Black bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauce

Black bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauce

We’ve been married for just over six weeks and yesterday was the first time I referred to Thom as my husband (!) and didn’t have to think about it or backpedal to correct myself. Which, as it turns out, is a really awkward thing to do when you’re interacting with complete strangers and you refer to your husband as your fiancé then almost instantly (and unintentionally) say husband. To which the stranger responds with a look of bewilderment and you proceed to explain and then shit just gets weird because NO ONE CARES THAT YOU JUST GOT MARRIED.

Unless, of course, you’re in Ireland. The land where complete strangers will walk up to you at a bar and embrace you, while congratulating you on your wedding. Or walk up to you at a bar and try to convince you and your new husband to put on an astonishingly smelly stag party t-shirt and, when you both politely decline (because ASTONISHINGLY SMELLY T-SHIRT), the eight-whiskeys-deep bachelor decides to steal a kiss from you, instead. It was the icing on the cake. The genuine excitement and well wishes from people who had no idea who the hell we were. Not the kiss from the drunken Irishman. Although that wasn’t bad, either.

Anyway. There’s a lot happening in our little corner of the world. So much that I feel like we’re probably biting off a lot more than we can chew, but thanks to my right-hand man and that stress-relieving herb that Colorado legalized a year and a half ago (HI DAD), it all feels pretty damn manageable at the end of the day. And then I wake up the next morning and am faced with the undeniable fact that I’m juggling one too many projects, we’re starting a business (more on that later), and somewhere in there we’re finally getting around to doing the kitchen renovation that got put on the back-burner when we realized we had bigger fish to fry with the water damage in the living room. The latter has been keeping me up at night. Not the pile of work. Not the ambitious entrepreneurial endeavor. But the fact that sometime in the not-so-distant future my indecisive ass is going to have to finally make some decisions. Like what kind of countertops to get and if it’s really a good idea to do open shelving and do we opt for the safe, neutral colored SMEG or go crazy and get the pistachio one?

(Don’t answer that. It’ll only further complicate things.)

So post-wedding life is basically boring and consists of us sitting around the table talking business and crunching numbers and trying to convince ourselves that we’re not in over our heads. And sometimes we have tacos. In the middle of the afternoon. And, on this particular afternoon, Thom was totally chill about letting his tacos go cold so I could snap more than a few photos and finally share the cashew cheese sauce recipe I’ve been keeping from you guys for far too long.

Times are a changin’.

Black bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauceBlack bean + tempeh tacos with cashew cheese sauce

Notes: I typically make these tacos with sweet potatoes instead of black beans, but considering it was 812937˚F the day I made these, I opted for a filling that wouldn’t make our house feel like we were living in the fiery pits of hell. If you’re not a fan of soy products and it’s not blazin’ hip hop (only people from the greater Cincinnati area will get that reference) where you live, you can replace the tempeh with sweet potatoes, instead. If you’re allergic to cashews, you can replace them with raw sunflower seeds – but you’ll want to soak them overnight for the creamiest results.

PS – I discovered something awesome last night. Recipe coming soon (but not soon enough).


Cashew cheese sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup filtered water, divided
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Black bean + tempeh filling
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 ounce block of tempeh, crumbled
1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
2 swiss chard leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
Heavy pinch of fine sea salt

To serve
Corn tortillas, warmed
Shredded chard
Thinly sliced cabbage
Fresh limes
Medium salsa
Sliced avocado

Discard the soaking water and add the cashews to the base of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add 3/4 cup water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and spices, and blend on high speed until smooth; about 1-2 minutes. If using immediately, you’ll likely prefer the consistency with 3/4 cup of water, but if you’re going to let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, add the remaining 1/4 cup of water (I always do) and blend until smooth. Transfer sauce to an air tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Will keep for up to one week.

