This week, I had a little bit more energy to spare for kitchen adventures. I have been actively working on developing a more “normal” sleep schedule. You know, the kind that involves waking up early and doing this thing called work. Huh. Between the newfound hours in the day and a box of produce delivered right to my door, I had some wiggle room for a new kitchen adventure. That’s where these cauliflower tacos came into play.
This week, I have been thinking about my friends near and far. While I have been fortunate to have a few socially distant visits with a small handful of friends near home, I find myself missing my friends further afield. This time last year a group of people I had known for several years via the internet were in the throes of planning our first full-blown weekend together. Alas, none of that this summer. But not to fear! With this recipe, I am going back to one of my first visits with this group of lovely humans. These Cauliflower Tinga Tacos take me back to a meal that I still dream about. I kid you not. While not exactly the same as the recipe I remember, this recipe hits all of the notes that a good cauliflower taco needs to have: a hint of smoke, sweetness from the avocado crema, and that satisfying bite from perfectly cooked cauliflower.
Is there a meal that you like to dream about? Yes there is. You know you’ve got one. Everyone has one. Tell me what yours is in the comments below!
Like I said, these tacos differ from the ones in my dreams. These, for starters, are served with my sourdough discard tortillas. While not required, I highly recommend you click over there and make those first. They really do add that extra…savory oomph to the recipe. I also serve them with a bed of kale beneath the cauliflower, but you can use any green of your choosing!
Cauliflower Tinga Tacos
- Large sauté pan
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- High speed blender
- large mixing bowl
For The Cauliflower Tinga Tacos
- 1 head cauliflower chopped into florets
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes or ½ of a large 28oz can
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 chipotle pepper from a can of peppers in adobo, plus 1-2 teaspoons of the sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegan bouillon powder
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
For The Avocado-Cashew Crema
- 1 medium avocado ripened
- ⅓ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh cilantro (stems included) packed
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pinch white pepper
For The Kale
- 1 bunch kale (approximately 2 cups of packed kale)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch kosher salt
For Taco Assembly
- 4-5 6-inch flour tortillas*
Preparing The Cauliflower
- In a pan over medium-high heat, sauté the sliced onions until fragrant and translucent. Once translucent, add the chopped cauliflower florets to the pan.
- Add all remaining cauliflower ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on medium speed until well combined.
- Once blended, pour the sauce over the cauliflower and reduce the heat of the stove to medium-low.
- Simmer the cauliflower and sauce on medium-low for 15 minutes, until the sauce has cooked down and thickened. It will coat the cauliflower florets. Continue cooking until the cauliflower is fork tender but not mushy.
Preparing Avocado Cashew Crema
- Before preparing your cashew crema, rinse out the blender used when preparing the tinga sauce.
- Halve the avocado, remove the pit, and remove the meat from inside the skin.
- Add the avocado meat and the remaining ingredients to your blender and blend on high until the crema is well combined and smooth. There should be no small cashew pieces in the sauce.
Preparing The Kale
- Destem the kale, tear into small pieces, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice over the kale and massage with your hands. During this process, the kale will break down somewhat, reduce in volume, and become less rough in texture.
Assembling The Tacos
- Lay out your small tortillas and top first with some of the massaged kale, then cauliflower. Finally, drizzle the tacos with as much avocado crema as you wish. Enjoy!
There’s but one problem with these tacos: you won’t be able to have just one. And why would you want to? The beautiful thing about tacos is that you can put several on your plate and feel like you are really indulging, even if it really is just a plateful of cauliflower.
I’m certainly not complaining!