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!
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!
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.
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.
Drunken Cauliflower Tacos with Quick Pickled Red Onions
1smallred onion, sliced into ¼ inch thick half moons
2 or 3limes, juiced (to yield about ¼ juice)
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!).