Mexican iceberg tacos with walnut chilli
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
Fresh Mexican food is a great way of getting more wholefoods into your week, the delicious smokiness of chipotle chilli and bright bold Mexican flavours make anything taste great, from tacos, wraps salads and sandwiches. The nacho cheese sauce is one of the stars of the recipe — it’s delicious on all things Mexican but don’t let the food genre stop you from using it elsewhere. It makes a great cheesy dip for veges and home-baked hot chips, it’s even lovely drizzled over a simple salad.
For the walnut chilli
|1 cup||Walnuts, soaked 4-6 hours|
|½||Celery stalk, finely chopped|
|1||Chipotle chilli, dried, soaked 2-4 hours|
|1 piece||Dried ancho, or chipotle chilli, soaked 2-4 hours|
|½ tsp||Coriander seeds, ground|
|½ tsp||Fresh oregano|
|1 pinch||Cayenne pepper|
|1 splash||Lemon juice, or lime juice, to taste|
For the nacho cheese
|½ cup||Red capsicum, roughly chopped|
|1 cup||Cashew nuts, soaked 2-4 hours|
|¼ cup||Water, filtered|
|2 Tbsp||Lemon juice|
|1||Garlic clove, peeled and crushed|
|1||Chipotle chilli, dried, soaked 1 hour|
|¼ tsp||Chilli powder|
|¼ tsp||Sea salt|
For the tacos
- To prepare the walnut chilli, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse into a coarse mince like mixture. Don’t over blend or your flavours will become muddled. Texture is important. Add more of the ancho chilli or chipotle to taste. This chilli recipe will taste better if you let it sit for a few hours and allow the spices to develop. I love this dish as leftovers the next day for lunch in a salad or a wrap.
- To prepare the nacho cheese sauce, place capsicum in the blender first, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high for 2 minutes until completely smooth. Leave a few hours for the flavours to develop, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
- To assemble your tacos, chop the base of the iceberg lettuce and discard the larger outer leaves, then gently remove the leaves one by one by peeling it away from the head gently, being careful not to rip them. You can save any ripped leaves or really big ones for salads or using in juices (yes you can juice lettuce). If you do accidentally rip the leaves you can sometimes patch it up by placing another one over the top. Set your taco shells aside and take a few handfuls of the leaves you ripped or aren’t using for your taco shells and finely shred them to use in the tacos.
- Take 2 leaves per person and layer with the shredded lettuce, walnut mince, salsa, sliced avocado, nacho cheese sauce, guacamole and chopped coriander.
- You can also serve these tacos with your favourite hot chilli sauce, organic coconut yoghurt (a great replacement for regular sour cream) and pickled red cabbage.