When I lived in New York, Pure Food and Wine, a raw vegan restaurant with beautiful outdoor seating and perfect atmosphere, was one of my favorites. (Fun fact: this is where Alec Baldwin is said to have met his yogi wife, Hilaria.) Unfortunately, the restaurant closed in 2015 due to “poor management“, but I still dream of the food, especially the taco salad.
This vegan Mexican bowl, though not raw, is a nod to that salad, with its taco-spiced walnut crumble, rich and tangy cashew cream, and hearty vegetable base. It’s delicious hot or cold and can be divvied into several individual bowls to eat throughout the week or served as more of a salad in a large bowl or platter.
Recipe notes: The walnut crumble may seem heavily spiced, but it provides most of the flavor for the other dish components, so don’t worry! If it is too spiced for your liking, add more walnuts. Even if you’re not a raw kale fan, give this a try. Marinating the kale in salt and acid softens it and makes it more palatable.
This dish can be made paleo/whole30 by omitting the black beans, and is naturally vegan. For nut allergies, substitute pepitas for the walnuts and omit the cashew cream. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, it should be fine to substitute lemon juice. Lastly, as with all my recipes, use this as a general guide and add your favorite toppings as desired. Enjoy!
- 2 large sweet potatoes, diced into bite-sized cubes, ~1 square inch (I used both Jewel and Japanese varieties due to shopping error.)
- avocado oil
- 2 bunches dino kale, stems removed, cut into thin strips (about 4-5 cups chopped)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ( I recommend the Bragg brand)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup organic canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight or for at least one hour
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 avocado, diced
- lime wedges
- sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat the sweet potatoes with avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet, and roast for about 30 minutes total, flipping once around the 20 minute mark.
Mix the kale, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Use your hands to crunch the kale until it has wilted slightly.
In a food processor or the dry container of a vitamix, combine the walnuts, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt, and pulse until the walnuts are approximately the size of peas.
In a vitamix or other high-powered blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews, water, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend until completely smooth.
In one large bowl or 4 smaller (cereal-sized) bowls, equally divide and layer the kale (you may want to strain it a bit first), followed by the sweet potatoes, black beans, and walnut crumble. Garnish as desired with the cashew cream, avocado, and lime wedges. Eat immediately or within the next few days.