While the sauce is chilling, prepare the filling by heating the coconut oil in a large skilled set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, then throw in the garlic and jalapeño. Sauté until onions are transparent, about 2-3 more minutes. Add the tempeh, black beans, and spices, and cook just until the tempeh starts to brown. Toss in the chard and cook for about three minutes, just until it starts to soften. Season with salt. Remove from heat and cover pan with lid until ready to eat. Filling can be kept refrigerated in an air tight container and reheated on the stove (or microwave), as needed.

Yield: Enough to feed 4-6 hungry people


  • Reply Crista 4 August 2015 at 7:43 AM

    can I say hi to your dad too? Hi Dad!
    also, those tacos look yum – i think i know which day you made them, my house was approx 3759549876 degrees and it was probably the day I realized that my swamp cooler is a piece of garbage (thank god for the garage sale lady that sold me a window unit for $20) the struggle is real.

  • Reply aida mollenkamp 4 August 2015 at 9:01 AM

    Congrats on officially being married and finally saying “husband!” And that Ireland anecdote cracked me up by the way!

  • Reply becky 4 August 2015 at 9:25 AM

    you have crazy skills; of the writing, cooking and photography variety. so glad i stumbled upon your blog. and good luck with the exciting times ahead.

  • Reply Heather 4 August 2015 at 9:33 AM

    I really hope there’s a picture of a drunken Irishman laying a big wet one on you. I can’t wait to hear more about your wedding and see the photos. Also, the pale green SMEG is obviously the way to go.

  • Reply Anze 4 August 2015 at 11:11 AM

    The legalization of that herb makes me want to fly to Denver even more. And go for the pistachio one.

    Greetings from Berlin, Anze

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 4 August 2015 at 11:38 AM

    Such a delightful taco!! These sound so yummy!

  • Reply The Vegan Cookie Fairy 4 August 2015 at 11:42 AM

    When it comes to choosing colours for your kitchen, ALWAYS GO WITH PISTACHIO. That’s basically my motto in life. (And my kitchen’s gonna be pistachio so maybe we can be kitchen twinsies?)

  • Reply Abby 4 August 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Prettiest tacos in the history of ever. I’m obsessed. <3

  • Reply Maria 4 August 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Hi there, I have one question. Is it possible to leave out the nutritional yeast? I have candida and my diet it’s very delicate. Thank you!! This recipe looks very yummy and super healthy and I would to have something else besides green veggies all the time!

    • Reply Ashlae 4 August 2015 at 12:39 PM

      Hi Maria –

      Absolutely! It won’t taste cheesy but it’ll still be mighty delicious. Enjoy! Hope you’re candida-free in no time. <3

      • Reply Maria 4 August 2015 at 12:41 PM

        Thank you!!! I will it tomorrow :)

  • Reply Bella B 4 August 2015 at 1:42 PM

    My mouth is watering! Your photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Amanda | Pickles & Honey 4 August 2015 at 2:26 PM

    For all of my years of “I’m never getting married! Women don’t need to get married.” and “Oprah never got married…” I got the biggest rush out of finally calling Aaron my husband. Enjoy the newness of it all!

    You had me at cashew cheese sauce with these tacos. XO

  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude & greens 4 August 2015 at 2:37 PM

    I am so stoked to hear about this new business venture! Unfortunately that little green herb hasn’t been legalized where I live so stress-relief isn’t as fun for me, ha. My cousin got married in May and it took her while to get used to using “husband” rather than fiancé. I am so happy for you and Thom and love seeing and hearing about your adventures on here and Insta! These tacos look so vibrant and yep, totally okay with foregoing sweet potato because humidity and heat has been insane for the past few weeks. Also, corn tortillas > flour tortillas. It’s weird how happy it made me to see that your recipe called for corn tortillas instead of flour ones!

  • Reply Cady 4 August 2015 at 2:49 PM

    House of Cards sitch right there except the drunken Irishman seems way cooler than Petrov! You’ve def got that C. Underwood cool, Lady Entrepreneur.

