Sharks, Dolphins, and Nachos

IMG_3479.JPGProbably not seeing the connection, are you?

Hold on.

Let’s start with sharks. You’re familiar with them, yes? Aggressive, blood thirsty, dangerous… You see one, you run. Or swim. Fast. In the other direction.

Dolphins on the other hand? People pay big bucks to swim with dolphins. Totally different reputation: social, playful, intelligent. People get their picture taken kissing dolphins. I’ve never seen a picture of a person kissing a shark.

Good so far? Excellent. Let me continue.

Many years ago, my pastor compared Christians to being like sharks (judgmental and critical) or like dolphins(compassionate and inviting). That has been a message I have thought about repeatedly throughout the years.

Because really, doesn’t that apply to just about everything in life? Aren’t we turned off by people who are in your face? People who apply their own agendas without showing compassion to those who may not share their beliefs?

Think about it…we are continually being divided by topics of race, ethnicity, politics, sexual orientation, and religion. And while entitled to our own opinion, it certainly doesn’t give us the right to attack others. We tend to forget our words may be offensive (at best) or hurtful (at worst). We tend to lose sight that the “other side” is composed of real people, each with their own story. And we are not privy to those stories unless we get to know the person behind the label. Big game changer.

Want to know another topic that causes great divide?  (Not really giving you a choice here.) Food. More precisely, diet. People have very strong opinions about their diet.

And even within each “diet camp”, opinions differ. Case in point? Veganism. There are vegans who are in it for their health, vegans who are in it for the environment, and vegans who are in it for the animals. And, there are vegans who are quick to judge and attack those whose journey does not parallel their own. I’ve come across some very “sharky” vegans. Rather ironic considering veganism is suppose to be about compassion.

I’m just thinking that maybe the best way to arouse curiosity and to encourage exploration is to provide some yummy food (which just so happens to be vegan).

Nachos. BAM. There you have it.

Get your chips!

Nachos

Chips (I love Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues, but to each his own)

“Cheese Sauce” (recipe below)

Walnut Taco “Meat” (recipe below)

Cashew Sour Cream (recipe below)

Other nacho fixings: lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, guacamole, jalapenos, etc.

Layer chips on a plate. Drizzle with “Cheese Sauce”, and sprinkle with Walnut Taco “Meat”. Load on fixings of choice. Glob on Cashew Sour Cream. (Or be all fancy and put in a baggie, snip off corner, and “pipe”.)

Walnut Taco “Meat”

1/2 c. walnuts (cover with water and soak for 2 hours)

2 t. chili powder

1/2 t. cumin

sea salt to taste

sprinkle of cayenne

Drain and rinse walnuts. Place all ingredients in a mini processor. Pulse. Your goal is to have a crumbly type texture. Keep in refrigerator.

Taco “Cheese”

1 1/2 c. raw cashews (cover with water and soak overnight)

1 c. almond milk

1/4 – 1/2 c. nutritional yeast

1 t. sea salt

1/2 t. turmeric

1/2 t. onion powder

1/2 t. garlic powder

cumin and cayenne to taste

Drain and rinse cashews. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Warm if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Cashew “Sour Cream”

1 c. raw cashews (cover with water and soak overnight)

2 T. lemon juice

1 t. salt

2 t. nutritional yeast

1/4 – 1/2 c. hot water

Drain and rinse cashews. Place all ingredients and 1/4 c. of the water in a blender cup. Blend. Add more hot water if needed to get the mixture moving. Scrape down sides as needed. Refrigerate until needed.

 

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