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If you’ve been reading the blog or following along with my stories and posts over on Instagram, you’re probably familiar with a CSA. Maybe a bit too familiar. Most of my weekend ramblings on Instagram have something to do my CSA goodies. This has also trickled over to the chats we’ve had on the blog.
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program allows consumers to support local, small farms. When you join a CSA, you purchase a “share” of the harvest from a particular farm. Depending on the farm this may include produce, meat, eggs, or even milk. I like to think of this as a partnership between a consumer and a farm. CSA programs can differ, but the most common model requires a member to pay up-front for the harvest that is to come.
A CSA allows us city folks to teach our kids where food comes from and to appreciate the source of our food (a man and/or woman worked hard to grow the broccoli and carrots, and raise the chicken), enjoy the freshest food possible, and directly support the hard-working farmers in our local community.
Joining a CSA has challenged me to find creative ways to prepare and enjoy the new veggies. After all, I don’t want to waste my money or disrespect the farm’s time and effort.
Lately, I’ve been receiving quite a bit of cauliflower in my CSA box.
Just a few years ago I would have turned my processed-food-loving nose up at the sight of cauliflower. At that time, my only experience with cauliflower was in the raw state, which is the absolute worst way to enjoy cauliflower. I didn’t know that the method used to prepare (or not prepare) a veggie could make a huge difference in flavor.
I’ll never forget the first time I roasted a veggie, I believe it was broccoli. I couldn’t believe the sweetness, the delicate flavor, and the crunch that came from simply baking the florets at a high temperature. Learning the technique of roasting — and discovering the flavor roasting brings out — helped me embrace new veggies after that first broccoli experiment.
Many years later, roasting continues to be my favorite way to prepare veggies. Roasted veggies may be served alongside a protein for dinner, blended together to create a flavorful soup, tossed with a grain or pasta (add some pesto) for amazing flavor, or served as the main meal.
Today’s recipe uses the technique of roasting to transform not-so-appetizing cauliflower into a main dish that everyone in my family (including myself, a former cauliflower hater) loves.
The cauliflower is tossed with a homemade taco seasoning and then roasted at a high temperature. The end result is a taco-flavored cauliflower that may be used as the main filling for tacos, or as a side for a taco night. Top the tacos with slaw, avocado, and cilantro, for the ultimate veggie-packed tacos. And don’t forget a dab of sour cream.
Sheet Pan Cauliflower Tacos
Veggie-based, real food, cauliflower taco filler. Serve with homemade corn tortillas, on its own as a nutritious snack, or with a meal as a side.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Place the cauliflower florets on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the oil and seasonings (chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, and salt) over the cauliflower. Toss to combine the ingredients. Make sure the cauliflower has plenty of room on the sheet pan (no overcrowding).
Bake the cauliflower for 35-45 minutes, turning the cauliflower half way through to ensure even baking and crisping, until soft and crisp on the edges.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven, and squeeze the lime juice over the cauliflower.
Spoon the cauliflower into corn tortillas, and serve with shredded cabbage (or slaw), sour cream, avocado or guacamole, lime juice, and/or cilantro. The cauliflower also pairs well with black beans (in the Instant Pot for a quick dinner), for either a side, taco bowl, or taco filler. Or, serve the cauliflower as a side dish.
The serving size suggests 4 people. This equals out to about 1 cup of cauliflower per person and factors in all the toppings that will piled on with the cauliflower (making for a hearty dinner). If you're feeding a hungry crowd, you could definitely double this recipe, or serve the cauliflower with another hearty option, like: black beans, rice, lime-cilantro quinoa, or even chicken. Just make sure you use a large sheet pan so the cauliflower isn't overcrowded on the pan.