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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Raw Food Trio: Cabbage Chips, Nut Tacos, Cauliflower Popcorn

Our listeners requested an episode of raw recipes. So, we deliver three raw snacks using cabbage, walnuts, and cauliflower!

cabbage, ground walnuts, cauliflower

Photo: Sarah Kaiser/WFIU

Today we're using farm fresh cabbage, walnuts, and cauliflower to turn snack food healthy -- and raw!

We sent a call out to our listeners and readers: what recipes would you like to see Earth Eats cook? Many folks wrote back and said they didn’t want us to cook anything; they wanted some raw recipes!

Cauliflower Popcorn

“This recipe will help people stay with their New Year’s resolutions, which they’ve probably broken by now,” jokes Chef Daniel Orr.

We’re turning the head of the cauliflower into little popcorn bites by breaking it up into small chunks. Add a healthy sprinkle of Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast Seasoning for that buttered-popcorn taste. (It is gluten-free and vegan to boot!) Finish with a dash of salt and pepper, and toss everything together in a bowl. Feel no guilt when you snack on this around the house this weekend.

Cauliflower Popcorn With Bragg's Seasoning

Photo: Sarah Kaiser/WFIU

The seasoning gives the cauliflower the illusion of butter-popcorn. This is a gluten-free, vegan snack that everyone will enjoying chowing down on.

Even though the head of the cauliflower is the focus of this dish, we are not forsaking the rest of the vegetable. After all, you pay just as much for the leaves and the stem as you do for the head!

  • The greenery can be used as a chip substitute for dips. It tastes just like cauliflower and it is full of nutrients.
  • The core can be sliced into coins for snacking. Trim off the outer layer to get to the crunchy, juicy center part of the core.
  • Then, you can take all the extra cauliflower parts and make a soup! Chef Orr recommends adding some Polish sausage, onions, carrots, and new potatoes to your soup.

Raw Walnut Tacos

This recipe takes your traditional taco recipe and puts it on its ear. It’s raw. It’s vegan. And you’d never know the difference!

One thing Chef Bob Adkins, Executive Chef of FARM Bloomington, says is a must for this recipe is fresh spices, “Not the stuff that’s been sitting in the back of your cabinet for two years – you know who you are, spice people!”

If you aren’t concerned about keeping this dish raw and/or vegan, there are plenty of modifications you can make. Toasting the walnuts before grinding them in the food process will bring out another level of flavor. You could also toast the cumin seeds for a similar effect. To add some fun to the presentation of this finished dish, add a dollop of tofu sour cream or real sour cream.

Raw Walnut Tacos

Photo: Sarah Kaiser/WFIU

These raw walnut tacos are served in Napa cabbage boats for easy finger food action.


  • 4 ounces walnut halves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 8 Napa cabbage leaves
  • fresh pico de gallo
  • fresh cilantro


  1. Toss walnuts, seasonings, and olive oil into a food processor. Pulse the contents until it becomes crumbly, just like taco meat.
  2. Scoop walnut meats into Napa cabbage leaves.
  3. Add a spoonful of pico de gallo and a fresh sprig to cilantro to each taco boat.

Cabbage “Chips” With Thai Spices

Sambal chili paste might not be technically “raw.” Some recipes indicate that the peppers should be roasted before pounding them into a paste; some others say the peppers can be raw. The only way to ensure this stuff is truly raw is to make it yourself, but if you would rather not make your own, use Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste.

fresh raw cabbage layers

Photo: TheDeliciousLife (flickr)

Splurge on a fresh head of cabbage from a local farmer. The taste will be milder than the cabbage heads that have been hanging around the grocery store for weeks.


  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 toe of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced


  1. Rip cabbage leaves into chip-sized portions.
  2. Mix cabbage chips with oil, sambal and honey.
  3. Peel ginger and mince ginger and garlic.
  4. Add the juice of one lime and add fish sauce.
  5. Toss together and serve.

News Stories In This Podcast:

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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