I’ve been thinking about these sweet potato fries lately (they’re delicious, if you haven’t tried them!) and about other funky things that I can make super crispy + delicious with a coating of cornmeal. As I stared into the depths of my fridge, the forgotten head of cauliflower was staring back at me. Bingo!
We’re friends, so I’m going to try to trick you into thinking that cauliflower may actually taste like tortilla chips, but I was browsing the internets last night, came across this spicy roasted cauliflower, and knew that I needed to make my crispy cornmeal cauliflower idea into something nacho-like STAT, especially since I hear there’s an important football game happening on Sunday and that people like to eat nachos as they watch it. While I’m sure many of you will want nacho nachos, I just thought I’d put this out into the world in case somebody wants to try satisfying that craving with some cauliflower :)
I skipped the cheese – wasn’t feeling it this time, but if cheese is a nacho necessity for you, by all means, add some. My version of chili is also vegetarian today. Use your favourite chili recipe or you can try mine below.
This post has 4 recipes in it. Baked Cornmeal Cauliflower, Vegetarian Chocolate Chili, Quick Pickled jalapenos, and finally the assembly of the Crispy Cauliflower Nachos at the end. The first three totally stand on their own, so make them even if you’re not doing the whole nacho thing.
Baked Cornmeal Cauliflower
- 1 small cauliflower head, or half a large one
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup of fine cornmeal
- 1 tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the cornmeal and salt, set aside.
- Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Dip into the egg, then coat with cornmeal/salt mixture.
- Arrange on the lined baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip over the florets and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes until crispy and golden.
Vegetarian Chocolate Chili
- 2 Tbsp. ghee or butter
- 1 cooking onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp. of your favourite chili powder (I made my own – will share later)
- 1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
- 3 cups crushed or strained tomatoes (I used Passata)
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- salt, coconut sugar, and cayenne pepper, to taste (I used 1 tsp., 2 tsp., and 1 tsp., respectively)
- In a sautee pan or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt and sautee for about 5 minutes until translucent and starting to brown at the edges.
- Add the chili powder and cacao, and sautee for another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.
- Add tomato sauce and beans. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat, and gently simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Taste the chili and add remaining seasoning seasoning (salt, coconut sugar, and cayenne). Also check that it’s a good consistency. If too thick, add a little bit of water, if too runny, simmer without the lid to reduce the liquid.
- Cook, stirring, for a few more minutes, then remove from heat and cover to keep hot.
Quick Pickled Jalapeños
- 2 cups of sliced jalapeño peppers
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of apple cider, or your choice of vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- Place jalapeño and garlic slices in a jar
- combine the remaining ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil over high heat, then pour over the jalapeños and garlic in the jar.
- Close jar, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use. These are best after at least a day, but can be used right away if needed.
- Baked Cornmeal Cauliflower (recipe above)
- your favourite chili recipe or Vegetarian Chocolate Chili (recipe above)
- 1/2 an avocado, cubed
- 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
- handful of cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- quick pickled jalapeños (recipe above)
- Top crispy cornmeal cauliflower with hot chilli and all of the remaining garnishes. Serve warm with lime wedges and extra jalapeños.