- 4 cups (540 g) medium cauliflower florets
- 1½ cups (180 g) cubed pepper jack cheese
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- ¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ cup vegan queso or salsa
- 1 avocado, cut into cubes
VEGAN QUESO INGREDIENTS:
- 1½ cups (200 g) cauliflower florets
- 1 cup (262 g) store-bought medium salsa
- ½ cup (71 g) raw cashews
- 1/3 cup (27 g) nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Coarsely chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Tortilla chips, sliced bell pepper, or carrots, for serving (optional)
Excerpted from Cauliflower Power by Lindsay Grimes Freedman (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019
MAKES 24 TOSTADAS; SERVES 6
1. Preheat the oven to 400°f (200°c). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set one oven rack in the middle and one beneath the broiler.
2. Using the chopping blade on your food processor, process a handful of florets at a time for about 30 seconds, until completely chopped into the consistency of meal (see page 19). Transfer the meal to a clean, thin dish towel or piece of cheesecloth and continue this process until all the florets are chopped. Do this in two or three batches; if you put all the florets in the food processor at once, they won’t get evenly grated.
3. Once all the meal is in the dish towel, gather the corners and, working over the sink, squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Put the squeezed cauliflower in a large bowl.
4. Quickly rinse out the food processor (it doesn’t have to be perfectly clean) and add the cubed cheese. Process for about 20 seconds, until chopped.
5. Add the chopped cheese to the bowl of cauliflower meal along with the taco seasoning and cilantro (save a little to use as a garnish). Use a rubber spatula to mix everything together.
6. Work in batches to bake the tostadas. Use a small ice cream scoop (or a tablespoon) to make eight 2-inch (5 cm) balls of the cauliflower mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Use a spatula to flatten the balls. Use your fingers to re-form the flattened balls into circles as needed.
7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, then broil on high for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cook the second batch. Allow each batch to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Use the first baking sheet for the third batch of tostadas and repeat until all three batches are baked.
8. Top the tostadas with some queso or salsa, avocado, and more cilantro for garnish. Tostadas are best eaten immediately.
DIRECTIONS VEGAN QUESO
MAKES 5 CUPS; SERVES 10
1. Bring an inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Place the cauliflower in a steamer basket set over the boiling water. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes, until the florets are easily pierced with a fork.
2. Combine the cooked cauliflower, salsa, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, cumin, and salt in a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and blend for another 10 seconds to puree the queso.
4. Enjoy the dip warm and garnished with chopped cilantro. Serve the dip with your favorite tortilla chips or sliced veggies like bell pepper or carrots. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat on the stovetop, whisking in some unsweetened almond milk if the queso gets too thick