Baja Cauliflower Tostadas – vegan, gluten-free

 

cali cauli tostadaMy sincerest apologies for the sporadic/erratic/completely unpredictable posting style I’ve been dabbling in for the last few weeks. I’ve never had much of a set schedule for the blog, but lately things have really gotten off-track, and I hope to hop back on the recipe train and share a bunch of new, yummy, beauty-boosting eats and treats with you all without an entire week passing by.

Life has been a little hectic, as I’m sure it has for all of you out there too. My daughter, who turned two in June, has really kicked the energy into high gear. I honestly didn’t think she could get any busier but oh boy… she sure did (insert “scream” emoji). Actually she has been a hoot, and we’ve been having loads of fun this summer, think pool parties (in her new blue wading pool!), sand castles in mr. turtle, and her jogging stroller is getting lots of mileage traveling to all the nearby parks. By the time she’s tucked into bed, I am usually one tired mommy, lacking the energy to type, let alone form coherent sentences.

cauliflowertostadalineup

These Baja Cauliflower Tostadas don’t require too much energy or complex thought processes, making them a perfect, easy, weeknight meal. One bite of these delightfully crunchy, fresh, open-faced tacos, brimming with avocado, salsa, greens, and roasted spicy lime cauliflower and you’ll be swept away to a winding, breezy highway with ocean views and glittering sunshine, rugged open land, vineyards, and citrus trees. I can picture eating these alongside an icy drink after a day of surfing, hiking the wild landscape, or sailing along the picturesque coastline.

Ok… truth time. I’ve never actually been to Southern California, nor have I been to Baja California, Mexico (I’ve never been surfing, either). I even had to google “baja cuisine” just to make sure I wasn’t completely off my noggin’ with this description and associated flavor combinations I was dreaming up. I can’t say it’s authentic Baja, but this is my interpretation of the fresh, local ingredients that dominate this south of the border cuisine. This simple dinner combinesΒ creamy avocado, crunchy corn tortillas, ripe tomatoes, spicy cauliflower, cilantro, and tangy squeeze of lime all on a bed of fresh greens. This is a light meal, I ate three of these little discs of delight without a problem. I included a few ideas for making this meal a bit more filling below the recipe.

cauliflowertostada

If you love all things roasted cauliflower, like I do, definitely give this a try! The spicy lime “marinade” (quotations because it actually doesn’t need to marinate before roasting) adds an amazing flavor and juiciness, which made nibbling the florets straight off the pan mighty tempting. I like to let the edges get a tiny bit charred… gaaahh, so good! Just thinking about it makes me want to go make it again, and I’ve already made it three times this week. If it wasn’t 9:30 p.m. andΒ I hadn’t already used up all the cauliflower, I probably would.

Baja Cauliflower Tostadas

Serves 2-3

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • Tostada shells, for serving

Marinade ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of onion powder

Toppings:

  • 2 large handfuls of mixed greens, chopped
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, cut into slices, cubes or mashed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • cilantro leaves
  • salsa
  • microgreens, optional
  • other ideas: cashew-hemp sour cream, green onions, sliced jalepeno

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine marinade ingredients in a small jar and shake. In a large plastic ziploc bag, or lidded container, add the cauliflower florets and marinade, close, and shake to distribute evenly. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 25 – 35 minutes (or until edges are slightly charred, if desired).

To assemble:

This part is entirely up to you! I tried it a few different ways, with cauliflower on the bottom, and piled high with greens, or with the greens at the base and the cauliflower and toppings arranged on top of that. One thing I did not do, but wished I had, was mash the avocado and spread that on the tortilla, instead of cubing or slicing it. I think this would help everything stick together a bit. I’m not going to lie, these are a bit messy to eat, but totally worth every salsa stain on my shirt… Just kidding I managed to shovel most of it into my mouth, no problemo.

For a more filling meal, try serving this alongside Mexican/Spanish Rice or how about adding a layer of mashed pinto beans or even hummus. I bet thisΒ jalapeno hummus would be amazing here.

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6 thoughts on “Baja Cauliflower Tostadas – vegan, gluten-free

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