I'm excited to feature this beautiful plant-based recipe from one of our community members, Nisha Vora of @rainbowplantlife. Whether you are eating solely plant-based or are a meat-eater who also loves vegetables, I promise vegans and omnivores alike will enjoy this smoky, crispy, citrusy combination of flavors. While there are a few different components to make here, the time and effort are well worth it. This vibrant cauliflower taco is topped with a rainbow slaw made with carrots, jicama, dates, and plenty of lime juice. Top it all off with a generous drizzle of bright cilantro crema, which is sure to join your arsenal of sauces. Feel free to swap in gluten-free flour and panko breadcrumbs to make this recipe gluten-free, both fit in seamlessly.
For the Rainbow Slaw
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 1/ 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/ 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 pound jicama, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 3 medium rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1/ 2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/ 4 cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and finely minced
- 3 finely chopped medjool dates
For the Crispy Cauliflower
- 3/ 4 cup all-purpose flour, or gluten-free flour blend
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/ 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/ 4 cup non-dairy milk, unsweetened and unflavored
- 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, or gluten-free panko
- 1/ 2 cup hot sauce
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
For the Cilantro Crema
- 1 heaping cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup hemp hearts
- 1/ 2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/ 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Corn tortillas, warmed or lightly charred
- Lime wedges, (optional)
- Sliced avocado, (optional)
Make the jicama-carrot slaw. Whisk lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add jicama, carrots, cilantro, mint, jalapeño, and dates and toss to coat with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Make the crispy cauliflower. Whisk the flour, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and onion powder in a large bowl. Pour in the non-dairy milk and whisk until no large clumps remain. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to thoroughly coat.
Place the panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Working in batches, dip the battered cauliflower in the panko and toss to coat.
Arrange cauliflower 1” apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly golden brown, 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the hot sauce. Add the hot sauce, vegan butter, and maple syrup to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally just until the butter is melted, then remove from the heat.
Drizzle the hot sauce mixture over cauliflower, tossing to coat. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until cauliflower is deeply golden brown and fork-tender.
Meanwhile, make the cilantro crema. Add the ingredients to a high-powered blender and puree until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or lime juice as needed.
To assemble, top each tortilla with a few pieces of the crispy cauliflower, top with jicama-carrot slaw, and a drizzle of cilantro crema on top. Serve with a squeeze of lime and sliced avocado, if desired.