I’m back!!! I’m now the very proud and very tired mom of a beautiful baby girl. She’s perfect! She’s sitting here with me now babbling away in her Baby Bjorn bouncer 🙂 This week Baby J turns 5 months. This has definitely been the longest yet shortest, most rewarding, most precious, and most difficult 5 months of my life. In a future blog post I’ll go into detail about my 37 hour home birth, and I’ll share a more detailed account of what I’ve been eating as a vegan breastfeeding mom, but today I’m sharing a new discovery: cauliflower walnut taco meat!
For the first few months of Baby J’s life I was only making a handful of recipes each week: tempeh tikka masala, a simple red lentil and rice kitchari, coconut black bean stew, West African peanut stew, and simple kale salads. For snacks I was obsessed with making sweet potato oat bran muffins––they are the perfect healthy snack for breastfeeding sessions. But I’ve finally found the time and bandwidth the venture out of those few recipes. I’ve started making tofu stir-fry, lentil meatballs, and this yummy cauliflower walnut taco meat.
The great thing about this cauliflower walnut taco meat is that it’s easy to make and versatile. I was inspired to make it after having the most delicious cauliflower walnut tacos at a local farmer’s market, but at home I love it best in a hearty burrito bowl. You could also serve it on nachos, or change up the spices and use it in a bolognese sauce.
I like serving it in a burrito bowl because it’s the most filling and balanced way. The corn and bean salad (recipe also below) is crazy easy to make, and absolutely delicious. I’ll also share the recipe for the simple lime vinaigrette I dress my romaine lettuce with. Make all of the ingredients during your meal prep day, and you’ll be able to toss together a bowl in just minutes.
One thing I’ve learned as a new mom is how crucial it is to have easy, filling, and delicious recipes. Some days I cannot even bring myself to prep all of the ingredients for this bowl, so I’ll take shortcuts. I’ve paired the cauliflower walnut taco meat with a can of plain beans and store-bought salsa, and served it over leftover rice. It works, and is still nice and healthy! However you chose to eat it, this cauliflower walnut taco meat deserves to be in your meal rotation.
It's summer now so I like to prepare the cauliflower walnut taco meat in my toaster oven to avoid heating up the whole kitchen. If you don't have one, you can do it in the regular oven or sauté the taco meat in a skillet for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly. When making in my small toaster oven I must bake it in batches.
- ¼ onion, roughly chopped
- ½ red bell pepper roughly chopped
- 1 small cauliflower, florets cut into small pieces, about 4 cups
- 2 cups raw walnuts
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Place the onion and bell pepper into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the cauliflower, walnuts, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt then pulse until you have a coarse crumble.
- Spread evenly onto the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes stirring halfway through.
- Season to taste with more salt if necessary before serving.
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups frozen or fresh corn, thawed or grilled or quick sautéed if fresh
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt + more to taste
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice, from about 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder or cumin seeds
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 cup Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat
- 1 cup black bean corn salad
- ½ cup cooked rice (I cooked rice and quinoa together)
- 2 cups romaine lettuce tossed with lime vinaigrette
- ½ avocado
- Place the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir well. Season to taste with more salt if necessary.
- Place the ingredients into a jar.
- Tighten the lid and shake until emulsified.
- Toss romaine lettuce or other salad greens with this dressing for your burrito bowl.
- Place all of the burrito bowl ingredients into a bowl and serve!
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