Smoky Cauli Taco Bowls
If I had to choose my favourite spice, smoked paprika would definitely be a contender.
I love how it bring the most amazingly deep smoky, slightly sweet flavour to everything that crosses its path.
As my friend Clotilde says, it’s like the phantom of chorizo.
I also adore cauliflower.
So it was only a matter of time for me to come up with the idea to roast cauliflower with some smoked paprika and finish it all with Mexican accompaniments.
And call it a taco bowl.
It’s hard to go past a good bowl. This one is especially delicious.
enough for: 2
takes 30 minutes
net carbs: 14g/serve
1/2 large cauliflower (800g / 28oz)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 large avocado or 8 tablespoons sour cream
1 bunch coriander (cilantro) or parsley
hot sauce, to taste
1 handful roast hazelnuts or cashews
1. Turn your oven on to 220C (430F). Chop cauli into bite sized pieces and place in a large baking tray. Combine smoked paprika with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Season extra generously with salt (cauli loves salt). Drizzle the spiced oil over the cauliflower and toss to coat (hands work best here).
2. Roast cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
3. When the cauliflower is browned around the edges and no longer crunchy, divide between two bowls.
4. Top with avocado / sour cream, herbs, hot sauce and nuts. Enjoy asap. If you feel like getting cheffy like I did for the photo shoot, spread the sour cream or avocado over the base of your bowls before topping with the cauliflower and flavourings.
WINE MATCH: A crisp dry Pinot Gris or Soave or a cold Dos Eqquis beer.
Variations & Substitutions
Keto / ultra low carb – skip the nuts and serve with extra avocado. Replace 1/2 the cauli with baby spinach.
dairy-free – choose the avo option.
nut-free – replace nuts with cooked lentils, beans or chickpeas. Or some crumbled feta or goats cheese.
more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with warm tortillas or pita bread.
more substantial (low carb) – extra avo, use avo AND sour cream, more nuts.
Low FODMAP – replace cauliflower with diced sweet potato. Take the sour cream option. And use macadamias as your nuts.
different vegetables – add a sliced onion to the cauliflower (I usually do when I’m not counting the number of ingredients I use). Root veg would all be good, broccoli, zucchini or eggplant. Some red capsicum (bell peppers) would also work.
different protein – this is a fairley low protein dish. Feel free to add cooked beans, chickpeas or lentils. Cooked chorizo or sausages will be lovely. Or some cooked chicken or fish.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
cauliflower – cauli will keep for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Can be frozen but the texture isn’t as good when defrosted.
smoked paprika / hot sauce / hazelnuts or cashews – keep them in the pantry.
avocado – use for another meal. Don’t freeze.
sour cream – keeps for weeks in the fridge.
coriander – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.
parsley – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – more salt. more hot sauce or a squeeze of lime (or lemon).
too dry – drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil or more sour cream. Next time check the cauliflower the earlier.
no oven – pan fry the cauliflower (without the paprika) in a little oil on a medium high heat until the cauli is browned and no longer crunchy. If it’s starting to burn,
cauli burnt / bitter – when cooking at super high temps like this, it’s important to check and stir the cauli after 15 minutes. This stops it burning around the edges. For now just add more sour cream / avo and discard any really burnt bits.
cauli too crunchy – next time cook it longer. And don’t open the oven too often because each time you open the door the temperature drops and your cooking time increases. For now, just get your chewing muscles on, if it’s really unpleasant you could return it to the oven.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep everything separately. Leftover roast cauliflower will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm cauli in a pan with a little oil. Then serve as per recipe.