While I’ll never be a vegan (sorry, I love meat), I’m very glad that so many people are.
This is completely selfish because for me, it means I have easy access to things that make a dairy-free gal’s life much, much brighter.
Vegan cheese for vegan pizza, dairy free creamer so I don’t have to be a grownup and drink my coffee black, vegan baked goods to fuel my sugar addiction.
All in all, it’s not a bad time to be off lactose. But I do have one little beef (hehe) with health food companies:
Vegans, celiacs, the dairy-averse…we’re not all the same guys! I know it’s easier to make one product that is both non-dairy and gluten free but what if I don’t want my pizza with a side of rice crust?
And while we’re on the subject of pizza, couldn’t that vegan cheese pizza have some pepperoni on it? Just kidding. I know that one won’t happen.
But then I made a discovery that made me more empathetic. I realized that clean eating can be a bit of a slippery slope. It starts with reading about Siete Foods, a brand of amazing, grain-free tortillas.
Next thing you know, you’re finding yourself with a burning urge to make tacos. Then you think to yourself: I’ve come this far, might as well keep going and make them veggie tacos.
And before you know it, you’re making up a recipe for roasted cauliflower tacos on grain-free tortillas…WHO AM I!?
With a rub (borrowed from Smitten Kitchen, thanks Deb!) that makes them taste almost like MEAT! Oh wait, here I am, still me just healthier.
The good news for any of you vegans out there is I’ve made you a taco recipe that fits the bill. And the good news for the rest of us?
Blackened cauliflower tacos
(Spice rub from Smitten Kitchen)
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bit-sized florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
Prepared refried beans*, heated
Soft tortillas like Siete Foods
For the rub:
2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Cayenne pepper to taste
Coarse or kosher salt to taste (Deb calls for a teaspoon but I used less than this)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine rub ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
In a large bowl, combine cauliflower florets, olive oil, lime juice and spice rub. Note that this will yield generously seasoned result so if you’d like something milder, don’t use all of the rub.
Heat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add cauliflower and brown, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes.
If using an oven-proof skillet, transfer it directly to the oven. (One pan! Oh the joy!) Otherwise, line a baking sheet with foil and spread cauliflower evenly on it.
Roast cauliflower until crispy, about 20 minutes.
To assemble tacos, warm the tortillas, then spread with a layer of refried beans. Top with cauliflower and other toppings if desired.
*Note: A lot of times refried beans are made with bacon fat which if you’re vegan you probably already know. But just in case, check the label. I used Whole Foods fat-free refried pinto beans.