GreenChef Sarma Melngailis | Soft Corn Raw Tacos

sarma taco01 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis |  Soft Corn Raw Tacos

Soft Corn Tortillas
with spicy “beans,” avocado-corn guacamole and tomato-lime salsa (raw)

Make this dish as spicy as you like. Don’t cut too deep into the corncobs or you’ll end up with those hard little pieces that get stuck in your teeth. When making the “beans,” keep in mind that they will be tossed with a mild tomato sauce, so the spiciness will be mellowed out. If you want to make them ahead of time, keep all the components separate and assemble at the last minute, as the tortillas will get soggy if left to sit too long. The flaxseed can be ground in a coffee or spice grinder or Vita-Mix with dry blade (it will yield about 1 cup ground flaxseed).

“We sometimes get large, skeptical men in the restaurant who may have been dragged in by a girlfriend or family member and who proudly insist ‘I’m a meat and potatoes guy!’ For them, I always recommend this particular dish. It’s very filling and hearty. Then I smile graciously as the same guys later inevitably tell me something like, ‘I thought I was going to have to go for a burger after this, but I’m really full!’ I’ve had so many variations of this conversation, and it’s always the tortillas that get the best response from the self-proclaimed ‘carnivores.” – SM

Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)

Serves 6

For the corn tortillas::

3 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from 2-3 ears, or thawed frozen corn

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow or red bell pepper

3/4 cup golden flaxseed, finely ground

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon ground chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Step 1 In a food processor, chop the corn and bell pepper. Add the remaining ingredients and process until almost smooth.

Step 2 Divide the dough onto two Teflex-lined dehydrator trays and spread to the edges using an offset spatula. Dehydrate at 115 F for 3 to 4 hours. Flip the Teflex sheets over onto the tray and carefully peel away the Teflex. Place back in the dehydrator for about 2 hours.

Step 3 When the tortilla is completely dry on both sides but still pliable, remove it from the dehydrator and place on a flat surface. Use a round cutter or small plate about 4 inches in diameter and trace around it with a knife to cut round tortillas. You should have about 9 tortillas per 14-inch tray. Keep the scraps to add to a salad or just eat them plain as a snack.

For the spicy “beans”:

1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 hours or more

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 1 hour or more

1 tablespoon miso

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ancho chili powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons olive oi

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons filtered water

1/2 to 1 jalapeno, cored but with seeds, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1 small handful fresh cilantro

Step 1 In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds, tomatoes, miso, cumin, chile powder, coriander, cayenne, olive oil, agave nectar, and sea salt until thoroughly combined. Add the water a few tablespoons at a time and process further for a wet dough-like consistency. Taste for seasoning. Add the jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro and pulse a few times to combine, but leave small bits of herbs.

Step 2 Spoon the mixture onto 1 or 2 Teflex-lined dehydrator trays. You don’t need to smooth it out; leave it chunky on the tray but flat enough to fit under another tray. Dehydrate at 115 F overnight, or about 10 hours. If possible, about halfway through, flip the “bean” mix over so the undersides can dry — this step is not totally necessary, as the mix will be combined with the wet tomato sauce anyhow. The mix should be dry on the outside and not too mushy, so it can be broken up into pieces.

For the tomato sauce:

2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for at least 1 hour

1 small tomato, chopped

1/4 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

Pinch of hot pepper flakes

Step 1 Place all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and grind well to a thick sauce consistency.

Step 2 Place the “bean” mix in a medium bowl and break up any larger pieces. Add the tomato sauce and toss to combine well. It should be thick and somewhat spreadable. If not using right away, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to a few days, if necessary.

For the avocado-corn guacamole:

3 ripe avocados, pitted

1 cup fresh corn kernels, cut from 1 ear (or use thawed frozen corn or simply omit)

1 large handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely minced

1 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium bowl, mash the avocados well with a fork. Add the corn, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, and salt and stir well to combine, If not using immediately, cover the surface of the guacamole with plastic wrap and refrigerate. This will only keep well for about a day or so.

For the tomato-lime salsa:

3 cups finely chopped, seeded tomatoes

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium bowl, combine the salsa ingredients and taste for seasoning.

For the tart sour cream:

1 cup coconut meat

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon white miso paste

1 cup filtered water

1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked for 1 to 2 hours

1 teaspoon sea salt

In a blender, blend the coconut meat with the lemon juice, cider vinegar, miso, and 1/2 cup of the water until smooth. Add the soaked cashews and more water, 1 tablespoon at a time and blend until completely smooth (you may need more then 1 cup of water). Season with salt and blend further. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be kept for up to 2 or 3 days.

For the assembly:

3 limes for garnish

1 cup Tart Sour Cram

Step 1 Lay the tortillas on a flat surface. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the spicy “beans” and tomato sauce mixture on each tortilla, leaving a very thin rim at the edges. Top with a heaping tablespoon of guacamole. Fold the sides up to form a taco shape. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Step 2 Cut each lime in half lengthwise (if you cut just on either side of the core of each lime, the sections are much easier to squeeze). Place a lime slice on each plate. Lay three filled tortillas against the lime and each other on the plates.

Step 3 Top each tortilla with a heaping tablespoon of tomato-lime salsa and a drizzle of “sour cream.” As you eat them, squeeze a bit of the lime garnish on each one.

sarma taco02 GreenChef Sarma Melngailis |  Soft Corn Raw Tacos

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