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Cauliflower Lentil Taco Salad

I was inspired to make this amazing cauliflower lentil taco salad after watching one of my favorite cooking shows – “How to Live to 100” starring my friend Jason Wrobel. If you haven’t seen this show on Cooking Channel yet, it’s a must see! Jason combines some serious nutrition knowledge, with comedy and a very endearing story line. It’s like Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” gone plant-based – SO AWESOME.

Cauliflower Lentil Taco Salad

On the show, Jason made tacos… but I decided to take his recipe another direction. I changed a few ingredients and made a big bad a$$ salad! I used sprouted lentils from Tru Roots, because they take less than 5 mins to cook and digest really well. You certainly can use any type of regular lentil or bean, but I love going the sprouted route when I can. This salad is filling, full of flavor and perfect to feed a crowd if you double or triple the recipe. Best of all? It’s so easy to make! 

Food Babe's Cauliflower Taco Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sprouted lentils
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and broken into small bite size florets
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ cup of your favorite tomato sauce or tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado cut in slices
  • sour cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. For the taco filling: Rinse the lentils and drain well.
  2. Combine the lentils and 3 cups water in a small saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes (or 5 mins if you are using sprouted).
  4. Drain off excess water and set the lentils aside.
  5. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor or chop by hand with a knife until reduced to pieces the size of rice grains.
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add the onions and jalapenos and cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Add the cauliflower, garlic, 2 teaspoons of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the cumin and cook for 4 minutes.
  9. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook until the cauliflower is tender, another 3 minutes.
  10. Add the cooked lentils to the cauliflower mixture. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin. Stir in the salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes more to blend the flavors.
  11. Combine with chopped cilantro and place mixture over romaine leaves
  12. Top with fresh lime juice, avocado and/or sour cream

 

This recipe is now a mainstay over in my household. I love freezing leftovers for taco “meat” on demand. Hope you love this recipe as much as we do and share it with your family and friends. 

Xo, 

Vani 

P.S. I had a chance to catch up with Jason again last weekend at the Everyday Health and Wellness Conference in Fairfax, VA. I love the fact that he is from Detroit – a city that I spent a lot of time in and absolutely miss! 

Jason Wrobel and Vani Hari

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97 responses to “Cauliflower Lentil Taco Salad

  1. I love Jason’s show! The recipies are easy to follow and good. I already made his cauliflower tacos and look forward to your twist on this recipie!

    1. Who is Jason? What show does he have? I live near Fairfax, VA and would love to check out the show.

      1. Above in the picture with food babe us Jason Wrobel. He is a vegan chef with a show in the cooking channel called “how to live to 100” it’s rally great and I have never seen a plant based cooking show before. Check it out!

  2. thanks for the recipe–sounds tasty. my wife is doing the RAVE diet and i am veganish. this’ll work except for the coconut oil, we are using porcelain covered cast cookware and as a “saute”- a steam using vegetable broth. although not entirely convinced that extracted oils are deleterious, the position has solid logic. no oil makes for more difficult cooking

  3. Isn’t coconut oil bad for you ? I have heard it’s now good and increases metabolism . but it’s also said that the short chain fatty acids in coconut oil is same as in meats.

      1. I have googled it and I really do come from a background where coconut oil is used a lot for cooking . But my husband had severe atherosclerosis at 29.He was overweight with a bmi of 30 at that point . And I was told to limit coconut oil ,coconut milk or even coconut in everyway . American medical association has not given a green signal for coconut oil as far as I know . I need sound proof it’s good for us. As my husband grew up eating a diet mainly with veggies , white meat ,fish and coconut . He did eat a lot of carbs and booz in college days but that’s when he got an angioplasty .. And another 90 % block 5 yrs later and an episode of Transient global amnesia the year before at age of 34 . The youngest patient to have one without familial hypercholesteremia. He weighed 83 kgs though with a height of 5’5 Could be genetic but he is first in his family to have this . And he was never really morbidly obese. I would really appreciate some direction . I started reading the benefits of coconut oils and reused them within limits but saw his LDL go up . I read that the study on a small group of Pacific Islanders is without much follow up on coconut oil is used to commercialize coconut oil . The medical community has not given it a formal clean chit hence the dilemma . I would appreciate any advice.

