Commemorating Mexican history on Cinco de Mayo is an enthusiastically celebrated event in the United States and parts of Mexico -- and the foods inspired by this holiday are kid-friendly and delicious. Homemade taco bowls with vegan cashew sour cream and lots of other toppings as the main event? Yes, please. How about finishing the meal with some coconut milk-based Mexican "not hot" chocolate ice cream? Sounds good to us, and to our kids. These recipes are also naturally gluten-free, as well as ideal for creating large quantities for a party.
I came up with the taco bowls as a contained way for my kids to enjoy a much-loved meal without as much mess. I love that you can get very creative with what goes inside the taco bowls and that each person can choose how to fill them. In general, I would figure that each adult could eat two of the filled taco bowls and each child will eat one to two. You can also make several extra tortilla bowls and then keep them in an air-tight container for leftovers. The coconut milk ice cream is light yet creamy and a tasty, colder alternative to the original inspiration: hot chocolate spiked with cinnamon. Make the ice cream base the night before and then finish it off the day of your celebration. This May 5th, cook up some or all of these yummy vegan recipes for a festive DIY meal that celebrates bold flavors that are both savory and sweet.
1. Gather the ingredients.
For the tortilla bowls:
- Corn tortillas (Note: these are smaller than the typical flour tortillas used for burritos)
- A small amount of oil for coating the muffin pan bottom or cooking spray
- Refried Beans
- Shredded vegan cheddar cheese
- Chopped tomatoes
- Any other desired taco bowl filling
For the cashew sour cream:
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
For the ice cream:
- 1 can coconut milk (lite or regular-I used lite because it was the only kind available at the store, but regular will make a creamier ice cream)
- 1 tsp arrowroot
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- toasted coconut for topping (optional)
2. Make the cashew sour cream.
First, make the cashew sour cream so that it has time to set up. Drain soaked cashews and place in blender with salt, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and water. Blend until smooth and creamy. This makes a nice firm sour cream that sets up slightly after an hour or so in the fridge. You can always add more or less water depending on your preference.
3. Make the taco bowls.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wrap your corn tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes to get them pliable. You can also microwave them for about 30-45 seconds. Do not skip this step as it is necessary to get the tortillas to shape correctly.
Turn a muffin tin over and coat with cooking spray or a quick swipe of olive or vegetable oil to keep the tortillas from sticking. Take one of the warmed tortillas and fit it into the indents between four upside-down muffin holders, adjusting as necessary to make sure that the tortilla has a flat bottom. Repeat with other tortillas. You can squeeze four tortillas onto each pan, but I like to space them out and do two to a tin.
4. Bake the tortilla bowls.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the tortillas become crisp and darken slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool. They are now ready to hold all your favorite taco fillings.
5. Fill your taco bowls.
Spoon refried beans, guacamole, cashew sour cream, salsa, vegan cheese, tomatoes and other desired toppings and fillings into the taco bowls and serve. The beauty of these taco bowls is that you can eat them with a fork and knife or, as my son prefers, with one hand.
6. Make your ice cream.
Make the ice cream. In a small saucepan dump one can of coconut milk. Scoop out about ¼ cup of the coconut milk and mix with the arrowroot to make a slurry. Set aside. Add coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and ground cinnamon to the saucepan and whisk well. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium to medium-high heat. Let the mixture simmer for several minutes, then add the arrowroot slurry and lower to low heat, whisking continuously. Cook for another minute or so, until the mixture thickens slightly then turn off the heat and pour the ice cream into a heat-proof bowl. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Pour into ice cream maker and follow machine directions. Serve immediately as soft-serve or place in the freezer for several hours to set up. If it becomes too hard to spoon out, let the ice cream sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes or microwave for about 20 seconds to soften. Serve topped with toasted coconut if desired. Makes 4 small servings of ice cream.
7. Serve and enjoy!
Bring your filled taco bowls to the table or allow the family to DIY and make their own according to their preferences. Finish the meal with a sweet, cooling ice cream flourish. Enjoy!