Recipe: Little Birds's raw Mexican (with chilli, sour 'cream' and guacamole)

By Megan May

Little Bird's raw Mexican feast with sour cream and guacamole. Photo / Supplied
Little Bird's raw Mexican feast with sour cream and guacamole. Photo / Supplied

Food: Summer is coming! Well, almost.... I live in hope all winter that it will come early. While I write this recipe, I have goosebumps so perhaps it's not really here yet. Like every year, I go swimming before the ocean is warm and try wearing summer clothing a little too soon! I like to think of it as being positively optimistic, rather than delusional.

This Mexican chilli bowl is the perfect antidote; it will warm you from the inside out. And, with all the tasty raw ingredients it also manages to leave you feeling revitalised, making it the perfect fresh yet hearty, it's-almost-summer evening meal.

Serves 4-6
Ingredients
3/4 cup almonds or walnuts, soaked overnight for at least 12 hours then rinsed thoroughly.
¾ cup finely chopped mushrooms
½ cup minced celery
½ cup finely diced courgette
¼ cup red onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
1 cup finely diced carrots (you could also do this in a food processor by rough cutting the carrots then pulsing them in the food processor until fine but still textured)
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked
1-2 dried chipotle chillies soaked
1 clove garlic
1 cup water
2 dates
1 fresh tomato roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 table spoons cup nama shoyu or tamari
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 teaspoons chilli powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Optional ¼ teaspoon cayenne for extra spice

Method
Take all the vegetables and place them in a large bowl. Pulse the almonds or walnuts in the food processor and pulse until there are no whole or half nuts left and it is still chunky, you could do the carrots at the same time if doing them in the food processor. Place in the bowl with the vegetables.
Take all the remaining ingredients in and place in a blender and mix until smooth.
Add to bowl and mix well until all the ingredients are combined together.
Note - this chilli like a lot of dishes with dry spices in will taste better if you let it sit for a few hours. I love having this dish as leftovers the next day for lunch.

Sour Cream
1 cup cashews, soaked 2-4 hours
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/5 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
***Add extra salt and lemon juice as required to achieve a sour cream flavour. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer before using.

Method
Rinse the cashews well.
Blend all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth - you can add more water if need to get smooth. You can also sieve the mixture if you find your blender is not making it smooth enough.

Little Bird Guacamole
It's hard not to love guacamole. Creamy and garlicky, it's full of good fats and is very more-ish, with the added bonus that kids love it! Our Little Bird recipe has a refreshing twist - the now-not-so-secret ingredient lightens it up so you can enjoy eating more of it.

1 avocado
1/2 cup cucumber, finely diced
Squeeze of lemon (to taste)
Crushed and chopped clove of garlic
1 tablespoon coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
Pinch of salt (to taste)

Method
Place the avocado, garlic lemon and salt into a bowl and crush with a fork until mostly smooth, now fold in the cucumber and then coriander.

Serving Suggestions
Serve the chilli in a bowl with finely chopped iceberg or cos lettuce, fresh coriander a dollop of sour cream and guacamole with a side of raw corn chips or little bird Mexican crackers.

Drop by and visit Little Bird at 385 New North Rd, Kingsland, and now at 1a Summer Street, Ponsonby Auckland or see http://littlebirdorganics.co.nz/ for more information.

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