Thursday 25 April 2013

MLLA Lentil and cauliflower taco filling

I got up at 3.40am for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service so I am a bit befuddled.  (More about ANZAC Day later when I have more energy.)  I have quite a blog backlog.  Lots of interesting food here at Chez Green Gourmet Giraffe.  I don't have lots of quick posts to share so I will try and keep this one short.  This lentil and cauliflower taco filling from Fat Free Vegan was excellent.

The dinner was made after a visit to the Immigration museum for the Easter school holiday crafts.  Adults pay $10 entry but kids are free and it is worth it for the great craft activities.  We made funny felt Easter eggs to hang on an Easter egg tree and  a babushka basket which was intended for Easter eggs but Sylvia loves it for her little and tiny things.

That night I made tacos for dinner using this filling.  Susan from Fat Free Vegan posted it as cauliflower rice but mine was more like a faux minced meat than a faux rice.  (It reminded me of this or this.) I added oil and walnuts and some leftover taco seasoning.  It was excellent.  Good enough to eat alone.  But who doesn't love a taco dinner!

Sylvia was under the weather and tired from our activities.  She told me that she just wanted to go to bed without dinner and was soon fast asleep.  I had extra time and was feeling good about the yummy dinner.  I decided to attempt a rhubarb cooler (drink) that I had been planning for a few days.  It didn't work at all.  I hate sieving fruit.  After a few minutes making no progressing sieving cooked rhubarb, I gave up and decided to call it stewed rhubarb. 

There is a happy ending.  We loved the stewed rhubarb.  It was a breakthrough for me.  I have finally found myself enjoying porridge if I serve it with stewed fruit.  We also had it in smoothies and with rice pudding.  The rice pudding was particularly popular (above).  I didn't have leftover taco filling as I had expected.  So the next night I used the leftover tacos with an excellent chilli non carne with a skanky old cabbage based on a Spark People recipe.

I am sending this taco filling to Claire of Chez Cayenne for My Legume Love Affair (#58), the monthly event celebrating beans and lentils and legumes, overseen by Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen and founded by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Preston farmers market
Two years ago:  Chow Mein - revisited on ANZAC Day
Three years ago: Cookbooks update and easy roast dinner
Four years ago: Tempting prune cake
Five years ago: ANZAC Day and the Biscuit Police

Lentil and cauliflower tacos
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan
serves 2

1-2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion. chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cauliflower cut into florets
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup water, optional
400g tin of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts, or more
cayenne pepper and salt to taste
tacos, goats cheese, spinach and tomatoes to serve

Heat olive oil in large frypan and fry onion for a few minutes, add grated carrot and continue frying a few minutes. 

While onion and carrot are frying, finely chop the cauliflower in the food processor (I did mine in my mini food processor in batches).  Add cauliflower and fry for about 5-10 minutes with 1 tsp of taco seasoning. 

When cauliflower is cooked - mine got quite dry so I added 1/2 cup water but in retrospect I am not sure it was needed because my lentils were quite wet - add lentils, smoked paprika, walnuts and seasoning to taste.  Warm through.

Serve with heated taco shells, shredded spinach, tomato and goats cheese.  (Or leave out the goats cheese for a vegan dinner.  E forgot about the cheese and didn't miss it.)

On the Stereo:
The very best of Peter Allen


  1. I love finding new veg taco filling ideas! This one sounds so tasty.

    1. Thanks Joanne - you can never have enough taco filling ideas

  2. What a great vegetarian taco filling! Can't wait to try this out.

  3. These tacos sound great! I like the felt Easter egg - cute.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - wonder what they will do with the felt egg tree - was surprised to see the previous craft stuff we were involved with was still there!

  4. Oh! The Dawn Service and stewed rhubarb. These are both things that are so close to my sense of home. Thank you. xo

    1. Thanks Hannah - I think I am still recovering from the Dawn Service - or maybe will just blame tiredness on it for a long time to come :-)

      I know what you mean about them amking your nostalgic

  5. Bless Sylvia and her little and tiny things :-)

    I love the look of this filling - it sounds very versatile too, for tacos or burritos or even pasta - which is always helpful. And whilst I'm sorry your rhubarb drink didn't turn out, I think I'd prefer the stewed rhubarb anyhow. It looks delightfully pink!

    1. Thanks Kari - Sylvia's little and tiny things are scattered from top to bottom of the house but they make good food props at least :-)

      Am sure the filling would work for lots of things and I suspect the stewed rhubarb was healthier than the cooler - at least I didn't have to discard any of it!

  6. I have this recipe bookmarked too! :D I've been wanting to try it out but cauliflower has been a bit expensive lately, after reading your post I'm even more keen to make it.

    1. Thanks Mel - it was quite easy and quick and I suspect you would enjoy it - might work well on those armenian pizzas you made recently - I bought a whole cauliflower recently which is why there have been a few cauli recipes - was cheaper that way

  7. I can imagine that rising that early is quite befuddling! And hubby loves stewed fruit. I think he'd eat it every day if he could-it doesn't matter which kind to him! :P

    1. Thanks Lorraine - we had stewed fruit a lot as kids and I wasn't so keen on it but can see myself developing a taste for it

  8. Johanna, your day sounds like so much fun. And the taco filling looks amazing-- like a cauliflower paratha filling, without as many spices. Sounds delicious.

    1. Thanks Vaishali - I'd love to make a paratha with filling but have always been intimidated by the idea but will keep that in mind for when I get my courage up :-)

  9. Is there anything you can't do with cauliflower? This looks delicious! Thanks for sending it to MLLA.

  10. These look absolutely wicked. They are now also on my to make list this week! I have to write an ANZAC day post too. Where will we get the time?


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