The Live Green Smoothie Diet

11 Apr, 2009

Genuinely Meaty Raw-Vegan Taco “Meat”…With Chunky Guacamole and Fresh Cherry Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa

Posted by: Angela Leeds In: Angela's Favorite Recipes|Great Raw Pot Luck Recipes|Main Dishes

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Simply…Must…Have…Meat!

After staying up late last night looking at amazing raw food recipe photos (aka, “raw food porn”), I woke up absolutely famished for something hearty, zesty, spicy, and meaty-tasting! Although 10 am isn’t typically the time that someone eats such food, I was on a mission and utterly driven to achieve it… and I ended up concocting exactly what I was after. I’ve dabbled with trying to make “raw taco meat” before, but it never panned out. Today’s effort, however, worked brilliantly.

Made from a single portabella mushroom cap and some walnuts, with various secret ingredients which I shall reveal forthwith, it is truly delicious, and gave me the taste-bud tingling meaty “hit” that I so craved.

Minimum Effort for Maximum Pleasure!

As I am both lazy and busy, as well as a long-time “foodie” who has always been seriously motivated by all things delicious, my endeavors in the kitchen pretty much follow the dictates of “I want what I want, I want it now, I don’t want it to be complicated, and I want it to be great!” A bit demanding but… meh… that’s the way it is. The benefit is that any recipe that impresses me is bound to work for many other people. I need recipes to be simple, easy, fast, and wonderful. Unless I’m paying someone else to do it… then knock yourself out in the most rarefied manner, pleez. :D

In any event, I am a homey chef in the Nigella Lawson “minimum effort for maximum pleasure” mold, and have only a minimal tolerance for fiddliness when I’m hungry.

Raw Vegan Taco “Meat” You Can Actually Make To Eat NOW… Not 10 hours From Now, or Tomorrow

Having said that, raw foods recipes for “meaty” things commonly use the dehydrator and often take 2 or even 10 hours to achieve, sometimes even longer if sprouting is involved. Not my cuppa tea. In addition, they sometimes use some ingredients meant to trick your taste buds, such as nutritional yeast, which I don’t care for. I prefer simple whole foods without tricks.

The recipe that follows can be made start-to-finish in less time than it takes to make the actual carnivorous version! Also, even though I used my dehydrator to achieve the effect, if someone has a very low “warm” setting on their oven, it could just as well be used because one only needs to put the raw “meat” ingredients in a warm place to “meld” whilst making the other layers. There’s no actual “low-heat dehydration” required. And the ingredients are all available at your local grocery store…provided you have raw cacao powder on hand, as I usually do.

One word of warning — this is garlic-intense. But…oh-so-worth-it. Just, maybe… not the best thing to make before a big date or a night of dancing!

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Genuinely Meaty Raw-Vegan Taco “Meat”…With Chunky Guacamole and Fresh Cherry Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa

Finding raw foods that are truly “meaty” and satisfying in a savory way can be challenging, without a lot of sprouting/dehydration hoopla in the kitchen. I created this recipe for an on-the-fly meal anyone could make with common ingredients you can find in your local grocery store. The ingredients are exactly what I put into my carnivorous homemade taco-meat recipe — down to the cacao. Granted, in a cooked food recipe I’d use processed cocoa powder, and for this one you’ll need some raw cacao on hand. But that should be a staple in your raw kitchen anyway. :D

Do not leave the cacao out. The use of cacao in meaty mexican dishes goes way back in time, and I’ve used it in my chiles and tacos for years. It’s an integral part of a mole sauce and does something just wonderful to bring everything together.

taco-meat-ingredients

The Taco Meat

  • 1 Portabella mushroom cap, rinsed and chopped medium-fine (nearly 2 cups finished)
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped (not too fine… leave some texture)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw cane sugar (rapadura) or some other raw sweetener
  • squirt fresh lemon juice (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • quality natural salt & fresh pepper to taste (I use Himalayan Crystal Salt)

Mix all ingredients well and check for taste. Should not be under-salted.

