to say he did a much better job than his mom!
    I am the one who is not ready! I guess we just have to make the best out of the remaining time and enjoy the hugs and cuddles while they last :)

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  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Glad you introduced me to the corn recipe – oilive oil, sage, and shallots. So easy but I never thought of sage for corn! I’ll try that seasonings this week!

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  3. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    What a great way to contribute while living out the chef fantasy ;-). And that Cafe looks so cool too — what a neat space; love the photo. As for the food, I agree, nothing bland about it — gorgeous use of ingredients, I’m not surprised it was a huge hit. I must try this – we are omnivores but like to mix it up and do our part to ease the enviro burden of meat consumption. I hope you are having a great end-of-summer holiday Kristy (sniff) and all the best to Miss A and Mr. N as they return to school… I’m thinking of you — I know how emotional the first week of school is for moms no matter what age/stage our kids are it. Hugs, xo.

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  4. Charles says:

    Hi Kristy, my wife just surprised me with this for lunch when I went home… I didn’t even know she read your blog but apparently she does occasionally! William LOVED it too – going to send you a little video in a bit :).

    She had to make a couple of modifications to the sauce, as we missed a couple of ingredients but it was so nice – definitely something we’ll have again.

    Your volunteer day sounds like great fun too – not sure if I could switch completely to raw or vegan either… sounds a bit extreme for me, but it’s nice to eat varied foods isn’t it?!

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    • Kristy says:

      Hi Pamela. Thank you for your comment – we are definitely getting relaxed. It’s been fabulous so far. :) And the flavors, of this vegan dish are delicious and definitely not subtle.

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  5. joinmefordinner says:

    I’m not vegan either, but this does sound like something we would like . . . and so does the corn! I’ve never tried it with sage. Wishing your little one a very happy first week of school. As a Grade One teacher, I’m probably just as excited about returning as Miss A. is!

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    • Kristy says:

      The sage was fabulous with the corn. I put sage, shallots and olive oil in the food processor and we brushed it over the corn before we grilled it. :) Thank you for your well wishes to Miss A too. She’s very excited. And have fun back at school as well!

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  6. Three Well Beings says:

    I know I would love this taco “meat,” Kristy. I’ve enjoyed a variety of meatless, usually soy proteins, and I love them. This is completely different, but I love the idea of the almonds and carrots, and the spices are all outstanding! What an exceptional place to volunteer, too. I can see why you would have enjoyed your time. Now enjoy your last moments of summer…I’ll be thinking of you when school starts! ox

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  7. Eva Taylor says:

    I have to admit Kristy I had similar reservations about this recipe but your review makes me want to try it. I’m pretty sure this house won’t be going raw vegan anytime soon, but a change for variety is always welcome. I can see this being a great base for raw vegan tartare! Now you’ve got me inspired. Hope you have a fantastic vaycay.

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Eva. I was always rather skeptical of raw food and had serious doubts about the restaurants food being to my liking, but I was pleasantly surprised. They even had a raw apple pie. I have no idea how they did it, but it was amazing. And this is coming from someone who takes apple pies very seriously. ;)

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  8. sallybr says:

    I am trying to imagine the taste of this “taco meat” but it eludes me ;-) I am also trying to imagine Phil’s face if I bring that to the table and tell him it is a raw, vegan taco meat concoction

    Pretty cool, though…

    Have a wonderful time, and I look forward to your report!

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  9. cecilia says:

    Have a fabulous farm stay and the shot of the kitchen in the vegan cafe is fabulous. Lots of the beautiful people there, and who would not be slim and beautiful eating all that good food. Have a great week! c

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