vegan nachos with cashew “cheese”

This recipe is from the Native Foods cookbook. Jack and I first stumbled upon Native Foods one night in California on our way back from Disneyland. I typically don’t eat foods at theme parks (I know, I’m “fun” like that), so after the fireworks we set out to drive around and find a restaurant. This was years before iphones and yelp, so it was nothing short of a Disney miracle that we aimlessly found ourselves at this awesome vegan restaurant.

If you are new to the idea of nut cheese, it’s really nothing like cheese… but more of a cheese-like sauce (sans the yellow #4 food coloring). Feel free to put together your nachos however you like. I did black beans, pico, a quick guacamole, and “taco meat” made from soy granules. If fake meat isn’t your thing (I admit, I enjoy it occasionally), just leave it out and use what you like.

INGREDIENTS:
corn tortillas, or tortilla chips
black beans
chopped scallions
chopped or sliced jalapeno
ripe avocado
tomato
onion
cilantro
lime
salt

cashew cheese (makes about 1.5 cups, you will have extra):
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons agar (flakes or powder), plus 1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh)
salt

taco “meat”:
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein granules (tvp)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of onion powder

METHOD:
slice tortillas into quarters, sprinkle with salt, a drizzle of oil if you wish, and place them in a 400 degree oven until crispy.

cashew cheese:
Soak cashews in water and set aside.

Combine agar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes continuously stirring until the mixture thickens.

Put cashews and soaking water, tahini, garlic powder, onion powder and ¼ C lemon juice into blender and blend on high. Add agar mixture and blend for 3-5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Refrigerate the “cheese” while you assemble the rest of the nachos. (it’ll thicken as it sits).

taco “meat”:
Put all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

quick guacamole:
with a fork, mash avocado with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt.

assemble:
Chop jalapeno and scallions. Chop tomato, onion and cilantro to make pico (or just buy pico at the store like I did this time). Assemble nachos.

6 comments

  1. Yes!! I am so excited to see this recipe. I am two weeks in on cutting out dairy and I am already trying to think of clever ways to get around it in some dishes! This looks amazing, thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. perfect for sunday! love the cashew cheese.

  3. Kathy Patalsky on said:

    gorgeous photo!! love :)

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