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Fitness and Weight Loss These easy veggie tacos are secretly packed with protein

We asked top chefs their tricks for conjuring flavor magic from the most unexpected foods - so you can, too.

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Veggie meal play

Veggie meal

(Sam Kaplan)

And they're vegan-friendly, too!

We asked top chefs their tricks for conjuring flavor magic from the most unexpected foods—so you can, too. First up: cashews.

Cashews have less fat than most other nuts, plus superhero stashes of metabolism-fueling magnesium. But they've got an alter ego: dairy substitute.

Soak them in water, then blend until creamy, and you have the perfect mild-flavored base for soups and sauces, or a brilliant sour cream stand-in.

Meat on the Side author and blogger Nikki Dinki loves cheese and milk.

But when she wants to keep a dish light all the way through, cashew cream is her go-to.


3/4 cup cashews, soaked overnight
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs), halved and seeded
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans green chilies (4 oz each), drained
2 tsp chili powder
1 can black beans (15 oz), rinsed
12 crispy corn taco shells or tostadas
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Drain cashews and combine in a blender with 1/2 cup water, lime juice, vinegar, and 1/2 tsp salt until creamy. Refrigerate.
2. Heat oven to 400°F. Place squash on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Using a fork, scrape strands into a bowl.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add green chilies, chili powder, and remaining salt and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in squash and beans and remove from heat.
4. Toast taco shells according to package directions. To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup of the squash mixture into each shell. Top with tomatoes, cilantro, and cashew sour cream.

MAKES 6 SERVINGS. Per serving (2 tacos): 297 cal, 9 g fat (1.5 g sat), 49 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 898 mg sodium, 10 g fiber, 9 g protein

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Women's Health. For more healthy recipes, pick up a copy on newsstands now!

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