I remember years ago, working in a nursing home, and one of the staff told me about this diet she was on. She could only eat ‘white’ foods. Except flour. And sugar. Of course.
Cauliflower, egg whites, protein powder, chicken, milk and potatoes made up the bulk of her diet- which lasted a few weeks. Enough to see her sufficiently hungry, irritable and I daresay, smelly. At the time, my thought was ‘Gross’. Still is, actually. But I also recall thinking that I would DIE if cauliflower was the only vegetable I could eat.
My experience with cauli’s was probably like every other Aussie kid. Roasted ‘trees’ in white sauce. Or boiled and served with a sprinkle of salt and pepper on the top. It was never one of my favourites.
Give me broccoli! Cabbage! Potatoes! Pumpkin! Kale!
Then as I got older, and began my food journey, I discovered the versatility of the very humble cauliflower. Cauliflower, who sits, understated and often forgotten about in the crisper. Waiting to be used for something other than a ‘roast dinner’ and begging to be covered in a myriad of spices, and sauces, and herbs, and baked, roasted, broiled to perfection.
Since cauliflower was revealed as the magic, new, fantastic, paleo (yawn) pizza base (see my recipe from 2013 here) I feel like it’s solidified itself as something heartier than a mere ‘tree’. Able to be turned into soup, rice, bread, and the pizza itself, pushing the boundaries on this little guy is welcome. Relished.
And it’s no surprise that here, alas, is a Mexican inspired dish.
Mexican Food + Me = BFF’s.
Mexican from the La Tortilleria Tortillas and spices – that’s where the similarities end. But the roasted, tender and caramelised cauli, the spicy kale, the cool, rich avocado cream and lashings of tahini… I won’t object if Mexico brings out the fanfare and claims this as their own.
One caveat: free tacos for life, please. Cause you can never have enough.
- YIELD: 4 Servings
- PREP: 5 mins
- COOK: 30 mins
- READY IN: 35 mins
- 1/2 large head Cauliflower chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp Rock Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cracked Pepper
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup raw Cashews soaked overnight + 1/8 cup of fresh water if needed
- 1 tsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 ripe Avocado
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
- 8 Tortillas
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- Homemade Mexican Salsa
- Pre-heat oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
- Put the florets in a large bowl, add the spices and mix to coat- then add 1 tbsp of the olive oil and stir again.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then flip them over and continue for a few more minutes until golden brown and tender.
- Meanwhile, blend the cashews, lemon juice, (water if needed) and avocado. Add the nutritional yeast and blend- taste for seasoning. Set aside.
- In a non-stick pan, add the rest of the olive oil, and sauté the kale until tender (adding a touch of lemon juice if you wish) and then topping them with the chilli flakes.
- Now- assemble. Place the warmed tortillas on a plate, top with the sautéed kale, the salsa, then the cauliflower, avocado cream, and tahini.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with extra smoked paprika.