These Indian Spiced Cauliflower, Chickpea, and Crispy Kale Tacos with Orange Tahini Sauce make the perfect meatless monday meal and can be made in less than 30 minutes. I have made them several times this winter and my whole family enjoys them.
Dinner time can be stressful with kids or it can be peaceful. Dare I say that the 5-6 o’clock hour can actually be a peaceful one when you have young kids?! Well I decided a few months back to have a plan for my 30 minutes to an hour of dinner making on the weeknights to make things less stressful. Somedays I start prepping early when one child is sleeping and I can entertain Everett, my 3 year old, with an activity or a quick show OR I wait until Josh comes home and then I start making dinner. I also plan weeknight meals to be simple ones, made in 30 minutes or less.
During this 30 or so minutes to myself I take a deep breath and enjoy the simple (non dramatic and confrontational) rhythms of cooking. During this time I don’t have to discipline or reason with anyone; there’s no hurrying (especially with easy recipes!); and its quiet (or mostly so)! I chop, I stir, I measure with peace and ease. Sometimes I’ll put on music or meditate on a truth or verse and other times I’ll just enjoy the quiet or semi-quiet moment in the day.
Dinner time is a time I look forward to now that I have it better figured out. It’s a little breath in my day. It doesn’t always work out to have this little break (sometimes Josh comes home late or my littlest doesn’t nap) but when it does happen I soak it up and am grateful to get back a few short moments of the joy I find in cooking. I’m not making 1 or 2 hour meals but at least I’m cooking and enjoying the process again.
Tips for Peaceful Dinner Making
Plan ahead – know what recipe you’re making, have ingredients on hand, and save special activities to entertain kids (play dough, coloring or a show works well for my 3 year old). Here’s a great instagram account for simple kid activities that you can throw together with things you already have around your house – Busy Toddler.
Choose Simplicity – find a quick, easy, and healthy recipe with familiar foods that you know your family will enjoy
Timing is Everything – prep or make the meal during nap time if possible. Also, make sure you’re not overdoing it with the meal you choose (my child naps for 45 min- 1 hour and my older kid can be entertained by himself for 30 minutes so I choose a 30 minute meal. I have a friend with 4 kids and she lets the three older ones each pick a 15 minute long show while she cooks; she found out what works for her so she can cook quietly for her family every day.
Get Help – If possible make dinner while your spouse is home so that you can have a peaceful time of cooking and the kids can enjoy time with their other parent.
About the Recipe
The inspiration of this recipe started with Molly Yeh’s Cauliflower Shawarma Tacos. Just like any good recipe that you make a lot, as I made this one I altered it a bit every time we made it. I simplified the original recipe and then added kale and chickpeas to make the tacos a little more hearty. I also came up with my own tahini sauce. I use blood orange juice with tahini and water for the sauce but feel free to use lemon or regular orange juice if that’s what you have. Molly’s spice blend of curry powder and garam masala is just perfect, being both sweet and slightly spicy. Even my 3 year old picks at the baking tray after all of the veggies are roasted. He especially loves the crispy kale. 30 minutes to myself and my 3 year old is eating kale, I’d call this meal a BIG WIN!
Eating in Season doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Here are some more great seasonal recipes from my favorite group of bloggers around the web! If you haven’t already saved my Seasonal Guide to your desktop and phone check it out here – February Seasonal Guide.
Beet Buckwheat Pancakes by Simple Bites
Citrus and Yogurt Fruit Pizza with Granola Crust by Completely Delicious
Spicy Cashew Spring Greens Soup by Letty’s Kitchen
Cauliflower Chickpea and Crispy Kale Tacos with Orange Tahini Sauce by Vintage Mixer
Lemon Poppy Seed Meringue Cookies by Project Domestication
Meyer Lemon & Thyme Semifreddo by Suitcase Foodist
Paleo Lemon Poppy Seed Bread by Joy Food Sunshine
Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup by Foodie Crush
Tilapia with Tangerine Salsa by Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Orange and Arugula Smoothie Bowl by Floating Kitchen
Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad with Orange and Avocado by Mountain Mama Cooks
Beet and Apple Salad with Citrus Honey Yogurt by Flavor the Moments
Meyer Lemon and Honey Lassi by Kitchen Confidante
Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowls with Pesto by She Likes Food
Coconut Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Broccoli and Tahini Sauce by Cafe Johnsonia
Cilantro-Lime Chicken Soup Food for My Family
Cauliflower, Chickpea and Crispy Kale Tacos with Orange Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, florets broken into bite sized pieces
- 3 cups kale, torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup oil, I use grapeseed oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 8 corn tortillas
for tahini sauce
- 1/4 cup tahini*
- 2-4 tablespoons water, depending on thickness of your tahini
- 2 tablespoons orange juice, I used blood orange
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Prep veggies and chickpeas (break up cauliflower, remove kale from the stem and tear into bite sized pieces, and rinse chickpeas). Mix together the oil with seasonings then toss all of the veggies and chickpeas into the spice mixture to evenly coat. Spread out onto a baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until kale is crispy but not burned.