      2. Coconut oil is a saturated fat. Yes, just like meat, it’s not heart healthy. Sautéing with vegetable broth is better for your heart and health.

      3. All saturated fats are not created equal, Coconut fat is plant based so not “just like meat”! Use extra virgin coconut oil that has not been refined. It is a good fat, like the fat in avocado, just use in moderation.

    1. Hey Vids,
      With the health problems your husband has had there r a few things that u might want to do. When u r low on Vit. K2 which is what takes our calcium and puts it in our bones and teeth but when u r low on it the calcium goes where ever it wants like your arteries that then get clogged up. Vit. D3 and K2 work together and you should be taken 5000 IU of D3 because 90 percent of americans r low on it and the amount is different then what is use to be. You can look up a really good article on this on Dr. Mercola site and search D3 and Vit K2 and he says what to take on each one. To get rid of any cal. build up in the arteries in the brain and body there is amazing supplement that would be good for him to take every day is from Germany and a 1 yr. old can take it. The site is http://www.goodhealthusa.com It dissolves the buildup and it will also dissolve scar tissue in the body. We have so many ones that we know that take it and it works amazing. The name is Serraenzyme 80,000IU and he will want to take 3 at 3 times a day for a few months and then cut back. One last thing is a Liver/Gallbladder cleanse. Even if u do not have a gallbladder u need it for the liver because the liver holds up to 20,000 stones and the liver is what works for your cholesterol. You can google the cleanse and how to do it. You can do it every two weeks and he should do it a few times due to the problems he keeps having. It has been around for ever and u will not believe the stones that will come out. I have around 700 stones that come out when I do it. You know when you have a over loaded liver by looking at the sides of your tongue and u see teeth imprints. Our liver causes most of our diseases and health problems. A liver enzyme test will not detect the stones inside because of what they r made up of unlike the gallbladder. It only cost around $10 and it takes one day. All these things r simple and we have been doing it for years. Email if u have any questions.
      Tete

      1. Thanks a ton for all your advice . Really appreciate it. Will definitely look up the stuff u mentioned to try and let you know how it worked out for us.

  4. foodbabe what about school lunches being served to our children. companys like sodexo who is big are these guys up to par on what they are serving our future generation?

  5. foodbabe what about school lunches being served to our children. are these guys up to par on what they are serving our future generation?

    1. Soak brown or green lentils overnight and drain. Leave them for a couple of days, rinsing and draining about 3 times a day, until the little tails start to form. That’s it!

      1. Do you need to spread them out?? Tx…looks good! I am new to healthy eating! Loving it!

      2. Hi Donna, it is easier to put them in a jar with a piece of cheesecloth or fine mesh over the opening, then can just rinse under the tap, drain and shake gently to distribute a bit. They need to be kept fairly moist. Doesn’t matter if they clump together.

      1. Dear food babe . Can you please answer to my questions / dilemma posted above . I would like your take on it.

        Thanks

  6. I, also would like to know how to sprout lentils or other grains. Do you have a recipe? Is so, where? Hope you will respond. Mary

  7. If you live in america, you had better be wealthy if you live to 100. My 98 year old father is living proof that even a reasonably healthy person who is close to 100 needs plenty of assistance, which costs money. A lot of it. Eating well is not going to prevent much of the frailty the human body suffers at an advanced age. And the good food won’t be there in the facilities for the aged with modest means. It’s all about profit for the corporations running the facilities and not a good life for the residents.

  8. Dear Foodbabe,
    I’ve been responding to your email for over a month. I press the reply button and never get through. Why?

  9. Can’t wait to try yet another one of your recipes! Food Babe–Thank you so much for all your informative info and great recipes. You have helped me so much in starting a healthy eating lifestyle and how to choose good healthy foods and how what to look for to avoid all the “bad” stuff 🙂

  10. Sorry…one more Q. I always thought you needed. To have lentils and brown rice for complete protein??

  11. Hi Vani!

    First, thank you So much for all the work that you do. You are amazing and giving us all a big voice!

    My question, what brand/type if cookware to you recommend? I’m using better foods, but feel that my cookware could stand to be replaced.

    Thank You!

  12. Looks like I am little late to the party. I made this salad last night for my family. We loved it! I just use the regular beans as I didn’t have any sprouted lentils on hand. Still, the salad taste very good. Thanks for a great recipe.

