Spiced cauliflower, spinach & chickpea tacos

Richard Fox
45 - 60 mins

This recipe is brought to you by Richard Fox, consultant plant-based chef, writer & presenter. Instagram: @manrejuvenated.

The best way to cut down on food waste is to go for recipes that can utilise what you already have in your cupboards, fridge and veg rack. That is: those recipes that have maximum flexibility for substitution of ingredients. This means less money spent and fewer shopping trips. Not only does this make cooking a little more fun and creative - it also makes you a better cook as you begin to think about and experiment with different flavours and ingredients. 

Tacos are a perfect example. They are all about the principle rather than blindly following an exact recipe - essentially creating a flavour packed spicy filling with an accompanying salsa or similar condiment. This recipe works beautifully using a mango chutney for example instead of the salsa. You could equally substitute the mango for a couple of tomatoes and create a delicious tomato salsa. Spring onions` can be substituted for some leftover red onion; lemon instead of lime etc. If you have a pot of shop-bought hummus - no problem. Just add some smoked paprika or chipotle paste. Or just leave it as it is. It's still going to do the job! You get the idea. And practically any combination of vegetables will roast to delicious perfection in the oven.

There are also lessons to be learned here about storage for maximum shelf-life: fragile fresh herbs such as coriander, parsley and chives will last literally ten times longer wrapped in some damp absorbent kitchen paper and then put in an airtight container in the fridge. Just take out what you need and wrap back up. Bags of spinach, kale and salad leaves will last for days in perfect condition if stored in a container lined with damp kitchen paper with another piece laid over the top instead of keeping in the open bag they came in. 

This recipe also cuts a swathe through those little jars of dry spices you’ve had in the cupboard for longer than you can remember. That makes them essentially free flavour! Remember: that best before date is just that, not an instruction to throw in the bin. If they still have their aroma they will be good to use.

Finally, this recipe is a fun and tasty way to get the kids eating some seriously healthy food. Absolutely packed with vitamins and vital nutrients, never has ‘boring old fruit and veg’ looked and tasted so good. You may even find that you have a little of the salsa, hummus and cauli mix left over - so much the better for a tasty, healthy snack for the next few days.

400g tin of chickpeas for the spiced cauliflower (240g drained weight)
400g Cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp garlic granules
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
125g fresh spinach leaves, shredded
400g tin of chickpeas for the hummus (240g drained weight)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 large mango, cut into a small dice for the mango salsa
A pinch of chilli flakes
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Juice of ½ lime
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
12 mini flour tortillas
A few sprigs of coriander for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Put the cauliflower florets, chickpeas and onion in a large mixing bowl.
Mix the oil, spices and seasoning in a small bowl until thoroughly combined and add to the cauliflower mix.
Mix thoroughly with clean hands until the vegetables are evenly coated with the spice mix.
Spread in a single even layer on a large oven tray and roast for 20-25 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting make the hummus and salsa.
Make the hummus by combining all the hummus ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Store refrigerated until required in an airtight container.
Make the salsa by combining all the salsa ingredients. Store in the refrigerator until required in an airtight container.
Remove the roasted cauliflower mix from the oven, transfer into a large bowl and add the shredded spinach. Stir well until the spinach has softened and is thoroughly combined.
To serve: heat the flour tortillas according to the instructions on the packet.
Spoon a heaped tsp of the hummus onto the middle of each tortilla and spread evenly.
Add about a tbsp of the cauli mix and top with a tsp of the salsa.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.