Spread on dehydrator sheet and bung into the dehydrator on “almost high” — no worries, you’re not cooking it. It’s only coming to roomish-temperature while you fix the remaining ingredients, then it’s coming out. You could also put on plate and stick in the oven on “warm”, just to the point of releasing some of the mushroom’s moisture so they darken a bit.

chunky-guacamole-ingredients

Chunky Guacamole

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 long cucumber, cut in quarter lengthwise, then sliced fine
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime or lemon juice to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ACV
  • quality natural salt & fresh pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well. Correct seasonings for S & P. Make sure the overall effect is “zesty”, not bland & creamy.

fresh-cherry-tomato-jalapeno-salsa1

Fresh Cherry Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa

  • 1 cup cherry or “grape” tomatoes, chopped medium-fine
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • squirt (1/4)  teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • quality natural salt & fresh pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well. Correct seasonings to taste. This recipe doesn’t have super-heat. If you want that, add more jalapeno and some cayenne!

Layer the Final Dish

Take the “Taco Meat” out of the dehydrator and spread on plate.

layer-of-raw-vegan-taco-meat

Mound all of the Chunky Guacamole on top, and cover the whole bit with the Fresh Cherry Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa.

raw-vegan-taco-meat-with-guacamole

You can eat right away as-is, by itself. Or you can mound it into fresh white cabbage leaves to make “Raw Nachos” or roll up into larger ones to make “Raw Tacos”.

You can also leave it out at room temperature to eat later — the flavors come together and intensify, and become even more delicious, so this recipe is perfect for a Raw Food Pot Luck or dinner for company! Just bring a bag or lay out a bowl with the raw cabbage leaves and your guests can create their own tacos on the fly!

Would love your comments if you make the recipe!

Buon appetito!

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Genuinely Meaty Raw-Vegan Taco "Meat"...With Chunky Guacamole and Fresh Cherry Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa, 9.0 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
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26 Responses to "Genuinely Meaty Raw-Vegan Taco “Meat”…With Chunky Guacamole and Fresh Cherry Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa"

1 | ceci

May 3rd, 2009 at 2:30 pm

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looks soooooo delicious :)

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2 | Laura

June 8th, 2009 at 12:45 am

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Hi Angela! I just tried this, but used pumpkin seed (previously soaked and sprouted) rather than walnuts. It's not bad, but I think it would have been better with the walnuts. I'm going to try it again that way in the future. Thanks for the recipe, it really hit the spot.

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3 | angelaleeds

June 11th, 2009 at 10:46 am

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Great idea using pumpkin seeds — they are a fave of mine. But I agree, I think the walnuts will lend a “meatier” texture & flavor. Glad you enjoyed it!

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4 | Body detoxification diets

August 19th, 2009 at 5:16 am

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i became a Vegan three years ago and i can say that my health have been very very good. meat and dairy substitutes like soy also works well for the body.

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5 | alex

August 26th, 2009 at 6:21 pm

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where is the tortilla of that taco???

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6 | Angela Leeds

October 15th, 2009 at 9:49 am

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Alex, you gotta add your own tortilla to the recipe… I recommend raw cabbage leaves. :D

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7 | julie

December 9th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

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thanks for the ideas. i eat mostly vegan mexican food these days, and am interested in switching it up to mostly raw vegan mexican food. mexican food can be so simple and yummy! tomatoes, jalapenos, avocados..mmm

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8 | Angela Leeds

December 9th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

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I agree, Julie… raw vegan dishes with Mexican flavorings are so wonderful! And super-easy. :-)

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9 | A Complete Library of All Raw & Living Foods Recipes on the Live Green Smoothie Diet Site | The Live Green Smoothie Diet

February 22nd, 2010 at 12:54 am

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[...] Genuinely Meaty Raw-Vegan Taco “Meat”…With Chunky Guacamole and Fresh Cherry Tomat… [...]

10 | Marlena

July 1st, 2010 at 9:03 pm

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My God!! THIS WAS DELICIOUS!! I made it to your exact specifications (maybe a dash more cumin and garlic!!) and it was fantastic!! I would recommend to anyone! Absolutely a hit. I only added one thing…I used chard as a taco shell. Perfecto!

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11 | Angela Leeds

July 3rd, 2010 at 12:03 pm

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Am so glad you enjoyed this one! It’s one of my favorites. :)
And extra cumin & garlic are always good. :D

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12 | Rachelle

August 11th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

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I made this for dinner tonight, and it was AMAZING! I added a bit more cumin and about 1/4 tsp of chipotle pepper powder for a bit of smokiness and kick. I cannot get over how “meaty” this tastes! Finally, a “meat” substitute that tastes like something! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

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13 | Tanya Alekseeva

August 20th, 2010 at 4:21 am

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So so good! Thanks for the recipe Angela, I couldn’t find a better one for my tacos, so here you are in my new post… http://betterraw.blogspot.com/2010/08/spitalfields-and-taco-time.html
xxTanya

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14 | Angela Leeds

August 20th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

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I’m so glad to hear you liked this, Tanya! It is still one of my favorites… and my family loves it as well. :)

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15 | Angela Leeds

August 20th, 2010 at 4:33 pm

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Rachelle, I’m *so* glad to hear you enjoyed this! I know exactly how you feel… it’s just so incredibly meaty. I crave that, especially the higher raw I am. I really do need rich, savory meaty dishes.

