Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chickpea Tacos with Special Sauce

I call the sauce "special" because I'm not quite sure what to call it, but it is silky, creamy, and full of flavor and spice. It starts with my Cashew Sour Cream inspired by My New Roots, which I also use as the base for my Cashew Ranch Dressing. For my Special Sauce, I add roasted garlic and jalepeno, just like I did for my Roasted Garlic and Jalepeno Aioli. I always keep jalepenos from the farmers market in my freezer so I have them on hand.
  • First remove the paper from 1 large head of garlic
  • Seed and dice 1 jalepeno pepper
  • Put garlic and jalepeno into small rameken
  • Drizzle over 1 Tb olive oil to coat the garlic and jalepeno
  • Cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. I usually don't preheat, and ovens vary. Just make sure the garlic is soft enough to mash with a fork, but not burnt, just a slightly more brown color.
This is what it looks like before going into the oven
This is what it looks like out of the oven
In a magic bullet or other high speed blender, put in
  • roasted garlic and jalepeno, including the bit of oil left in the rameken 
  • 1 cup raw, whole cashews
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tb filtered water
  • 2 Tb Lemon juice 
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 ts paprika
  • 1 ts cumin
Blend until smooth and silky. It should look just like nacho cheese. In fact, if you add 2 Tb of nutritional yeast it would be the best nacho cheese sauce ever.
For the chickpeas, you need
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1-2 Tb olive oil or coconut oil (I prefer coconut oil for frying, but I used olive oil this time)
Mash chickpeas with your hands but not completely so they still have some texture.
Heat oil on medium heat
Add chickpeas and leave undisturbed until edges are golden brown
Flip chickpeas and continue to cook until golden brown
Assemble the tacos however you want! I did mine in this order:
  • corn tortilla
  • special sauce
  • lettuce leaf
  • chickpeas
  • tomatoes
I made these for my two special guys, Jason and his best friend Gil. This is the time of year when he comes by every sunday and watches football. He's always been a big lover of my cooking, and these were thoroughly enjoyed by the three of us. See, even meat eaters can love plant based food if its made with flavor, passion, and love. Enjoy!


  1. I'm doing some meal planning today and I think I will add this recipe. I'll let you know how it works out!

  2. Wonderful! You will love the sauce. I've got others that I will be posting soon as well. thanks for reading!

  3. the romantic girl in me wishes to one day have a family for whom to concoct such an amazing creation. but the ex bulimic in me is terrified by the cream! i think you are amazing, anneka.

  4. Thank you for posting some simple recipes! I'm flirting with the idea of a plant based diet, but most of the vegan recipes I see in cookbooks and other places are nowhere near what I normally eat now. And if I'm going to do this, there's no way I can go straight to eating seaweed and a lot of other weird ingredients I've seen in vegan recipes.

  5. Thank you so much Kelley. You don't have to eat a bunch of weird expensive things to eat a more plant based diet. I find that tacos are a crowd pleaser every time, and you could use other beans like lentils and black beans. I'm so glad I can help you on your journey and would love to hear more from you! You've motivated me to post more delicious recipes. Thank you!