A weeknight staple, Roasted Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Chili-Lime Slaw are chipotle spicy, and packed with flavor. These vegan tacos are freezer friendly and done in about 30 minutes! Serve with your favorite Mexican inspired sides and don’t forget the guacamole! This recipe is vegan, vegetarian and easily gluten free.
A Holiday Pause
I’m interrupting the copious amounts of cookies to bring you quick-to-pull-together mouthwatering Roasted Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Chili-Lime Slaw. Perfectly appropriate for the holiday table.
Have you made cauliflower tacos? Surprising, yes but…
…but before we talk vegan tacos, let’s continue from last week’s blog post regarding the holiday season and how I’ve transitioned from holiday crazy lady to holiday calm without all the tangible stuff the holiday usually brings with it.
I appreciate your comments, both public and private, regarding my previous post. I realize this is not something so easily talked about due to much of the American tradition that surrounds the holidays. I get it. Going against the grain can feel awkward. It’s still hard for me to talk about, even with some family. But breaking tradition is not such a bad thing when one considers the individual, collective and broader impacts. Who says tradition is the right way anyway?
No More Holiday Crazy Lady!
This is the first year I’m asking family and friends that if they’re considering a gift for me, to give to either of two charitable organizations in lieu of anything tangible and my reasons behind it. A few I’ve yet to tell, because it’s not an easy conversation to have.
Years ago, Rob and I were having longer conversations about how we wanted to celebrate the season different than what we’d done traditionally. Gift giving needed to shift from tangible to experiential or donated to an organization/non profit that the recipient values or supports. If a tangible item is gifted, it needs to fill a specific need, come from a local maker or greater art community, or food, preferably made from my kitchen – this is my favorite.
Setting goals and priorities for gift giving gives us a framework, allowing flexibility yet reduces demand for the collective stuff our natural resources and our planet is already overburdened with.
A Different Kind of Holiday
So, what does this look like?
On a personal level, it means Rob and I take a trip and/or donate to causes we support rather than exchange gifts. The trip can be local and short, or further away for a longer stay. It can be with family, or not, and it’s generally something we start discussing many months ahead, depending on the destination.
Planning travel together and looking forward to the experience is something we treasure. Too, the memories last far longer than the latest gadget or fashion.
I’ve listed some of my favorite gifts to give below under the cauliflower taco recipe. The Foodie Ideas section is my favorite, and I’ve tried to be concise (there are so many!). I think my Grandmere’ who always gave the grandkids foodie gifts influenced my gift giving ways.
There’s so many ways to give during the holiday season. But, there are no rules and the gift doesn’t have to be something you can put your hands on.
While you’re considering your gift list, and making plans for food, be sure to put a head of cauliflower, tortillas and cabbage on your list to make this vegan taco recipe! Cauliflower tacos come together quick and feed a small crowd. For those not feeding a crowd, the cauliflower taco mixture is freezer friendly and can be portioned and frozen for up a month.
How to Make Cauliflower Tacos with Chili-Lime Slaw:
- While the cauliflower is roasting, saute the onions, then sprinkle in the spices, minced chipotle chilis and adobo sauce.
- Add your favorite salsa (homemade if you like) and fire roasted tomatoes, then the roasted cauliflower and simmer for about five minutes.
- Pull together the taco slaw, and sides and these vegan tacos are ready!
These vegan tacos pair deliciously with pepita creama and while it does require a high speed blender (I use Vitamix), guacamole, sour cream or avocado cream is fabulous as well (and the latter two don’t require any pre-planning like the pepita creama). Just smear any one you choose on the bottom of the tortilla, then pile on the cauliflower and slaw.
What to Serve with these Tinga Tacos
A Few Recipe Notes
- These tacos are simple enough to make, but the components and sides can take a bit of time to pull together. If meal prepping, the pepetia creme, and salsa can be made ahead.
- Make it Gluten Free: use your favorite corn tortillas.
