I don’t remember the first time I tasted Mexican cuisine-fast food style, but once I had tasted it, there was no going back. Albeit most places don’t serve authentic Mexican food, I am quite all right eating and enjoying the not so original Mexican food. Something about beans, rice and some veggies calms the inner Indian in me, and when you add guacamole, cheese and salsa…I am in comfort zone! But soon I realized as much as I loved tacos and burritos, eating the same old beans and salsa tacos got boring fast when those are the only available vegetarian options. That’s when I realized, that I didn’t have to stick to the bean tacos, I just had to come with my variation of vegetarian tacos. When I had some friends taste my variation of tacos, they loved it and I decided to share it with everyone. So here is my version of vegetarian tacos.
Difficulty Level: Easy
- ½ - 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 - 3 green chilies
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 small can of black beans (optional)
- ¼ cup water
- ½ - 1 onion (red or white)
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 small lime/lemon
- Ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon taco seasoning
- Salt to taste
- Mixed sweet peppers (fresh or frozen)
- 1 packet of soft tacos or hard taco shells
- 1 packet shredded or chunk of pepper jack (or any other hard cheese of your choice)
- Cut the cauliflower in small-medium sized florets and rinse the florets under running water. Spread them over a paper towel for 15-20 minutes to dry them. In the meantime, finely chop onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and green chilies.
- Once the cauliflower florets are dry, put them in a bowl and sprinkle olive oil over them. Give it a stir and spread on a baking tray. Roast the florets at 250 – 300 ⁰C until the florets are cooked and slightly browned-about 30-40 minutes, depending the efficiency of the oven.
- In the meantime, open a can of black beans and wash them thoroughly under running water in a colander. Heat a shallow pan, add the washed beans to the pan. Add water, salt, sprinkle black pepper, and taco seasoning to the pan. Stir the beans and let the beans stew for about 5-7 minutes. Adjust the taste as needed.
- While the beans and cauliflower is cooking, start making guacamole. Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon in a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork to form a smooth paste. Add lime juice from 1 small lime, salt, ground pepper, cilantro, ½ portion of chopped green chilies. Mix everything with a fork and adjust taste as needed.
- If using fresh peppers (red/yellow/green or all kinds) cut them in strips and grill them. Cool the peppers and dice them. If using frozen pepper mix, roast them on a pan until the water evaporates and the peppers dry out.
- Carefully take the florets out of the oven, add ½ portion of chopped cilantro, ½ portion chopped chilies, salt and sprinkle some ground pepper. Stir the florets to mix everything.
- If using soft tacos roast them on a pan before assembling; if using hard tacos, roast them for 3-5 minutes in oven before assembling.
- Assemble the tacos by adding: beans, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, roasted peppers and guacamole. Sprinkle shredded pepper jack and chopped cilantro.
- Use the green chilies as per your acceptable spice level.
- When using freshly grilled peppers, remove the blackened skin by cooling the peppers in a closed ziplock bag. The skin will peel off easily once cooled.