Spicy Buffalo Lentil and Roasted Cauliflower Tacos

Buffalo Lentil and Roasted Dill Cauliflower Tacos | Veggie and the Beast

I’m in the midst of a serious lentil fling. I don’t even know if I can call it a “fling” since it seems that I might be in it for the long haul. It’s getting pretty serious.

You wouldn’t know it from reading this blog, but I’ve been eating a LOT of lentils lately. Red, green, black, brown…all of ‘em. They’re so versatile, healthy, and PACKED with protein. Since the cookbook I’m working on is focused on high protein vegetarian foods, you can bet I’ve had lentils every which way over the past several months.

Buffalo Lentil and Roasted Dill Cauliflower Tacos | Veggie and the Beast

I even went through a phase where I was trying to make red lentil peanut butter cups happen. I know, I know…stop trying to make fetch happen, Katie. It’s not going to happen.

Except, let’s be honest, it might eventually. Sorry not sorry.

Buffalo Lentil and Roasted Dill Cauliflower Tacos | Veggie and the Beast

Today though, we’re going to be putting lentils in totally appropriate places, like in tacos! With garlic, shallots, spicy buffalo sauce, and nutty roasted dill cauliflower.

We’re also going to cover dem tacos with a creamy basil and kale sauce, because basil is delicious (and Ryan is a basil farmer, REPRESENT), and kale is good for you.

Buffalo Lentil and Roasted Dill Cauliflower Tacos | Veggie and the Beast

I’ve combined buffalo sauce and cauliflower a few times before (see examples A and B), but this time I separated the cauliflower from the sauce. In these tacos the lentils absorb the spicy sauce, and sit alongside cauliflower that’s been salted, peppered, tossed with dried dill, and roasted until nicely browned and nutty. The flavorful basil and kale sauce adds a bit of brightness, and cuts the heat of the buffalo lentils. Flavor for days in these here tacos, folks.

Buffalo Lentil and Roasted Dill Cauliflower Tacos | Veggie and the Beast

I bought an all natural buffalo sauce from Whole Foods, and oh me oh my is it spicy. If you’re using a more mild buffalo sauce, but you like a ton of heat, you may add a little bit of ground cayenne to the lentils as they’re absorbing the buffalo sauce.

If you want your tacos to be vegan, just make sure your buffalo sauce is vegan (Franks Red Hot IS vegan), and then top with some cashew sour cream instead of the basil yogurt sauce.
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Smoky Kale and Chipotle Grilled Cheese

Chipotle Kale Grilled Cheese | Veggie and the Beast

I eat grilled cheese year-round, but it feels more appropriate to curl up with a cheesy, toasty, buttery sandwich when it’s starting to get cold outside. Especially if you dip that goodness in some warm soup. Ahhh yes.

Last week was a perfect week for grilled cheese. Not to go all Game of Thrones on you, but winter is coming, folks. I’ve started wearing my boots with warm socks, and even pulling on my hat and mittens when I take Teia out for a walk. The shift in seasons definitely calls for a hot and spicy sandwich, don’t you agree?

In this post, I tell you how to sauté kale, make it smoky and spicy, and eat it with cheese between 2 slices of bread. It seems simple, yes, but kale in grilled cheese is a thing in my life, and it occurred to me that it might not be a thing in yours, so I thought we should talk about it.

Chipotle Kale Grilled Cheese | Veggie and the Beast

I know some people think that kale is just WEIRD. They think it’s tough, bitter, and hard to work with. Admittedly, it’s not the most forgiving vegetable. No one has ever bitten into kale’s thick, uncooked center stem and ENJOYED it. You need to cut those guys out and either throw them away or juice them, but definitely, DEFINITELY don’t leave them in there.

I opted to use baby kale in this recipe, because it’s much less tough than lacinado kale, doesn’t have those darn stems, and its flavor is less strong. If you’re using lacinado kale, just cut out the large center stems, chop it up, and pick the recipe up from there.

Chipotle Kale Grilled Cheese | Veggie and the Beast

To start things off, we heat up some olive oil in a skillet, add a cup of baby kale with a sprinkle of salt, and cook it until it wilts and loses that tough exterior that turns so many people off. Once it’s done cooking, stir in just a teaspoon of adobo sauce to give it a smoky flavor. When it’s time to layer the sandwich, we smooth on some sour cream (to help cool down the heat), then cheddar cheese, then smoky kale, then a chopped chipotle pepper, and then MORE cheese.

As a side note, remember when I didn’t eat cheese for a month? I feel like I’ve been making up for those 30 cheeseless days with 90 days of eating ALL THE CHEESE.

Chipotle Kale Grilled Cheese | Veggie and the Beast

If you can’t handle spice, do NOT make this sandwich as-is. I eat spicy food every day, and this sandwich still made me sweat. Those who are spice-adverse can just sauté the kale in the olive oil, forego the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, and just have a nice grilled cheese and greens sandwich. You can even swap the chipotle cheddar/pepperjack for sharp cheddar or provolone. There’s no shame in that.
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