(MEATLESS MONDAYS/VEGAN RECIPES) For this week’s Meat-Free Monday, try this in-season recipe for March: roasted cauliflower and lentil tacos with creamy chipotle sauce.
The golden, roasted cauliflower makes a great taco filling that’s perfectly crispy, while the lentils are robustly seasoned with onions, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, and chili powder.
Top it all off with a drizzle of spicy, creamy chipotle sauce and some fresh cilantro, and you have one seriously tasty taco. As always, happy eating! — Global Animal
Roasted Cauliflower & Lentil Tacos With Creamy Chipotle Sauce
Yield: 2-4 servings
- 1 large head of cauliflower, sliced into bite-sized florets
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¾ cup brown lentils, picked over for debris and rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers) or chipotle hot sauce to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 small, round corn tortillas
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (cilantro haters, substitute some fresh spring greens instead)
- To roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss cauliflower florets with enough olive oil to cover them in a light, even layer of oil. Season with salt and pepper and arrange the florets in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway, until the florets are deeply golden on the edges.
- Warm the olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic with a dash of salt for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened and turning translucent. Add the tomato paste, cumin and chili powder and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the lentils and the vegetable broth or water. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes to 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender and cooked through. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, and add more broth or water if the liquid evaporates before the lentils are done. Once the lentils are done cooking, drain off any excess liquid, then cover and set aside.
- To prepare the chipotle sauce, just whisk together the ingredients and set aside (if you have no choice but to use whole chipotle peppers from the can, use a blender to purée it all).
- Warm tortillas individually in a pan over medium heat. Stack the warm tortillas and cover them with a tea towel if you won’t be serving the tacos immediately.
- Once all of your components are ready, you can assemble your tacos! Top each tortilla with the lentil mixture, cauliflower, a drizzle of chipotle sauce and a generous sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
MAKE IT VEGAN/DAIRY FREE/MAYO FREE: Substitute vegan mayonnaise or, better yet, check out A Couple Cooks’ tahini chipotle sauce! (For what it’s worth, I tried making this sauce with yogurt and it really missed the mark. Mayo is much better.)
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Be sure to use 100% corn, certified gluten-free tortillas.
CHIPOTLE SAUCE TIP: If you have leftover sauce and peppers, pour the leftovers into a small freezer bag, then squeeze the air out of the bag and flatten out the bag. Store it in the freezer, flat, and you can just pull off as much as you need and defrost it!