    Also be still my heart, that swiss chard. Tacos are apropos as I am planning on eating all of the Mexican food I can get my hands on the moment I get to LAX next month. But the waiting is muy difícil yo.

    And I’m not gonna complicate you’re decisions any, but I’m just saying’ Anze and Co. have excellent taste. Sunglasses emoji. Hugs.

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha 4 August 2015 at 2:59 PM

    It has to be great to call husband the person you love. Btw, wonderful tacos!
    Ps : I love reading your posts,I love your writing style ^_^

  • Reply Cassie 4 August 2015 at 4:40 PM

    This looks ah-mazing! :D now I know what to do with my tempeh!

  • Reply Claudia | The Brick Kitchen 4 August 2015 at 6:05 PM

    YUM these look amazing, and so healthy! Just wanted to say that I also absolutely love your blog – gorgeous photos of both food and travel and amazing writing that makes me feel like I am right there with you. Hope the next few weeks go smoothly for you! X

  • Reply Catherine 5 August 2015 at 4:49 AM

    Umm yum! I love the more lifestyle-y angle your photos are taking with the in situ table shots and all.

    Also, surely pistachio is a neutral, at least where Smeg’s are involved.

  • Reply Ashley 5 August 2015 at 8:19 AM

    Feeling your overwhelmedness just a few miles away. {{HUGS!}} YAY HUSBAND! And tacos.

  • Reply Heather 5 August 2015 at 9:18 AM

    So, I’m not a tempeh fan but my fiancee loves it and I gotta say…this looks super tasty. I’m going to give ‘r a whirl (and because he’s also obsessed with cashew nacho cheese sauce I may need to make that addition). Thanks for sharing this.

  • Reply Kate 5 August 2015 at 1:02 PM

    I just made this for lunch but served it over tortilla chips instead and it was sooooo damn delicious. Which isn’t surprising considering every recipe I’ve made from your blog has been A+. Excited to hear about your business plan! You two are inspiring.

  • Reply Kimiko 5 August 2015 at 2:50 PM

    I can get down with just about any kind of taco… these look delicious.

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  • Reply Susannah (Lemon and Coconut) 7 August 2015 at 5:03 PM

    Beautiful food, beautiful photos, and I’m still smiling and delighted at your words! I can never eat enough cashew sauces and Mexican food, I love this recipe. THANK YOU! Good luck with all your ventures, and congratulations on your marriage, I’m tying the knot in three weeeeeeks…

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  • Reply Anne-Sophie 11 August 2015 at 6:50 AM

    I’m always looking for new recipes! This one looks sooo delcious!


  • Reply Sheree 15 August 2015 at 4:49 PM

    Love every single one of your posts!! These look delicious! I’ve been looking at vitamix’s lately and was just wondering what one you use? Xx

  • Reply Andrea 17 August 2015 at 9:12 PM

    I found your blog through your instagram (which i instantly wanted to crawl into and live in! It’s so gorgeous and really makes me miss living in CO! Plus, delicious food pics.) Anyway, this is the first post I’ve read and I love your writing-style!! Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes, I can’t wait to come back and read more!

    Best, Dre.

  • Reply Katie 16 February 2016 at 2:00 PM

    finally got around to making these, and they are SO good. super satisfying, the spice is perfect, and i’m excited to transform leftovers either into more tacos or some huevos rancheros. even without the cheese sauce – forgot to soak the cashews last night, oops (on that note, can you quick-soak nuts like you do beans!?) – these were scrumptious! thanks for another phenomenal recipe :)

  • Reply Rebecca 29 June 2017 at 6:18 PM

    I’m not much of a taco person but I decided to give these a try – and oh gawd, my husband and I loved them. Looking at a lot of the spices, I was like, “I’m not sure I like these spices but since I really like Ashlae’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies so I’m just gonna try to trust it.” I had to reduce the heat considerably since I’m a baby when it comes to spicy food, but seriously though, these are fantastic.

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