  13. i am buying a lot of organic products at BJ’s and walmart. can these products be trusted????????????

  14. I like to use sprouted raw shelled sunflower seeds…only takes two days…same method…dont saute the vegetables in oil…steam them for only 5 minutes.. add seeds, seasonings, drizzle with walnut oil or tahini…make a pile of shredded cabbage with apple/lemon juice dressing,a piece of salmon on top and then the seed/vegetable mixture on top….easy to make…just forge ahead….no bad outcomes,just good food…..make it different everytime..:-)

  15. like your recipes, but whenever I print them they are very light and hard to read.
    printer works fine.

    1. Jim,
      Try copying and pasting the recipe into a Word document. Maybe that will make it come out more legible.

  16. Vana: I think the new Evolution drinks Starbucks is selling is packaged in BPA laden packaging. I called the 800-794-9996 number on the bottle but couldn’t get a definitive answer. Maybe you can get more results… Go get em and let me know. ]
    Eddie, Greensboro, in the Heartland of NC

  17. I’m new to your website, as I discovered it thru NaturalNews and Mike Adams who I’ve been a long time follower. You have some amazing energy and ideas that have obviously worked very well for you & your many followers. I’ve had some success with the Food Timing Diet which Mike Adams re-introduced a few years ago. I don’t know about you, but when I spend more than 3 minutes in the kitchen, I find myself either cooking stuff or reaching for too many other ingredients like cheese, turkey & extra seasonings that I just don’t feel good about later . . instead of just sticking with all plant-based foods. I’d appreciate hearing about any ideas for fast recipes using just a few “live” food combinations. If I can go with a tupperware cup or a baggy & just eat when I’m hungry, I’m good. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian but I do get tired of smoothies w/avocados and steamed broccoli all the time. If you or any of your readers know of any fast raw food recipes that travel well besides sliced carrots and celery, then I’m all ears. Thanks for all the great ideas and keep up the good work. PS: my favorite recipe is a simple chunky salsa that I learned from a chef in Cabo.

  18. Hi Foodbabe, What are your thoughts on eating wheat?

    After reading book The Wheatbelly I am looking for alternatives to wheat. Could you suggest some?

  19. I always eat healthy for our health we are in our 60’s not on any medications and never get sick enough to go to a Dr. This is a great recipe that I will make for our next meal. Its great. Thanks again for all you do for us.

  20. Made this for my family for dinner. Everyone loved it. I left out the coconut oil and just sautéed the veggies in hot pan. It was quick and easy! Thanks

  21. I made this tonight and it was awesome! My husband thinks he has to have meat with every meal and he couldn’t tell it didn’t have meat in it. I will be adding this to our meal rotations. Thank you Vani!!

  22. This recipe was amazing! Everyone in my family loved it and I will be making it on a regular basis. Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. I only had red lentils and it did not turn out good. I think the consistency is too mushy with the red ones. will have to try again with the right ones.

    1. Hi Maria, Red lentils break down I think more than any other lentil. I made this recipe tonight with french green lentils which are one of the firmer forms of lentils and great for making salads. I would highly recommend them. (I didn’t sprout mine, just cooked them 30 mins per package instructions).

  24. I saw this today and made it tonight. It is awesome! Definitely a new favorite. I just wanted to say also how thankful I am for people like yourself that post useful information and fabulous recipes. Learning how to cook all over again with healthy substitutions is a challenge of sorts putting them into a cohesive meal. I rely on sites like yours to rebuild my recipe box. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  25. Hm. It seems that no one who has commented on this recipe has made it yet. I have, and it is delicious. However, there is no way that this recipe and that picture go together. Why in the world would you process the cauliflower until it is the size of rice grains? If you do, and you cook it for the minutes specified, it will be mush. One cup of sprouted lentils yields way less that one cup of dried lentils, but this is not mentioned. This works better: After sauteeing the onions and jalapeno, add the cauliflower in small florettes. Add the garlic, spices, and tomato sauce, with a tablespoon of water. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until the cauliflower is still quite “al dente”. You want some texture to this salad, right? Quickly add your lentils and the other seasonings to stop the cooking. Heat to blend seasonings but do not cook any more! Allow to sit until it is warm, then place on the Romaine and top with your choice of suggested avocado, lime, sour cream (I used Greek yogurt). Before you make this, you might want to check your proportions. A whole head of cauliflower and Romaine will make a ton of salad, no matter how few lentils (a cup?) you use. It was delicious with these changes.

