I’ve been dreaming about this meal for over two weeks now, but I wouldn’t let myself make it until I started my Whole30 as on of my celebratory “yay for me” meals. I could eat this daily, for a week, and be content. It’s quick to prepare, tastes incredible, and is loaded with good-for-you things like omega-3s, healthy fats, fiber, all of that and then some. Did I mention it’s also vegan but your meat-eating significant other who would have scoffed at the idea of a vegan meal while you were dating enjoys it too? Yup, not that this is personal experience talking or anything.
I first tried the idea of vegan but not-just-veggies tacos when a vegan friend of mine posted (or pinned) a link to Oh She Glows’ Layered Raw Taco Salad. Oddly enough, it happened around the time I was really into researching raw recipes but facing resistance from the Godfather when I suggested making any. This one looked really good though, so I didn’t bother asking him, made it, and probably gloated a little ungraciously during dinner when he really liked it. But it didn’t matter because nut “taco meat” was now a part of our repertoire.
I know most of you aren’t vegan, I use animal products in the majority of the recipes on this blog, so my vegan follower numbers are itty bitty and likely entirely comprised of my former bakery customers who used to enjoy my vegan treats. You might be looking at this recipe a little suspect, but I promise you this is a great way to give a vegan dish a try. Imagine a Chipotle burrito bowl, then make it paleo minus the pterodactyl wings or whatever. You may discover you really enjoy vegan cooking and incorporate a few dishes here and there.
And really, isn’t this just beautiful food?
Vegan Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower "Rice"
A Whole30-friendly take on the Chipotle burrito bowl that's also vegan...
Author: Goodie Godmother
Serves: 4 servings
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
½ large head cauliflower (you need 4 cups finely chopped)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
2 tsp avocado oil or other extra virgin olive oil
1 cup walnuts
⅛ tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp New Mexico red chili powder
Quick and Easy Guacamole
1 Hass avocado
2 tsp fresh lime juice
⅛ tsp cumin
⅛ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp finely minced onion
1 tbsp cilantro, finely minced
1 tbsp fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 small tomato, diced
fresh cilantro, chopped
Set the nuts to soak in a bowl of water 2-8 hours before preparing the "meat".
Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Finely chop the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces, or pulse in the food processor until the desired consistency. Toss with the oil and spread onto the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes, stirring halfway through.
While the cauliflower rice is cooking, prepare the guacamole and taco meat.
Cut the avocado into large chunks and place into a small bowl. Add the lime juice and mash the avocado to a chunky puree or your preferred consistency. Stir in the cilantro, jalapeno, onion and spices. Set aside.
Remove the nuts from the water and place into a small food processor. Discard the water. Pulse the nuts until they've reached a ground meat consistency, I find about 5-7 pulses works. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the salt, cumin, garlic powder, and red chili powder. Set aside.
When the cauliflower is done, transfer to a mixing bowl while still warm and stir in the lime, cilantro, and salt.
To assemble the bowls, layer 1 cup of the cauliflower rice in a bowl with taco nut meat, a dollop of guacamole, fresh tomatoes, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
Serve immediately with an additional slice of lime if desired.
Save the recipe for later with a perfectly pin-able image:
We had a Secret Santa gift exchange with my family this year. We now have 8 adults in the family and one infant. So instead of just buying whatever for each person or couple, we decided to try something more personal. I had gift ideas in mind for just about every possible person EXCEPT the person I drew. Go figure. I know he’s a professional football fan, both my brother-in-laws are, but I did the football thing last year and wanted to be a little more creative. The problem is, if he wants something, he usually just buys it, and I wanted to think of something unique and creative but still practical because I believe in practical gifts. Inspiration finally struck when I was preparing ghee for my upcoming Whole 30 using my crock pot. If things like infused olive oils make a great gift, why shouldn’t infused grass-fed ghee? We also gifted him a pound of coffee from our current favorite local coffee roaster/shop Caffe Amouri… shop local!
I made classic, because everyone needs an all-purpose option, garlic because I love garlic, and hot chili for something different. The whole process took about a total of 20 minutes of active work over two days and I ended up with three lovely ghee options. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the flavored ghee. The garlic ghee made my house smell like fresh-baked garlic bread and the chili ghee only had a mild kick, perfect for a tex-mex inspired recipe. This morning we made our eggs with garlic ghee and it added a really nice depth. There wasn’t enough for a strong garlic flavor, but there was a “something” that rounded out the flavor of the eggs and made them taste amazing.
The nice thing about ghee is that it doesn’t require refrigeration, making it a great gift if you need to ship or would like to store it in a cool, dark, place for some time. I couldn’t find a website providing an accurate usage timeline, but I usually begin using my ghee immediately anyway and use within a few weeks. I did research the infused ghee safety, and while I didn’t find anything saying it required refrigeration for storage, I will probably use them sooner rather than later. I tried shipping all three and two of the three made it… the third will be shipped when I make the next batch in a few weeks.
You may use your favorite brand of butter, to keep it paleo or clean be sure it’s grass-fed. I always use my small slow cooker to make my ghee so the butter doesn’t get too hot too quickly and I don’t have to worry about making more than a pound at a time since I don’t cook for a lot of people and we have zero storage space in our postage-stamp kitchen designed for people who don’t cook but want a pretty kitchen. Apparently this is a trend in Northern Virginia. This adorable little green crock pot is what I use and I cannot tell you how valuable I have found it to have a small and large slow cooker. I thought I was being silly buying a second, but it’s been one of the most worthwhile kitchen investments I’ve made. I’m sure it would work in my larger slow cooker, but I would probably make 2 pounds at a time instead, not because ghee burns at that low temperature (because it doesn’t), but just because I have a thing about making bigger recipes in the bigger crock pot.
This post updated January 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add better pictures to already delicious recipes.
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