Chef Jared Simons’ Quinoa Tacos With Cashew Crema

If one of your favorite things to do after a long workout is grab a bite to eat, then we've got a treat for you. Triathlon-loving Los Angeles chef Jared Simons says one of his go-to, post-workout meals is quinoa tacos with cashew crema. They're 100 percent plant-based and and packed with protein! Even if the sweat is still dripping down your face, this recipe is easy enough that it won't leave your arms feeling like Jell-O.

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Ingredients (Yields 4-6 Servings):


  • 1 cup red quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 1/4 cup water, plus 1/2 cup
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato-based salsa
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 vine-ripe tomatoes
  • 2 avocados

Cashew crema:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring 1 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Season with a heavy pinch of salt. Once the water is boiling, add quinoa and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes.

  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the garnish by cutting the tomato into a medium dice. Chiffonade the kale, then slice the avocados.

  3. Cut the onion into a small dice, setting half a cup aside for garnishing. Mince the garlic, then sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.

  4. Add paprika, chili powder, and cumin to the onions and mix on low heat.

  5. Add the cooked quinoa, half a cup of water, and one cup of salsa. Heat the mixture through and be sure to keep it warm.

  6. For the cashew crema, cover the cashews with 1 inch of boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and reserve the liquid. Add the cashews to a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding the reserved liquid until you reach your desired consistency - it should look like sour cream. Chill until cool and adjust the acidity and seasoning to taste with lemon and salt.

  7. Time to assemble the tacos: Warm the tortillas over an open stove flame. Add avocado and a spoonful of quinoa, kale, tomato, and onion. Top it off with salsa and the cashew crema and enjoy!

Read more about this recipe here!