The Ultimate Taco

For this month’s recipe, I consulted our resident Naturopathic Doctor Ose for some guidance on what foods are particularly good for someone with a male body system.  As I offered up some common male “go-to” herbs such as Ginseng, Saw Palmetto, and Sarsaparilla to incorporate in the recipe, he suggested that maybe men don’t need to increase their yang energy, they need to balance it.  This made complete sense to me.  I have included plants in this month’s recipe that support heart health, help reduce high blood pressure, and can help build strong bones and muscles, all wrapped up in a hearty tortilla….. The Ultimate Taco!  Yes, the Ultimate Taco, meaning you can have a delicious hearty flavorful meal with a ton of nutrients packed right in the mix.  This is no greasy fast food stomach bomb; these little handfuls are chock full of all the fuel you need to keep your machine running on all cylinders.  This folded flavor pouch is loaded with taco meat made from Omega strong walnuts, crisp light slaw with red cabbage and greens, and drizzled with a silken umami bursting Tahini Cashew Queso.  So slam on in, and you can eat 3 or 4 or 5 without feeling like you got run over by a truck.  I have listed just some of the ingredients here that are great for everyone and can help contribute to a more efficient male system:
Red cabbage: contains high amounts of polyphenols and beta carotene which contain strong antioxidants to help fight off heart disease and cancer.
Walnuts: Omega 6 and 3, which have been shown to reduce high blood pressure, improve semen quality, and help stimulate hair growth.
Turmeric: mind blowing good anti-inflammatory. Seriously, if you have not utilized turmeric root for inflammation, give it a try.
Tahini: calcium to make for strong bones and great for yang male bodied energy systems.  Helps improve liver function, too.
Nutritional yeast: packed with b vitamins, and contains niacin and zinc. Also, contains compounds that help increase energy and reduce cholesterol.
Cilantro: helps prevent cardiovascular damage, strong antioxidant.
Kale and collard greens: (these two have health benefits that could fill up this entire page so I will just write a few) both contain high amounts of Vitamins A, B, C, and K.  Great blood purifiers, great for heart health! We could all use a little heart health in our lives!

Ultimate Taco
I am going to give you the recipe for the meat, queso, and slaw portion of this.  I added black beans to mine, and a little tomato on top. I used blue corn tortillas that were handmade from the Portland Mercado, but feel free to use any tortilla you’d like or make an Ultimate Taco “bowl” by putting all your goodies over greens of your choice…

For the Walnut Taco Meat:
1 ½ cups walnuts
1 clove garlic
Juice of ½ a lime (it’ll be around a teaspoon)
½ teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or ¼ teaspoon tamari or soy sauce)
½ teaspoon Olive or Safflower oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
a couple of dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I am a Tapatio or Cholula person, myself)
2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa
1 tablespoon fresh minced cilantro
sea salt to taste

Method: place all ingredients except salsa and cilantro in food processor and pulse 10-12 times to minced up mixture. Make sure to not just start your blender and let it run, or you will end up with a walnut paste! Just pulse a handful of times until you get minced little morsels. Dump mixture out into a bowl. Mix in the salsa and cilantro, cover and place in fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best but two hours will work fine). When you are ready to serve, you can add more salsa or oil if you’d like, to achieve your desired consistency).

Tahini Cashew Queso:
1 cup soaked raw cashews (*To soak cashews: place raw cashews covered in warm water for at least 15 minutes, or covered in water overnight in fridge. Then, drain and discard soaking water)
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1 ¾ tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or ½ tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce)
½ cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (this comes in a tiny can if you have not worked with it. I pull out a pepper, use 1/3 of the pepper itself, and a small scoop of the Adobo sauce and onions it comes canned in. it is super smoky and spicy, so start small and add more to adjust heat)
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)

Method:
Place all ingredients in blender and let it blend until smooth. (*If it doesn’t get completely smooth, that is fine!) It’s now ready to spoon or drizzle into your mouth or on top of your taco!

Cilantro Lime Slaw:
A handful of shredded red kale
A handful of shredded red cabbage
A handful of shredded collard greens
¼ julienned red onion
A small handful of rough chopped cilantro leaves

-For the dressing:
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon safflower or canola oil (olive oil works, but sometimes the flavor can over power this delicate dressing)
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl big enough to accommodate your slaw. Add all the slaw ingredients, and mix together, coating all of your slaw with the dressing.

To assemble:
Lay down your tortilla
Spoon a couple tablespoons of walnut taco meat onto tortilla
Put a pile of slaw on the walnut meat
Drizzle with queso
Add some hot sauce or sour cream (optional)
Slam into mouth, remembering to chew
Repeat until satisfied


Learn About This Author
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Nicole Worthington

Nicole Worthington has been drawn to the Pacific Northwest much of her life, but finally made the jump to Portland a few summers back. With a background in cooking, Yoga, and the healing power of food, Herbalism has been a wonderful addition to her life energetically and physically. The plants have provided much solace and healing during a time of loss and grief, as well as providing overall balance in the body and mind. Nicole is confident that Herbalism is the Peoples’ Medicine, and by making a cup of tea you are already denying oppressive systems that reject self care and complete wellness. Nicole has learned much from the plants and spends time honoring, listening, and being open to all the wisdom they have to offer. Nicole feels blessed to continue her journey with all the beautiful beings here at The Herb Shoppe and is excited to share the knowledge and insight she has learned with an open heart and mind.

When Nicole is not learning from the plants, she can be found immersed in a thrift store, goofing around with friends, or listening to records while playing in the kitchen. :)

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