Drunken Cauliflower Tacos with Quick Pickled Red Onions

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Beer-simmered vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!

Beer-simmered #vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!

We’ve been traveling across the American Southwest for over a month now –  how have we not posted a taco recipe yet! For shame!  Coming from Los Angeles, tacos hold a very special place in our hearts and we’d fully endorse them as their own food group. In fact, the very first camp cooking recipe we did on this blog was a vegan taco (which remains our most popular recipe to date).  So today we’re ending this taco drought and present you with these cauliflower tacos topped with quick pickled red onions!  
Beer-simmered #vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!

Beer-simmered #vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!

The recipe calls for chopped cauliflower to be simmered in beer and spices until the liquid evaporates, then pan fried with a splash of oil. This two-phased cooking method allows you to cook the cauliflower quickly, while still getting that delicious pan-fried crunch at the end. While all that’s being prepared, sliced red onions are soaked in a bowl of lime juice to give them a zesty pop (and take off the raw edge). When these two elements are combined together in the middle of a corn tortilla, they pack a flavorful one-two punch!

Beer-simmered #vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!

Beer-simmered #vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!

Camp Cooking

We made this recipe in our favorite-place-in-the-whole-wide-world Borrego Springs over the long President’s Day weekend. Our friends Brandt & Monika made the drive out from LA to camp with us in their soon-to-be-complete 4×4 Sprinter. Eerily astute followers of this blog might remember that we met up with these two in Cannon Beach, OR and again in Bellingham, WA during our first six months on the road. More proof that friends that travel (well) together, stay together.

Sprinter 4x4 Camper Van in Anza Borrego State Park

When casually hanging out around a campsite, we can think of few things more perfectly suited for the occasion than tacos and beer. Now, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this, but we’re of the opinion that you can either have a fancy beer and simple tacos or simple beer and fancy tacos, not both. To us, fancy beer and fancy tacos undermine the whole “of the people” nature of tacos that makes them so casually accessible and unpretentiously fun. So since cauliflower tacos are a little outside the box, we opted for Modelo (or as Brandt called them, “pounders”).  

So next time you’re car camping (a head of cauliflower isn’t exactly backpacking-friendly), give this recipe a try. Grab some friends, get some cold beer, and pull up a seat; it’s taco time.

Beer-simmered #vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!


Drunken Cauliflower Tacos with Quick Pickled Red Onions

Recipe by Fresh Off the Grid
Makes 6 tacos
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
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Ingredients

Cauliflower Tacos

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small bite sized florets
  • 1/2 cup lager, (or use broth to make these gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 corn tortillas

Quick Pickled Onions

  • 1 small red onion, sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons
  • 2 or 3 limes, juiced (to yield about ¼ juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Optional Toppings

  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Hot sauce

Instructions

  • PREPARE THE QUICK PICKLED ONIONS: Place the onions, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes or so.
  • COOK THE CAULIFLOWER: Add the cauliflower into a skillet with the beer, cumin, dried oregano, salt, cayenne, and garlic. Bring to a rapid simmer. Simmer, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has evaporated. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the olive oil and pan fry until the cauliflower is tender and beginning brown in places.
  • WARM THE TORTILLAS: While the cauliflower is cooking, warm the tortillas. We do this on our stove burner one tortilla at a time, flipping after 15 or 20 seconds so both sides get toasty. This could also be done over a campfire, or if you’re at home, in an oven or microwave.
  • ASSEMBLE THE TACOS: Fill each tortilla with a scoop of cauliflower, pickled red onions, and any additional toppings (avocado, cilantro, hot sauce if you like things spicy!).

NOTES

Equipment Needed
Sharp knife
Cutting board
Small bowl
Camp stove
Skillet
Measuring cups & spoons
Wooden spoon
Inspired by the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 107kcal
*Nutrition info is an estimate based on information provided by myfitnesspal.com

Beer-simmered #vegan cauliflower tacos topped with zingy quick pickled red onions are the perfect camping food for hanging out with friends!


  • Cauliflower cooked in beer? Sign me up 😉 Also I bet my boyfriend would love these, thanks for the inspiration!! 😀

    • Ha, can’t be tooo healthy – they’re still tacos, right?!

      • Ha…tacos can still be healthy

  • Wow, these looks great. What a unique recipe! Love it.

  • I loved your tofu breakfast tacos/burritos, so I’m sure these are going to be equally delicious! Definitely going to put these on the menu! 😀

  • Never thought to cook cauliflower in beer, but it’s pretty genius! Going to try it for sure!

  • As a Souther California girl, I am completely on board with making tacos a food group! Your cauliflower tacos sound amazing and I look forward to making them soon!

    I’m currently living in the SFV…do you have any taco places I need to check out? My current fave is Tacos Manzanos in North Hollywood…their carnitas are amazing.

  • This sounds AMAZING. We eat cauliflower all the time but never thought to make them the taco filling! Yum! This will be perfect cooking outside our Airstream. Thanks!

  • This recipe looks wonderful. Have to try this. . Nothing like a delicious meal of tacos after a long day of pulling down.

  • we made these at home. delicious. the pickled onions are so tasty. thanks for the recipe4 stars

  • I just made this and it was delicious! The pickled onions really made the tacos come alive. The only thing I’d change is the salt in the cauliflower, it seemed too salty to me. I could not believe this recipe actually needed two whole tablespoons of cumin, so I only used a little more than one tablespoon and the taste was still there. This was packed with flavor and my mouth didn’t know how to handle it. Thanks for a great recipe! I’m going to make this all the time now!4 stars

  • My husband and I were interested in your camping table out of the rear of your car did you make or buy? We also love to camp in borrego thx4 stars

    • We made the table. Home Depot sells the legs (comes in a set of two – we only used one) and then the top is just made of wide planks fastened together using 1.5″ x 3/4 wood on the bottom.

  • We’ve made these a number of times and each time they were delicious!! Today we subbed red cabbage for red onion and it was divine!5 stars

    • Oo, I like the idea of using red cabbage! Did you pickle it in the lime juice, too, or just add it in raw?

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