It’s February, and I am all about fresh, bright food that hints at warmer days to come. Although, I live in the Northeast, so who am I kidding? Those warmer days are still months away, no matter how hopeful I always get when March approaches. At the very least, I will channel sunnier days in the food I eat while remaining cozily inside. What better way to brighten an endless stretch of overcast 30 degree weather than a taco night? Tacos have a way of transporting me to a balmy summer night on vacation. These crispy cauliflower tacos are a weeknight favorite in our house. I like tacos that have layered flavor and texture, and these hit all the right buttons — crispy, crunchy, tangy, creamy, slightly-spicy. Also, they are entirely plant-based and are vegan-friendly and gluten-free-friendly. But, more importantly, they are delicious, and will please all types of eaters.
The recipe consists of a few simple components: crispy cauliflower, creamy black bean spread and a tangy cabbage apple slaw. Both the bean spread and the slaw can be prepared a day or two in advance. If you are into meal prepping over the weekend, both would be great candidates to add to your lineup. This recipe intentionally makes extra of both to carry you through multiple meals. After taco night, I love to stuff sweet potatoes with the leftover toppings, use them in salads or grain bowls or use the black bean spread as a snack-time veggie dip. This recipe is the perfect example of how I like to cook for weeknights — relying on components prepped in bulk to make throwing together meals that much quicker. For taco night, if you have already prepped the black bean dip and the slaw, all you will have left to do is roast the cauliflower, slice an avocado and warm some tortillas. Easy! And if prepping is not your thing, the black bean spread and the slaw are both quick and easy and can be prepped while the cauliflower roasts.
Now for the cauliflower. I toss the florets with spices, olive oil and cornmeal before roasting at high heat to achieve an addictive crispy, crunchy texture. I like to use coarse, stone-ground cornmeal to really take the crunch to the next level. After the cauliflower is nicely browned and crisp, assemble the tacos straight away and serve! I like to dollop the black bean spread on each tortilla, layer a few slices of avocado, top with a handful of cauliflower, a spoonful of slaw, a squeeze of lime and a little cilantro. One bite, and I am instantly transported to a warm, sunny day.
Enjoy! xo Maggie