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'.
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).
BLACK BEAN + TEMPEH TACOS WITH CASHEW CHEESE SAUCE
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
Corn tortillas, warmed
Thinly sliced cabbage
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