Sumac & Za’atar Cauliflower Tacos with Baba Ganoush, Chimichurri and Fried Leeks

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Since it’s taco Tuesday, here is another vegetarian taco recipe. Not your traditional taco recipe, but a mash up of Middle Eastern and South American flavors. Crunchy cauliflower which I pan-roasted with sumac and za’atar, creamy baba ganoush, zesty chimichurri and for extra flavor and texture fried leeks. A messy eat but well worth it.

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This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the baba ganoush:

2 large eggplants

1/3 cup of tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

¾ of a teaspoon of garlic powder

¾ of a teaspoon of paprika powder

¾ of a teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of cumin

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pinch of cayenne

For the cauliflower:

½ a head of cauliflower

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of salt

1 ½ tablespoons of sumac

1 ½ tablespoons of Za’atar

Pinch of black pepper

For the fried leeks:

1 leek

Vegetable oil, about 2 cups

Salt

For the chimichurri:

2 cups of flat leaf parsley, firmly packed and without hard stems

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

1 tablespoons of dried oregano

½ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon of salt

Pepper

Extras:

12 small tortillas

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

 

Start by making the baba ganoush, preheat your oven to 230C/446F and rub the skin of the eggplants with a bit of olive oil. Place them whole on a tray lined with parchment paper and roast them for 30 minutes.

Once they are roasted, slice them in half and spoon out the flesh. Place the tahini in the food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Then add the eggplant and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until you have a smooth dip. Taste for salt and adjust the spices to your liking. Set it aside to cool.

To make the chimichurri, place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is very fine. Set it aside.

To make the cauliflower, chop it into small chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon pepper, salt, sumac, Za’atar and black pepper. Mix it well.

Heat up a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the seasoned cauliflower including any oil left in the bowl. Cook the cauliflower for about 7 minutes, stirring from time to time. Set it aside.

To make the fried leeks, thinly slice them the sizes of matchsticks (only the white and pale green parts). Then heat up the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Have a plate lined with paper towels ready. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced leeks in small batches. Cook until lightly golden and then place them on the prepared plate. Repeat until you are done.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Add some baba ganoush to each tortilla, then the cauliflower and a drizzle of chimichurri. Finally add the fried leeks and pomegranate seeds.

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Butternut Squash, Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Sumac & Za’atar Roasted Cashew Crumbs and Shaved Asparagus (Vegan)

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A very easy and comforting soup with added crunch from the raw asparagus and cashew crumbs. Perfect for this cold weather.

On another note, I recently made a tutorial for the blue background that you see in these pictures. You can check it out by clicking here.

 

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

1 medium butternut squash, just chopped into pieces

4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into pieces

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 litter of vegetable stock

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Pinch of paprika powder

Salt to taste

For the cashew crumbs:

1 cup of salted cashews, finely chopped into crumbs

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of paprika powder

1 tablespoon of sumac

1 teaspoon of Za’atar

Pinch of salt (optional)

For the asparagus:

8 asparagus

Salt

Pepper

 

Chop the butternut squash (leave the skin and seeds on, they will come off easier after being roasted) and carrot into chunks. Place the butternut squash, carrots and whole sweet potatoes in an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil over the squash and carrot. Sprinkle with some salt and then roast them in the oven at 180C/350F until tender. This will take about ½ hour for the squash and carrots, and 1 hour for the sweet potato. So just check from time to time.

Once the vegetables are roasted, scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash and discard them. Then scoop out the flesh and set it aside. Peel the sweet potato.

In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the butternut squah, carrots and sweet potatoes. Add the stock, celery salt and paprika powder. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste it, and then add salt to taste.

To make the cashew crumbs, mix the chopped cashews with the spices and olive oil. Roast them for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Stir the crumbs half way through.  Set it aside to cool.

When you are ready to serve, reheat the soup and start preparing the asparagus. Grab a potato peeler and start to shave the asparagus. Don’t worry if some break. Then season them with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with the seasoned shaved asparagus and some of the cashew crumbs. Enjoy!

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