Tuesday, December 8, 2015

roasted vegetable tacos with spicy cashew cheese

It's Taco Tuesdayy.


This recipe came about a few years ago when I was living with a friend in Palo Alto right after graduating from college and struggling a bit with my transition. I was at a job that didn't make me happy, in a relationship that would ultimately end, and just generally not excited about being in the real world. To make our weeks more fun, my roommate and I came up with a few themed nights we would rotate. The themes were whiskey and doughnut night, something we called Hawaiian night, which consisted of wearing leis and watching Law and Order SVU on repeat, and taco and tequila night.

If you ever watch Chopped on the Food Network where people have to create dishes with crazy mystery ingredients, you will know that the brutal judges, for the most part, enjoy every taco they're served. A wide range of ingredients will taste good between two taco shells, making tacos extremely versatile and adding to the fun of inventing new combinations. This one is without a doubt my favorite.

The first time I made this I just threw in the veggies and basil and it was absolutely delicious. The cashew cheese is something I invented to go along with these tacos later and it definitely takes it to the next level. The creamy, spicy cashew cheese is packed with flavor and tastes amazing with the roasted vegetables, fresh basil, and crispy taco. Although, if you're strapped for time or energy, like I was, and don't make the cashew cheese, these tacos are still a simple and easy way to brighten up any blah weeknight... especially served with tequila on a Tuesday.










Ingredients:
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 portabello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, quartered
- 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
- Corn tortillas, toasted

For the Spicy Cashew Cheese:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 4 to 6 hours
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread cherry tomatoes, portabello mushrooms, and zucchini on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and spread in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and toss (spread in an even layer again) and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or until they've reached desired doneness.

- While the veggies are roasting, prepare the spicy cashew cheese by placing all ingredients in a food processor besides the olive oil. Process for about 2 minutes and then drizzle in olive oil while the processor is still going. Process for another couple minutes until smooth.

- Assemble by layering roasted veggies on a tortilla followed by spicy cashew cheese and basil. Serve immediately.



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