I can honestly say that before becoming a vegetarian the only time I really ever saw cauliflower was on those vegetable party platters, the ones that no one ever likes but for some reason someone always brings… Not sure if I actually ever tried it before deeming it broccoli’s albino cousin and deciding that I didn’t like it?
But now this veggie holds a special place in my heart; oftentimes the MVP of my weekly grocery lists. When I first cut meat of out of my diet I thought I was doomed to a life of texture-less vegan “mush-mush.” My first homemade vegan burrito made me feel like I was eating baby food wrapped in a tortilla. Meat seemed to offer some texture, something I was desperately missing as a new veggie. I mean sure, you could add other veggies but none of them really stood up to my expectations.
That is… until I discovered cauliflower. When roasted it has a nice sturdy texture and mild flavor. It seems to absorb seasonings and flavor, matching well with any cuisine. I started experimenting and came up with a few different recipes for my beloved cauliflower: Cauliflower Stir-fry, Buffalo Cauliflower Poppers, Cauliflower Picadillo and my favorite, Cauliflower Tacos.
Here’s the recipe for my yummy Cauliflower Tacos:
Cauliflower Tacos with Grilled Veggies and Black Bean Corn Salsa
Serves: 4 people
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 1 head Cauliflower (see directions for prep)
- 1 medium yellow onion (sliced in thin strips)
- 1 bell pepper any color (sliced in thin strips)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes (cut in quarters)
- 1 cup non-GMO frozen corn (thawed)
- 1/2 cup Cilantro (minced)
- 1 lime
- 1 avocado
- 1-2 tbsp oil
- 2-3 tbsp Taco Seasoning (see homemade recipe below)
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 corn/flour tortillas or taco shells
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, cut cauliflower into large pieces separating the top pieces from the stalk. Roast cauliflower for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut and prepare onion and peppers for grilling. If you don’t have a grill or don’t want to make a mess grilling just a few veggies, you can sauté the peppers and onions in a small pan with a little oil (you can start grilling/sautéing when the cauliflower is almost done in the oven).
Prepare the black bean corn salsa by mixing the beans, tomatoes, corn, cilantro and juice from 1 lime. Set aside to marinade.
When the cauliflower is done, remove from oven and let sit to cool for 5 minutes. Leave the oven on to heat the tortillas.
While cauliflower is cooling, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high, mince the garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until light brown and fragrant. Crumble (for “ground beef” texture) or chop (for “chicken” texture) the cauliflower into small pieces and toss in with the garlic. Cook the cauliflower and garlic for a minute, stirring to prevent sticking. Stir in taco seasoning and water to coat (adding more water if necessary). Bring mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat to low and cover pan. Let sit covered for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the toppings.
Warm tortillas in oven. Mash avocado, leaving some chunks in a medium sized bowl.
For the perfect taco construction:
- Put avocado mash on tortilla
- Load up with cauliflower mixture
- Top with onions and peppers
- Don’t be shy with the black bean corn salsa
Serves: who knows? Makes enough for a couple times of taco cooking
Prep Time: 5 minutes, if that
Cook Time: NONE!
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Store leftover seasoning in an airtight container in the pantry.
Get creative with your cauliflower mixture – burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos… the sky’s the limit! Bon Appétit!
Oh and I can’t leave you without this… If you’re in the South Florida area, you have to check out Sublime’s Frito Misto (fried breaded cauliflower with a asian orange sauce). Uh-may-zing! Not necessarily healthy, but it’s good vegan cheat food. http://www.sublimerestaurant.com
Let me know what you think of the tacos! Do you have any suggestions? Questions? Ideas? Let me have it… I’m here to learn while sharing what I know…