As much as I adore raw food (no grains means no gluten — yay!) and especially the dehydrated main courses like meatball subs and falafel wraps, I’m not wild about the typical dehydration period of anywhere from 12 to 20 hours. That’s too much planning and waiting even for me. Plus, although dehydrators run at a low temp — staying under 118F is what makes “raw” raw — that’s still 12 to 20 hours of running an appliance. That bothers the energy-efficient-inclined part of my brain. But I do love those nut-based patties, kebabs, and nuggets! So much more innovative and so much more delicious than typical beef- and chicken-based varieties. (Lamb-based varieties, on the other hand … well, you can’t beat well-seasoned spring lamb.)
So what to do? I solved my conundrum by making raw-style patties out of walnuts, almonds, sesame, and plenty of seasonings, and then baking them. Yup. This will no doubt elicit howls of protest from the raw crowd, and I do apologize for ruining the whole point of raw. But a twenty-minute bake in the oven makes these delicious nutty main dishes eminently more accessible and attractive to the majority of us.
I chose to include chili powder with my nuts to create a Mexican-style patty, and then I enjoyed it with fresh salsa, avocado slices, cilantro leaves, and a sprouted 100% corn tortilla sauteed in bacon grease. [Sound of another established rule falling off the pedestal and shattering.] If you’d like to keep this vegan, by all means dry-toast your tortilla or sauté it in coconut oil. I’m just partial to bacon grease rendered from pastured bacon. Not only is it delicious with everything, it lends a more authentic Mexican flair to this decidedly not-so-traditional taco.
Walnut & Sesame Tacos Makes 5 patties.
1 1/2 T. sesame seeds (raw or roasted)
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup sliced almonds, divided
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. wheat-free tamari
1 tsp. chili powder
1 T. dried chives (or 1 T. minced fresh chives)
Chopped red bell pepper
100% whole-grain corn tortilla, either dry-toasted or sauteed in bacon grease or coconut oil
Soak sesame seeds, walnuts, and 1/2 cup almonds in water overnight. The next day, blend them in a food processor. Preheat oven to 350F. Sauté the onion with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 2 minutes or until both onions and garlic are fragrant and soft. Add to blended sesame and nuts. Add remaining patty ingredients to the processor — including the remaining 1/4 cup unsoaked sliced almonds — and blend well.
Make patties by loosely packing a 1/4 cup measure, tapping each patty onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, and pressing it down firmly but gently to create a patty. Try to space the patties evenly apart. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Gently serve with any or all of the fixings. Leftover patties can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and enjoyed in a myriad of settings, from wraps to lasagna.