Is there anything easier, more fun and more colourful than taco night? Probably. But dammit, I’ll still get hella excited for taco night, because the possibilities are always endless with tacos.
A couple months ago in Toronto we went through a cauliflower crisis. Scary stuff. Basically, cauliflower, one of the cheapest (and most nutritious) vegetables out there became impossible to find and very expensive when you could find it. Multiple factors contributed to this — as it turns out, cauliflower can be really hard to grow (harvest literally a day too early or too late and it’s no good). So combine that with this year’s drought in California and, also, the fact that vegans and plant-based dieters are waking up to just how amazing cauliflower is (I recently saw it labelled as a “superfood” at a grocery sore) and, well, these smelly little heads might as well have been pure gold.
I’m glad those days are over, because I usually have a head of cauliflower on the go at home, but it did really open my eyes to what happens when food trends combine with environmental and economical trends — an utterly perfect shitstorm.
Anyway, that little rant really had nothing to do with this dish except that this dish is comprised mainly of tender, crunchy, blessedly cheap cauliflower.
And by god I hope it stays that way.
Crispy cauliflower tacos with avocado slaw
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- Serves: 5-6
- Allergen info: Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free option
- Kitchen tools needed: Knives and cutting board, large bowl, microplane (optional)
- One medium head cauliflower
- 83 ml (1/3 cup) chickpea flour
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce, tamari or Braggs (coconut aminos for soy-free)
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) sriracha (optional)
- Enough water to create a runny batter from the chickpea flour — about a half cup*
* I normally try not to be so vague with my measurements, but I would truly recommend just adding this one tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached the ideal volume and desired consistency. We like a thinner batter, and we estimate that it was around a 1/2 cup
- 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced red or green cabbage
- 125-208 ml (1/2-2/3 cup) thinly sliced red onion
- Two small/medium ripe avocados
- Juice from 1 1/2 limes (about 3 tbsp)
- 30 ml (2 tbsp) vegan mayo (use Just Mayo or soy-free Veganaise for a soy-free option)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane
- 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) coriander seeds or ground coriander (seeds preferred)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- Jalapeno peppers
- Any creamy vegan sauce (optional — I used Earth Island’s horseradish sauce)
- Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit (chuckle at the fact that it’s 420).
- Chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, mix your chickpea flour, nooch, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Add the soy sauce and sriracha, if using, and then add the water one tablespoon at a time until the desired volume and consistency is reached. Know that this might not give a full, thick coat to your cauliflower — the goal is to give it a little extra texture without being pancake-thick (not that there’s anything wrong with pancake-thick).
- Add your cauliflower florets and toss to coat.
- Arrange on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the cauliflower is cooking: Prepare the slaw. Slice your cabbage and onions and mix in a large bowl together.
- In a separate bowl, mash your avocados until most of the chunks are gone. Add in your lime juice, stir, and then do the same with your vegan mayo and your garlic. Keep stirring really hard until it’s almost whipped.
- Add the avocado-mayo to the veggies, and mix thoroughly.
- Sprinkle in your coriander seeds, salt and pepper and mix.
- You can store this coleslaw in an airtight container for several days — the lime juice will keep the avocado from browning right away (I enjoyed it for about three or four days after we made it).
- Before the cauliflower finishes cooking, warm a few tortillas on a skillet or in the microwave.
- Assemble your tacos, make them as pretty as possible, and don’t forget to take a shameless Instagram picture on #tacotuesday.
I’d love to see any pictures that you guys come up with — hit me up on Instagram with the hashtag #urbangarlic and show me what you’ve made!