Lentil Cauliflower Tacos

Lentil Cauliflower Tacos | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup
Photo by Emily Cooper, RDN

Is there a bad time for tacos? Whoever tells you there is, kick ’em to the curb. You don’t need that kinda negativity in your life.

I’m still surprised how much attention cauliflower gets. Like what hasn’t it tainted? Pizza. Mashed potatoes. Rice. Buffalo wings.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about adding more veggies to every day, but I like my pizza to be pizza. And my rice to be starchy. So I bet you’re wondering why I’d make tacos with cauliflower after all this ranting is done with.

It tastes good.

I first got the idea when trying out the Test Kitchen recipe from Food & Nutrition that involved cauliflower and walnuts as the taco meat. Riiigghht. It was awesome. I was wrong. Cauliflower has a place in my tacos!

The walnuts gave it an awesome texture, but my heart always goes back to the lentil. Have you met yet? Lentil, this is my friend. My friend, the lentil. And they lived happily ever after.

It’s spicy. It’s smoky. Chock full of protein, fiber, and yes, cauliflower. I have been reborn.

Money-Saving Tips for these Lentil Cauliflower Tacos:

  • Use store brands. Utilizing store brands for basics such as spices, tomato paste and lentils can be an easy way to save money without sacrificing flavor or quality.
  • Swap frozen for fresh. If fresh cauliflower is expensive, swap it out for frozen florets. Allow it to defrost, chop and cook in the pan the same as fresh. The cooking time will be less.

Lentil Cauliflower Tacos

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1¼ cup water, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 8 tortillas
  • Toppings such a diced avocado, cilantro, green onions, etc.

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped cauliflower and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ¼ cup water, cover, and cook until cauliflower is softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer lentils and cauliflower to bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times, until mixture is chopped.
  6. Move back to skillet over low heat.
  7. Add spices and salt and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Add tomato paste and 1 cup of water and stir until mixture is thoroughly combined.
  9. Transfer mixture to tortillas and top with desired additions.

Cooking Notes

Use canned lentils so they are already cooked and ready to go. Just drain and rinse before using. This filling can be a salad topping, omelet filling or even wrapped in a burrito as well!

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Emily Cooper
Emily Cooper, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in central New Jersey. Read her blog, Sinful Nutrition, and connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.


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