- While everything is baking whisk together the tahini sauce (tahini, water, orange juice and salt). Heat up corn tortillas on the stove top in a skillet.
- Serve hot cauliflower and chickpea mixture in corn tortillas with the tahini sauce and a wedge or two of the orange.
If you make something from The Vintage Mixer I would love to hear about it! Use the tag #VintageMixerRecipe and/or #eatseasonal on Instagram to share your creations online. Please stay connected and feel free to comment with any questions you have about any of my recipes here.
I need to get better about meal planning to make our evenings less crazy! Now that I’m just about 31 weeks pregnant cooking is like the last thing I want to do…but I need to feed the rest of my family lol!
Oh man! I can only imagine what evenings are like for you! Hope (and pray) you can just release yourself from any feelings of should and just do what you can aka quick dinners, frozen dinners, meals out etc! Much love to you Laura
4 and 5:00 used to be the witching hour for my kids and I could get nothing done — but I didn’t have a meal plan either! You’re so smart to have a plan and prep ahead so you can enjoy the process. These tacos look delicious and I love the sound of that sauce!
Thanks Marci! For a while there I wondered how any parent made dinner! has
So glad you’re enjoying making dinners again. I always find that my least enjoyable meal of the day to make as well, and I don’t even have any kids. I think I just have no energy left by 7pm at night. These tacos are right up my alley. Love roasted chickpeas and cauliflower together! And that tahini sauce sounds awesome!
Thanks friends. Its good to hear that its not just me who finds dinner time to be difficult!
Such a lovely post Becky. I’ve recently realized that if it takes me longer than 30 minutes to make dinner, it looses its pleasure and becomes a chore for me.
And tacos are always the best for tossing this and that into – I need to remember that!
Lydia, Hurray for tacos and 30 minute meals with fresh ingredients are always a big win!
These tacos! <3 Pinning for later. Thanks for the recipe idea.
thought you might like these too 🙂
I just have one baby and dinner can be rough sometimes, I can’t imagine getting things done with two!! These tacos look like they will be my new favorite things! I love the cauliflower in the tacos 🙂
Quick and easy meals are always a good answer! And sometimes, if my littlest is awake I’ll use a baby carrier to hold her while I prep food.
Love, love, love. And once again, like so many #EatSeasonal recipes in today’s round-up, I have all the ingredients on hand!
Thanks Aimee 🙂
I was just thinking…and remembering…the other day how I used to do the bulk of my cooking and dinner prep when the kids were napping. I remember those as some of the most peaceful parts of my day. Embracing simple but delicious meals like this is such a must!
I am SO at that stage! Good to hear that you too treasured those quiet moments in the kitchen 🙂
Just wanted to say that this has become a favorite. We made it for a meal swap among friends and everyone loved it. I’ve made for one of my personal chef clients, and they loved it. Gave some to my pet sitter – another thumbs up!
Thanks for a tasty recipe!
This makes my heart so happy! So glad you enjoyed it and shared it with others! Take care!
I just came across your recipe. I’m excited to try it tomorrow night! I’m just wondering won’t the kale get burnt if I bake everything together for 12-15 mins at 450°?
Whenever I’ve made kale chips it begins to burn if left in oven for longer than 8-10 mins.
Would you suggest baking the cauliflower and chick peas first and then kale separately? I know that’s more work and a longer prep time but just curious if anyone has tried that?
Sometimes I do add in about half way through or I’ll toss them all about half way through so the kale gets super crunchy but not burned on the edges.