Thursday, April 14, 2016

Finish Line: Roasted Chickpea & Cauliflower Tacos

You guys!  I did it!  The manuscript and photographs for my first ever cookbook are now at the publisher’s and I’m still kinda in shock that hey, I just wrote a cookbook.  No big whoop.  Except of course, it is.  A very big whoop.  I’m still kinda processing the whole experience, really.  When people ask what it was like, all I can say is that I loved it.  So much.  Even the parts where I had to wash dishes until midnight, only remembering then that I never even brushed my teeth that day.  Such was the life!  I want to talk more about it later, after I’ve kinda calmed down a bit, but today, I’m spilling the beans on these really, really good tacos I made my mom went I went to visit her last week.  

I have talked about 2016 being the International Year of Pulses.  Remember when I went to Toronto and hung out with Chef Michael Smith?  Or how these Black Bean Tostadas make my life?  I’ve been taking the Pulse Pledge this year, where all I have to do is eat pulses (lentils, chickpeas, dry peas and beans) just once a week.  Is anyone else doing it?  It’s so easy.  Most of my grocery budget for the past 6 months was going to the likes of butter, chocolate, sugar, flour and a whole lot of other baking ingredients.  Believe me, that stuff adds up.  Pulses were on the menu big time at my house, because they are super affordable and good for me.  Knowing that pulses help reduce cholesterol and risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, I felt a little bit better about the heavy consumption of baked goods I was involved with.  Plus, they are high in protein and fibre, making me feel full longer and they give me boosts of energy when I need it most.  Now that spring is sprung and the farmers are getting back into the fields, I kinda love that pulses are sustainable, requiring just one-tenth of the water that other proteins need, and they put nitrogen back into the soil.  Good for the environment = good for mother earth = good for me.  

After working so darn hard for so long, I went to visit my mom for a few days.  We never spent Easter together, so this was our time to celebrate all of the things.  She made a lovely dinner for me the first night, and I returned the favour by cooking for her.  Cauliflower has thankfully come down in price, and it makes a lovely partner to chickpeas.  I roasted the two together in a slurry of lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, salt, sugar and black pepper.  Once the chickpeas were slightly crispy, I took the baking sheet out of the oven.  We filled warm corn tortillas with the chickpea mixture, slivers of shredded red cabbage, diced jalapeno pepper, and unfortunately the grocery store in her small town didn’t have any avocados, so we had to go without.  So sad!  I included them in the ingredient list, because you simply can’t have tacos without avocado in some form or another.  If you want to lay down a slather of guacamole on the warm corn tortilla, then the rest of the fillings, go ahead.  I love how the bright, salty flavour of the feta cheese is a good match for the roasted chickpeas and cauliflower, especially since I stirred chopped cilantro and lime juice into it.   Plus, you could roast the filling ahead of time, then just warm it up when you are warming the corn tortillas.  Talk about a great weeknight meal when you are so hungry and don’t really feel like cooking.  I’ve been there, believe me.  These are light, super nutritious and pretty to look at it.  I love the crunch of the chickpeas and the cabbage.  I love the nutty, almost sweet heat that the cauliflower brings to the party.  I love the salty, herby feta, and if I would have had the avocado, I would have loved that, too.

I can’t wait to make these again.  

This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated financially by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.  As always, all opinions are my own and I wouldn’t tell you about something if I didn’t honestly and truly love it.  

Roasted Chickpea and Cauliflower Tacos

6 cups cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 540 ml (19 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed (or about 2 cups cooked)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt,
1 tsp sugar
½  tsp garlic powder
Fresh black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice
Fresh ground pepper

8 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded red cabbage
Diced avocado
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F.  In a large bowl, stir together the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, sugar, garlic powder and pepper.  Stir in the cauliflower and chickpeas.   Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes, until the chickpeas are slightly crispy and the cauliflower is tender.  Stir it about every 15 minutes.   Remove from the oven and let it cool.  In a small bowl stir together the feta, cilantro, lime juice and pepper.  Fill the corn tortillas (warm them first) with some of the roasted chickpea and cauliflower mixture, a bit of the shredded cabbage, avocado, jalapeno pepper and a good amount of the feta/cilantro mixture.  Serve them warm.  Makes 4 servings.  

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