I have embarked on a journey to an unknown culinary world this week and it has made me feel like a downright superhero. The raw food world is something I have never truly dabbled in as a vegan- or in my life for that matter- and I was excited to try it out. A raw foodist will claim to have better digestion, clearer skin, less-cloudy brains and more energy than ever before among other purported benefits.
I was bit skeptical, especially since I already feel so amazing following a vegan diet: I thought how different could it be? How much better could I feel? The answer: SO much different, SO much better. I suffer from the dreaded mid-afternoon slump at work regularly but while eating only raw fruits, veggies and nuts I have had energy to spare and a clear brain too! I am also impressed by my own culinary creativity using new foods and techniques in the kitchen. I created these delicious, raw, allergen-free tacos tonight and they were delicious, filling (but not in a gross, I-need-a-nap-ASAP kind of way) and packed with fiber, vitamins and a bit of healthy fats to help with brain function and clarity. These raw vegan tacos can be served as a delicious main course or even scaled down by slicing the romaine leaves in half to make hors d’oeuvres for a summertime party. Happy Friday and Happy Father’s Day to the best dad in the entire world (ahem…mine!) and all of the other great dads out there!
Raw Vegan Romaine Tacos
6 romaine leaves, cleaned
1 large tomato, chopped into chunks
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 celery stalk, sliced width wise to form small “c” shapes
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast*
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. olive oil (I used my favorite Harissa infused olive oil from The Crushed Olive)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, raw with “the mother”
1. Lay romaine leaves flat on a large plate and fold them gently into taco form to help them hold together when you add the filling; set aside.
2. Add all vegetables together in a medium sized bowl and mix with apple cider vinegar and black pepper.
3. Scoop small teaspoons full of the vegetables into the leaves, spread throughout leaf taco and roll each leaf gently around the veggie filling.
4. Sprinkle each taco with nutritional yeast (one pinch per taco adds just enough flavor).
5. Drizzle tacos with olive oil and serve immediately.
(For appetizer version cut each romaine leaf in half width wise before filling and if needed poke each mini taco with a toothpick in order to hold them together)
*Nutritional yeast, by definition, is not considered completely raw. It is pasteurized in order to make it safe for human consumption. However it is used in raw food diets often and packs an awesome vitamin B12 punch!
More Allergen-free recipes from Freedom Friday: Homemade Vegan Butter
Photo: Kate Coffey