{Detox} Raw Tacos

There are jail bars on the windows and the red and white paint cracks along the building’s exterior, especially around the sunrise mural that resembles graffiti. Inside, cafeteria-style tables and chairs cluster next to worn wooden booths and bumper stickers plaster the length of the wooden beam in the middle of the room. Against one wall, plastic bins of beans and sacks of supplies are stacked on top of cans and cans of tomatoes, blocking light that filters through the burlap curtains shielding the windows. A lone cupcake perches on a small dessert stand next to the register, which backs up to the window where a cook pushes out plates of steaming vegetables, tortillas, and tacos in flimsy red foil-enshrouded baskets, framed by a black chalkboard with the daily soups and specials scrawled across with chalk.

A silver bucket of chips arrive hot, thick and crispy, paired with watery, spicy salsa.

Raw Tacos // The Pancake Princess

I’m in love with this restaurant—but more specifically, the raw taco: a vibrant, purple leaf topped with marinated mushrooms, a “purple haze slaw,” a mound of wispy sprouts, carrot shavings, sunflower seeds and slivers of avocado.

Raw Tacos // The Pancake Princess

Raw Tacos // The Pancake Princess

Things I’m not fond of: mushrooms, sprouts, raw cabbage.
Things I love: the raw taco.

It just doesn’t add up. And I’m a little terrified to try it at home for fear of creating something truly nasty. But when Erik and I went on a detox for a week, the one thing that kept us going was the thought of a being able to eat raw tacos.* After trying Sarah B’s version (since she’s never led me astray), I’m happy to say that this raw taco is just as good as the one described above, with more of a meaty punch. I kept the red cabbage and avocado and swapped out the magical marinated mushrooms for completely natural vegan ground beef and the cabbage slaw for a tangy-sweet peach salsa.

Raw Tacos // The Pancake Princess

These are SO good, I think it’s worth re-inventing your idea of taco Tuesdays (or Thursdays, or everydays). It took about 15 minutes to throw together this incredibly satisfying meal.The juicy crunch of the red cabbage against the meatiness of the walnuts and the sweetness of the peach punched up by bursts of lime and salt and creamy avocado–this is Mexican food at it’s finest.

*Why eat raw food? Cooking can destroy a lot of enzymes and essential nutrients our bodies crave. I’m no expert in raw food, but I think this is a pretty good explanation of why eating raw can be beneficial.

Boyfriend rating: 9
Comments: “This should go on your list of best recipes ever.”

Raw Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 tacos

Serving Size: 1 taco with salsa, no avocado

Calories per serving: 246

Fat per serving: 20g (these are almost entirely healthy fats!)


  • For the walnut taco meat:
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon nama shoyu (raw, unpasteurized soy sauce—I just used soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • For the peach salsa:
  • 2-3 small roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ medium cucumber, diced
  • ¼ small red onion, diced
  • 1 medium peach, diced
  • juice from half a lime
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • For assembling:
  • 4 large red cabbage leaves
  • 1 small avocado
  • salsa, such as the peach salsa we used (recipe below)
  • other optional toppings: sprouts, shaved carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, sunflower seeds


Pulse all ingredients for the taco "meat" in a food processor until just combined. Don't over process or you'll get walnut butter!

Combine all ingredients for the salsa and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Spoon some taco meat into a freshly washed cabbage leaf, pile on the salsa and a few slices of avocado. EAT!


Adapted from here.


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32 thoughts on “{Detox} Raw Tacos

  1. Pingback: 31 Healthy Recipes That Require Zero Cooking - Perfect Your Lifestyle

  2. Lianna

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your boyfriend ratings/comments lol also i’m in love with that red cabbage colour, it’s just screaming out to me that it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals and good stuff! I really like this raw taco idea, I really want to know what walnut ‘meat’ tastes like!

  3. Pingback: Detox Recipes: No gluten, no dairy, no sugar & it still tastes good?! | Erin O'Leary Photography

  4. Brandi

    Looks delish Erika! I make a similar recipe using ground almonds instead. It’s a delicious recipe. I love that salsa…I bet that really adds another yummy dimension of flavor. I’m with you…I don’t like mushrooms either. I like the flavor of them if it is mild in something, but don’t like the texture. I’m loving the purple cabbage!

    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Brandi! Almonds sound great! And yes, I love the sweet of the salsa next to the spice from the walnuts–great combo.

    1. erika Post author

      Oh good! It’s really like the easiest “fake meat” you could ever hope to make. And I think it tastes really good! (And so did Erik!)

  5. rika@veganmiam.com

    That is a very beautiful purple leaf, Erika! (We almost have the same names and both Asian, hehe!) I love the idea of placing marinated mushrooms as the “meat” Your raw tacos are beautiful and divine. X

  6. rika@veganmiam.com

    That is a very beautiful purple leaf, Erika! (We almost have the same names and both Asian, hehe!) I love the idea of placing marinated mushrooms as the “meat” Your raw tacos are beautiful and divine.

  7. Kylie @ immaeatthat

    Oh yum. I couldn’t get that link to the restaurant to work but I think it’s to Radical Eats?! I’ve been wanting to go…add it to the list of 39573 Houston restaurants I must try haha. And the idea of walnut taco meat is amazing!

    1. erika Post author

      Oops, that was weird–it should be fixed now! But yes you’re right!! I LOVE that place; I’ve been three times in two months I think. I’m so so so so so so excited they’re opening the new spot on Westheimer because the drive to the Heights was kind of far! I’m gonna be there twice a week now :/ YOU MUST GO! And thanks :)

  8. laurasmess

    Love your photographs Erika. Ah, that purple cabbage looks divinely crunchy (I like the idea much better than lettuce!). Re the vegan ground beef… I’m fascinated. The walnuts with the seasoning sound great, but is it really anything like beef? Definitely trying this recipe regardless. Good job on the detox! xx

    1. erika Post author

      Yeah, I think the cabbage is a much better way to go with tacos…lettuce is kind of flimsy! So the vegan ground beef: visually, it looks a lot like beef which I think helps when you’re eating it and the flavors are pretty close from what I remember…but the walnuts are meaty in a way that’s different from meat mostly texture-wise. Hmm honestly I haven’t eaten ground beef in more than five years so I’m probably not the best one to ask, haha! But coming from a vegetarian, I thought this was a pretty good stand (well, better) than the real deal! :)

  9. Tahnycooks

    I’m so making this peach salsa!!! Erika, this is exactly how I would eat if everyone else in my house was on board! Actually, I rarely even eat what I make the boys for dinner cuz, I make myself food like this! Wish’n we were neighbors! I’d love to eat dinner with someone!

    1. erika Post author

      Ahh that would be so fun if we were neighbors! You could spread your healthy influences to me because I only WISH I ate this healthily all the time! But maybe I just need to find more delicious recipes like this…they are SO GOOD. You’re such a good mom to make your fam food they like! Hope you like the salsa!

  10. Aubrey

    I normally gag at the thought of mushrooms, though I think I’m coming around, but these pictures make me want to give them a go again. I love the idea of raw tacos. I tried a raw food restaurant once and was so surprised by how wonderful everything was. I didn’t think it would be terrible, but I was still surprised.

    1. erika Post author

      Oops haha I thought that might be a little unclear, but there are NO mushrooms in these raw tacos! The mushrooms are in the taco that I loved at a restaurant; these just have walnuts + veggies. So no worries! :)


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