You might also like these — these are just *excellent* for satisfying that sort of hankering. :)

http://www.live-green-smoothie-diet.com/2010/06/mushroom-salsa-dip-tapenade-meat-substitute-tell-me-what-to-call-this-versatile-dish/
http://www.live-green-smoothie-diet.com/2010/06/mushroom-caesar-salad-one-of-the-best-recipes-on-this-site/
http://www.live-green-smoothie-diet.com/2010/06/fresh-corn-pate-goes-brilliantly-with-mushrooms-chips-and-chopped-salads/

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16 | Alex

October 27th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

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wow, that recipe is totally different than the raw taco meat recipe I’ve been using. mushrooms and cacao, huh? so different, it seems worth trying…

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17 | Angela Leeds

October 28th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

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It’s excellent! :)

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18 | sabrina

July 11th, 2011 at 8:25 pm

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looks delicious! i’m going to make it tonight! if i can make a suggestion, you might have a button on your camera that will allow you to take macro photos… it should look like a flower. if you set it to the flower setting, your closeups will come out brilliantly and we can see better what you made! good luck and thanks for the amazing recipe, im so excited

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19 | Dawna

July 18th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

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I loved this recipe! It was both filling and delicious and easy too! I tried it wrapped in lettuce leaves. I think that I want to try cabbage leaves or also raw dehydrated corn tortillas next time. This recipe is very garlicy. It’s amazing how the “meat” tasted so much like the standard american diet tacos. Thanks for a great recipe!

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20 | Dawna

July 18th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

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Please see my comment above. It shows a 2 star, but it’s suppose to be a 5 star rating.

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21 | Angela Leeds

July 19th, 2011 at 10:23 am

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Hi Sabrina — thanks for the tip on the macros. Yes, this was one of the first recipes I posted on the site, before I employed decent photography. I used a macro lens on a DSLR for most of my photos, eventually, and have been planning on re-shooting this recipe, because it is smashing an done of my family’s faves! :)

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22 | Angela Leeds

July 19th, 2011 at 10:25 am

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Glad you liked it, Dawna! I was just just telling a friend of mine about it last night — he was lookign for some easy, “meaty” raw vegan dishes and I gave this recipe to him to try. Even after all this time, it’s still one of the best. My sons love it, my guests love it, and you’re right… the mushroom/walnut “meat” layer tastes very authentic. I’ve put the ingredients on my shopping list for this weekend…thanks for the reminder. :D

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23 | Ann

February 12th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

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I made the taco “meat” for dinner tonight. The texture was perfect but I didn’t care for the strong mushroom flavor which is odd because I love mushrooms? The portabella was very fresh so I don’t think that was the issue. I think when I make it again I will just add more spices and maybe a tad more olive oil. Thank you for the recipe!

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24 | jennifer

March 21st, 2012 at 2:12 pm

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This is a whole lot of awesome! I shared it on:
http://fuckyeahvegantacos.tumblr.com/post/19685948027/genuinely-meaty-raw-vegan-taco-meat-with-chunky

xotaco!

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25 | Cristina

May 31st, 2012 at 11:47 pm

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Amazing! So stoked I found this recipe! I’ve been trying to figure out a great meat recipe for raw tacos and this is IT! Delicious :)

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26 | Angela Leeds

June 1st, 2012 at 3:13 pm

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Am so glad you like it, Cristina! It’s one of my faves, and my whole family loves it! GREAT for parties. :)

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Comment Form


  • Angela Leeds: Hi Chris, There isn't a substitute for cacao butter because it has a distinct flavor and cools to a very hard texture. It can be hard to find locally
  • Angela Leeds: Hi Maggie -- The goji berries I have used are all dried, like raisins, but I know people who grow them and harvest them fresh! They are very hardy and
  • Angela Leeds: Hi Sharon -- wow, that's great to hear! I know, it can be discouraging out there with so many high-maintenance "raw" recipes. I write the recipes for

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