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Creamy Kale and Potato Tacos (from Chaia)

These Creamy Kale and Potato Tacos are inspired by those served the classic Washington, D.C. restaurant Chaia! This version uses a cashew cream sauce base to cook crispy potatoes and kale for the perfect tortilla filling. Topped with salsa verde, pickled onions, and micro greens, they’re a delicious and easy plant-based dinner option ready in 20 minutes!

three creamy kale potato tacos on a blue board

What is Chaia?

Chaia is a restaurant in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., that specializes in gourmet vegetarian tacos. I used to live within walking distance and can attest that it serves the best tacos I have ever had (I live in Southern California now). Granted, part of the appeal here is just how well they’re able to transform staple vegetables into truly crave-able meals. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy eating plant-based, this recipe is a wonderful place to start.

Details on these Creamy Kale and Potato Tacos 

At Chaia,  these tacos are served with poblano cheese, which adds a definitive richness to the entire dish. To keep today’s recipe dairy-free, we’re substituting cashew cream. Pairing this with crisped potatoes and hearty kale equals a satisfying and hearty final result.

Toppings take this recipe from good to great. We’re mirroring the Chaia technique by serving with salsa verde, pickled onions, and micro greens.

jar of quick pickled onions

How to Make Quick Pickled Onions

 First, peel a red onion or shallot and slice into thin rounds. Add to a sealable jar or container and pour apple cider vinegar over to cover. Add a few teaspoons of sugar and a pinch of salt, then stir. That’s it! These will stay preserved for a while in the fridge and add a great pop of flavor to many dishes, particularly bowl meals and salads. This is a cheater’s method but I find it works very well.

How long do quick pickled onions last?

Pickled onions will last 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. You’ll find that as they sit, their structure will begin to break down as they soften (so they will take up less space in the jar). To ensure they stay fresh, always maintain the level of cider vinegar above the level of the onions themselves. 

Do you need to pour the liquid out before eating pickled onions?

Nope! The liquid is just a vinegar mixture so it’s best to just pick your onions of of the jar with a fork without removing the liquid. This helps the remaining stay “preserved.”

hand holding a creamy kale potato taco with pickled onions

Ingredients Needed for this Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 golden potatoes, medium in size, washed
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2 cups curly kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • Juice of half of a lime
  • Toppings: Salsa verde, Picked onions (outlined above), micro greens, corn tortillas, lime wedges

How to Make Creamy Kale and Potato Tacos

  1. Begin by preparing your cashew cream – add cashews to a heatproof bowl and top with one cup boiling water. Let soak for at least 10 minutes to soften. Add to a blender and make a cream sauce.
  2. Slice potatoes into thin rounds, place on a heatproof plate, and microwave for 5 minutes to soften. 
  3. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add potatoes in a thin layer and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes until the bottoms begin to get crispy and browned. Stir and flip as needed to prevent burning, but make sure not to agitate them too much as you want a crust to begin to develop. Sprinkle with cumin and chili powder. Add a bit more oil if things begin to stick.
  4. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds more.
  5. Add kale to skillet along with one half cup water. Cover the skillet to let kale steam and soften for about three minutes. Remove lid and stir. Cook over medium low for a few more minutes until water is evaporated.
  6. Pour cashew cream over entire mixture and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  7. To serve, add kale potato mixture to a corn tortilla with a spoonful of salsa verde, some pickled onions, and a few sprigs of micro greens.

table with chaia creamy kale potato tacos

What is salsa verde?

Salsa verde (“green sauce” in Spanish) is a type of sauce from Mexican cuisine that is made primarily with tomatillos and green chili peppers. Its origins date back to the Aztec empire, and it can be prepared raw of cooked to enhance certain flavors. I rarely make my own (for convenience’s sake) and instead buy a jar o of it pre-made. It will last for a while in the fridge and is delicious with chips or in many other Mexican-inspired dishes. 

Ideas to Customize These Tacos

  • Add cilantro in place of microgreens 
  • Swap in your favorite kind of salsa in place of salsa verde 
  • Use shallots in place of red onion 

Other Mexican-Inspired Recipes

 Mini Tacos 

3-Ingredient Queso Dip

Vegan Grilled Street Corn (Inspired by Elote)

folded vegan creamy kale potato taco

Print

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overhead shot of a creamy kale potato taco

Creamy Kale and Potato Tacos (from Chaia)


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These Creamy Kale and Potato Tacos are inspired by those served the classic Washington, D.C. restaurant Chaia! This version uses a cashew cream sauce base to cook crispy potatoes and kale for the perfect tortilla filling. Topped with salsa verde, pickled onions, and micro greens, they’re a delicious and easy plant-based dinner option!


Ingredients

Scale

For taco base:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 golden potatoes, medium in size, washed
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2 cups curly kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • Juice of half of a lime

For serving:

  • Salsa verde
  • Picked onions
  • Micro greens
  • Corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Begin by preparing your cashew cream – add cashews to a heatproof bowl and top with one cup boiling water. Let soak for at least 10 minutes to soften. Add to a blender and make a cream sauce.
  2. Slice potatoes into thin rounds, place on a heatproof plate, and microwave for 5 minutes to soften. If you don’t have a microwave this is OK, but your potatoes may need to cook a little longer in step 3.
  3. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add potatoes in a thin layer and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for about 5 minutes until the bottoms begin to get crispy and browned. Stir and flip as needed to prevent burning, but make sure not to agitate them too much as you want a crust to begin to develop. Sprinkle with cumin and chili powder. Add a bit more oil if things begin to stick.
  4. Add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds more.
  5. Add kale to skillet along with one half cup water. Cover the skillet to let kale steam and soften for about three minutes. Remove lid and stir. Cook over medium low for a few more minutes until water is evaporated.
  6. Pour cashew cream over entire mixture and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  7. To serve, add kale potato mixture to a corn tortilla with a spoonful of salsa verde, some pickled onions, and a few sprigs of micro greens.

Notes

Instructions for preparing pickled onions are available in the post!

Nutrition information is listed for potato kale filling only.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stirring
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: One fourth of recipe
  • Calories: 233 calories
  • Sugar: 2.1 grams
  • Sodium: 598 milligrams
  • Fat: 14.1 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.9 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 24 grams
  • Fiber: 3.4 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: taco, potato, kale, dinner, healthy, chaia

 

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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Comments

  1. Ha says

    I had a craving for these tacos but no longer live in DC so I had to make them. Amazingly delicious, creamy, and feels so healthy. Thank you so much for creating this!

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Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

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