If you love spicy food, you need to make these tacos. The filling is made from protein-rich lentils that are blended with cauliflower and warm spices to make a savory filling that brings the heat. Top that with homemade coleslaw, which provides a cooling "crunch," then sprinkle with pickled jalapeños and a drizzle of dairy-free cilantro crema.
Spicy Cauliflower Lentil Tacos [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Cauliflower and Lentil Filling:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 14-ounce can of brown lentils, rinsed and drained well
- 1 large (or 2 smaller) yellow onion(s), minced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Coleslaw:
- 1/4 head of green cabbage, sliced very thin
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Pickled Jalapeños:
- 8 jalapeños, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
For the Cilantro Crema:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-4 hrs
- 3 tablespoons cashew milk or water (or more)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 small bunch of cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Other Ingredients:
- Corn tortillas, gluten-free if needed
- Lettuce (optional)
- The day before you will be serving this meal, make the pickled jalapeños and cilantro crema.
- Wash and slice the jalapeños and garlic cloves and place them in a glass jar.
- Bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt mix to a simmer and take off the heat once the sugar and salt has dissolved. Let cool for 2 minutes and then pool into the glass jar.
- For the crema, place the soaked cashews, cashew milk (water), lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add in the cilantro and pulse a few times until the cilantro is turned into very small pieces or blend until completely smooth, whichever you prefer. Transfer to a squeeze bottle for easy serving!
- Store the crema and pickled jalapenos in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- The day of, prepare your coleslaw a few hours in advance. Slice all of the cabbage and place in a large mixing bowl.
- On the side, mix all of the other coleslaw ingredients in a small mixing bowl and pour over the sliced cabbage. Mix well with thongs or your hands. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- The final step is to prepare the cauliflower and lentil filling. You can prepare all of the ingredients and set aside earlier in the day such as: process the cauliflower and store in the refrigerator, cut all of the onions and garlic and prepare the spice mixture in a small bowl.
- Just before serving, heat up a large frying pan and add a bit of water in it. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes.
- Add more water if needed and add in the cauliflower crumble and cook for a few minutes, until tender. Since the pieces are really small, it should not take a long time.
- Add in the minced garlic cloves and the lentils. Cook for 2-3 minutes while mixing often and then add in the spice mixture. Cook for an additional minute while mixing often.
- Assemble the tacos or place everything on the table for a self-serve taco party!