    1. Just saw the comments by others who had made the recipe. Did you guys really rice the cauliflower? 🙂

      1. Jenny, I rice cauliflower all the time in my Vitamix for stir fry’s and other things and I did for this recipe as well. It doesn’t turn to mush but some might prefer the cauliflower like you did it.

      2. I “riced” it in my blendtec and cooked it according to the recipe. I also used dried lentils because that’s what I had on hand. It had the texture and taste of taco meat. I used it to top my salad and my family had tacos with it. It was really delicious!

  26. I made this tonight! It was delic! I did have to use a bit more spaghetti sauce to soften the cauliflower. Thanks for this new staple.

  27. Made this tonight with sprouted fava beans (didn’t have lentils, but I had favas and they worked just fine after the soak and rinse the last few days). I’m going to remember this basic idea for any recipe that calls for heavily seasoned ground beef. It’s a great substitute. Thanks Vani!

  28. Just made this last night for a skeptical hubby who needs less meat and more veggies in his life! Aaaand…. He said it was great! I loved it too, and really easy to make. I added a little cocoa and cinnamon (sshh…) and we put it in tortillas with homemade salsa and avacodo, yum!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  29. Tried these last night but left out the cilantro and lime, AMAZING. I hate vegetables and love tacos, red meat tacos, but I think I found a replacement.
    I made it almost 25 years not eating cauliflower, but I think I have to have it a few times a week now!

  30. Made this tonight, minus the tomato sauce (preference)…this is to die for, the consistency is spot on and an easy meat replacement. Increased a few of the spices (again, for preference) and this recipe is delicious. Didn’t know cauliflower could sub as rice. Happy!!

  31. OMG, I fixed this tonight and I LOVED it. I am losing weight so measured the ingredients by calories. My version is 329 calories – using 1/2 T olive oil, 1/4 cup dry lentils, 2 T tomato paste, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup finely chopped RAW cauliflower, added 1/4 chopped red raw pepper, plain unsweetened greek yogurt (vs. sour cream), 1/2 lime, 1/2 jalapeno with seeds out, 2 tsp chili powder, 1+tsp cumin: the rest was pretty much the same. The ONLY things that were cooked were the onions, garlic, jalapeno and lentils. I did not even use lettuce. This was ALL that I ate for dinner but it was a lot I am sure I will make this often whether on my weight loss food plan or not. I eat 2 meals a day so that left enough calories for fresh pineapple and yogurt sweetened with stevia.

  32. Excellent recipe! I used french green lentils which are firmer and hold up better in salads than brown lentils (if you are cooking them for 30 mins and not sprouting). We really enjoyed the recipe. This is a keeper! I will bring leftovers to work for lunch tomorrow and suspect it will be just as good cold as it was warm. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  33. Hi I’m very new to healthy eating & I just made this recipe, it is delicious! I’m also kinda new in the kitchen so I didn’t think about the amount of servings it makes. I have a huge amount left over. So my question is how long will it keep in the fridge & do you just toss it in the microwave or what? This style of cooking can be very expensive so of course I don’t want to be wasteful. Please Help! Thanks

  34. We made this and loved it. Thank you very much. We used black lentils, and chopped up tomatoes instead of the tomato paste. We also added ground beef.

  35. Avacado is meant to stay in sushi. Tacos were meant to have beef. Tastes like panda penis. I rate 0/10 would not bang.

    1. Avocado tastes good with many things (I prefer sashimi & not high calorie rolls). Beef in tacos is nasty! I’ve never tasted a panda penis so I can’t comment on that but it’s a unique thing that you have. However, you seem to be in the minority of not liking this.

  36. I LOVE this recipe! It’s a new staple in my house! Do you have nutritional facts for it?

  37. In Traditional Medicinals organic teas there is always an ingredient – Proprietary Blend 367.5 mg. What is this? Something in these teas tastes like sodium saccharin to me.

  38. This recipe is awesome! I made it last night and love it… and my picky husband loved it too!

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