- Freezer Friendly? Yes please! The tinga cauliflower freezes with ease and is perfect for meal prep!
More Vegetarian and Vegan Taco Recipes to Love
- Creamy Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Tacos
- Rancheros Tofu Scramble
- Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos – from Foolproof Living
- Mexican Inspired Tofu Tacos with Chili Lime Slaw
- Chipotle Zucchini and Corn Tacos – from Floating Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Tinga Tacos with Chili-Lime Slaw
For the Tacos:
- 1 Head of Cauliflower* (see note) chopped into small bite size pieces, about 1 3/4 lb (790g)
- 2 1/2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
- 1 C (110g) Purple Onion chopped, about 1 medium
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cumin ground
- 1 1/2 - 2 Tbs Chipotle Chilis + Adobo Sauce mince the chilis and mix with adobo sauce - omit or reduce to 1 tsp adobo sauce for a much milder tinga! Look for gluten free if needed.
- 1 C (274g) Fire Roasted Tomatoes + its juices, leftovers may be frozen
- 1/2 C (135g) Prepared Salsa I like homemade
- 12-14 6" Corn or Flour Tortillas
For the Chili-Lime Slaw:
- 3 C (150g) Purple and Green Cabbage shredded, loosely packed
- 1 Tbs Fresh Jalapeno seeded and chopped fine, or to taste (add more to take the spicy up!)
- 1/2 C (20g) Cilantro chopped
- Juice of Two Limes
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
For the Tacos:
- Set oven rack to center of the oven and preheat to 425F (218C). Line a sheet pan with silpat or parchment paper.
- Toss the cauliflower with 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing and flipping the cauliflower once while roasting. When done, it should still be firm, yet toasty around the edges. Set aside.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, heat the remaining 1 Tbs olive oil in a large saute pan until it shimmers. Add the onion and saute on medium low for about 5-8 minutes, or just until softened. Sprinkle in the salt and cumin and add the chipotles + adobo sauce. Stir to coat. Add the tomatoes, salsa and roasted cauliflower. Stir to warm through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and put a lid on it until ready to serve.
For the Chili-Lime Slaw:
- In a medium bowl, mix the red and green cabbage, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and sea salt. Set aside or rest in the refrigerator until ready for service.
- I like to warm my tortillas on a low open flame on the stove top turning with tongs a few times to lightly char the tortillas. To hold them warm, place the tortillas in foil and into a warmed toaster oven on low heat.
- On the tortilla, spoon a good smear of guacamole, sour cream or pepita crema down the center of the tortilla. Spoon the cauliflower mixture evenly over the top, then add the slaw and any condiments you prefer.
- Store the leftover cauliflower mixture in the fridge in a lidded container for up to three days or it may be frozen for up to a month.
Foodie Gift Ideas (my favorite!):
- dark chocolate shortbread and for vegan friends too
- #PlasticFreeFoodie vol 1 and #PlasticFreeFoodie vol 2 – eBook collaborations featuring over 60 healthy, plant based recipes; 100% of proceeds donated to ocean conservation organizations.
- setting a date to make something wonderful in the kitchen, whether it’s planning and cooking a fabulous meal or baking the most epic cake together
- sweet and spicy nut and pretzel mix
- a bottle of their favorite liqueur or wine (always a winner!)
- bourbon date nut truffles
- a local farm may have braided garlic or seasonal fruit
- setting a date and plan for an epic picnic and hike to a new destination
- vanilla sugar
Other Than Foodie Gift Ideas:
- donation to an environmental/habitat protection organization – this resource lists some of my favorites
- support your local land trust who do tremendous work to protect open spaces – there’s most likely one near you
- look for used on Craigslist
- a trip to the symphony
- Headspace App for meditation
- a gift card for a spa treatment
- a subscription to Audible or Kindle gift card.
- movie passes
- find local makers/artists/vintage on Etsy (you can search by city!)
- Pandora music gift subscription or iTunes gift card