So this happened last weekend.
This, my friends, is the most delicious plant-based tostada you will ever taste! Ok, I might be a little biased.
Food & Nutrition Magazine started this fun new sweepstakes every month called the Test Kitchen. It basically entails testing a recipe they provide (either as is, or with modifications as you choose) and then providing feedback and a photo for a chance to win a prize. This was my submission for the January Test Kitchen: Roasted Walnut and Cauliflower Taco "Meat". How cool is that?
You all know that I'm super into plant-based cooking lately so this was perfect timing. I've actually made a cauliflower taco recipe before from the Thug Kitchen cookbook and it's one of my favorites, but a little time-intensive since you have to simmer the cauliflower in beer before roasting it (as you can imagine, it adds really good flavor). I liked this take a little bit better, and the walnuts and added a really nice crunch. Per the original instructions, you can pulse the cauliflower filling in a food processor to get it smaller and more "meat" like, but I left the cauliflower as is and served it on top of a tostada shell for presentation. Since I made the recipe my own, I'll share what I did!
First I chopped the cauliflower about the size of a quarter, tossed with grapeseed oil (feel free to use any higher heat oil you have on hand), salt & pepper, smoky paprika (my favorite spice of the moment) and garlic powder before spreading it out on a sheet pan and roasting it up. After giving the cauliflower a head start since it's a little bit heartier, I then added a diced yellow onion to the mix, stirred it all up and put it back in the oven to continue cooking.
When there was about five minutes left, I added the walnuts, gave it one more stir, and put it back in the oven to finish getting all roasty and delicious. Pro tip: when a recipe calls for toasting nuts, always do it! This brings out more flavor than you would think and only takes a few extra minutes. This mix should be slightly browned when finished. If not, feel free to cook longer or broil for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, as this is all cooking away in the oven you can get your slaw ready which is about as simple as it gets. Thinly sliced cabbage (green or purple will work) is tossed with greek yogurt mixed with lime juice and cilantro. It's cool, creamy, fresh... just about everything you would want it to be. A lot of times I buy the pre-sliced angel hair slaw for stuff like this but I already had a 1/2 head of green cabbage from a different recipe so I used that.
The last step is putting it all together!
Start with a tostado shell, then top it with avocado slices, followed by the cauliflower mixture and then the slaw. Garnish with more cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice to finish. See below for the full recipe!
Roasted Cauliflower Tostadas with Creamy Cilantro Lime Slaw
Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 4 tostadas | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes
1 head Cauliflower
1 Yellow Onion
1/3 cup Walnuts
1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
1/2 tsp Smoky Paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 small head Cabbage
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Avocado, sliced
4 Tostada Shells
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Chop cauliflower into small (quarter size) florets; dice the onion and set aside.
Add cauliflower florets to a large sheet pan and toss with oil, paprika and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste and roast for about 30 minutes, adding the diced onion and stirring about halfway through. With about five minutes left, add the walnuts to the sheet pan and give one more stir, then finish roasting (edges should be slightly browned).
Meanwhile, make your slaw. Thinly slice the cabbage and add to a medium bowl. Whisk the yogurt with the lime juice and cilantro in a separate dish, then toss with the cabbage until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the cauliflower mixture is done, assemble the tostadas in the following order: tostada shell, avocado slices, cauliflower, slaw. Garnish with extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.