Who knew you could enjoy meaty tacos without the meat! I made cauliflower tacos that could rival chicken or beef any day. Don't believe me? Read on.
After the laziest of weeks and munching on the 2 batches of cookies I made, it was definitely time for Kalo and I to get back on track. "Commitment to excellence," as my Dad would say. But first before things get too healthy, here are the links to the most delicious Lemon Ricotta Cookies and Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbreads. Now for the reason we're all here ... to read about the best Cauliflower Tacos you've yet to try! And yes, no need to go back and reread that sentence, I said cauliflower.
But because of the heat from the Sriracha, richness from the avocado, creaminess from the beans, crunchiness from the cabbage and coolness from the sour cream, you don't even care that the taco you're enjoying is entirely meatless.
I have to share Kalo's before and after reactions because they were absolutely priceless. In the morning when I told him we were having cauliflower tacos for dinner he groaned and said "Ughhh, what? No meat!" That evening after he took his first bite, his face lit up and he said "Wow, woah you don't even miss the meat." So take it or leave it but my favourite meat-lover has given these tacos his ultimate seal of approval.
In all seriousness, the cauliflower had a great meat-like texture and overall the spice level was on point. Sometimes I find veggie dishes to feel, hmmm what word am I looking for, they almost feel empty to me. Can anyone relate? But because of the heat from the Sriracha, richness from the avocado, creaminess from the beans, crunchiness from the cabbage and coolness from the sour cream, you don't even care that the taco you're enjoying is entirely meatless. I can't forget to mention the importance of the fragrant cilantro and brightness from the lime, they are a game changer.
You guessed it. As per usual, I went a little rogue and put my own spin on things. Let me talk you through all the changes I made here:
It is a real travesty that I can't find seasoning packets in London. So I always ask my Mom to bring some whenever she visits. The recipe calls for chilli powder, garlic salt and dried oregano but I figured all of those spices and then some are in one of the taco seasoning packets so I simply sprinkled on half.
The store-bought guacamole here is nowhere near the real thing so I always make my own. I lightly mash 6 avocados (I like it chunky), finely mince 2 cloves of garlic, 1 hot chilli pepper and 1 red onion (and I mean finely), add the juice of 2-3 limes, chop a whole bunch of cilantro (coriander for my London friends), dice up 10 grape tomatoes and finally season with salt and a lot of black pepper. Nothing beats fresh, zesty guacamole.
Chipotle Sour Cream
I love a good dollop of sour cream on pretty much anything but why not take it up a notch by adding chipotle. By some miracle, I found a jar of chipotle paste in the grocery store the other day and decided to top our tacos with a tangy, spicy chipotle sour cream. It's just two ingredients but these little special touches send a dish over the top.
Talk about eating with your eyes first. I love the bright pink colour that comes from pickling slices of red onion in vinegar and sugar. It's so easy to do and takes away that potent, raw onion flavour.
When I make these tacos again I would do a few things differently. For the base, I'd try corn tortillas instead of flour. I think the nuttiness from the corn would better ground all of the soaring flavours. I'd also love to find a recipe for a crunchy, creamy slaw instead of just using plain sliced cabbage. Speaking of toppings, I'm considering adding crumbled cotija cheese or drizzling on a luscious queso to add a touch of decadence (which might defeat the purpose of vegetable tacos but hell you only live once). And next time I plan to make it a party with Pink Grapefruit Margaritas!
Now, have I convinced you to go meat-free for dinner this week? I promise you won't be disappointed. Adios mis amigos :)