These vegan BBQ Cauliflower Tacos with Pineapple Salsa are brimming with savory + sweet summer flavors! Cauliflower florets are roasted, tossed in a flavorful combination of spices, and simmered in barbecue sauce until tender. Then, they’re tucked into warm corn tortillas with homemade pineapple salsa, a few sprigs of cilantro, and a spritz of fresh lime juice. The smokiness of the spiced BBQ cauliflower complements the sweetness of the fresh pineapple salsa, yielding an irresistibly summery combination that satisfies.
Like most people, I’m a creature of habit. With routines, I’m a thriving version of myself; without routines, the wheels start to fall off.
Take summertime, for instance. In the past, when my regular (i.e., work) schedule would disappear and I turned to face a blank, routine-less canvas, I would let my mood and emotions determine how each day would unfold. Consequently, the most routine thing about my days became the dance of indecision I did every morning.
I found this to be particularly true during the summer of 2013. Dan and I had just moved to a new home in a new neighborhood, and the newness and unfamiliarity of the neighborhood coupled with the blank slate that summer provided was a recipe for disaster. I’d wake up later than usual, shuffle from the bedroom to the kitchen in my pajamas, make myself breakfast, and then consider every single option of what I could spend the day doing.
I could write a blog post or learn more about food photography or go shopping or watch tv or go to yoga class or go for a walk or go to a coffee shop or finish decorating the guest room. The list went on. . . and on. . . and on.
I spent so much time contemplating what I could do that summer that I never actually did much of anything. It wore me down and left me with a case of the summertime blahs. So much so that I eagerly awaited the start of a new school year, simply because it meant the end of summer and the end of the dance of indecision.
But I knew there would be more summers and that I had figure out a better plan for myself. So in the spring of 2014, I took matters into my own hands. In May, just a few weeks before the school year ended, I mapped out a recurring daily and weekly schedule for myself, whittled down the list of potential could-do’s to a few impactful to-do’s, and created this must-follow morning rule for myself:
There are only two options when you wake up: Option 1| Get in the shower and get ready for the day. Option 2| Workout, meditate, and then get in the shower and get ready for the day. Lingering in pajamas and contemplating what to do is not an option.
Of all the changes I made, this rule was and continues to be the biggest game-changer for me (and yes, I stick to it on weekends too). It’s incredibly simple yet incredibly powerful, because it. . .
1| Limits the number of options for what to tackle first thing in the morning, thereby mitigating the risk of developing decision fatigue.
2| Sets the day off on a productive note. Once that first productivity domino is knocked down, the rest will follow more effortlessly.
3| Embodies a form of self-love.
Bear with me on #3. The acts of showering, moving our bodies, and dedicating time to self-care have resounding positive effects that extend far beyond their most obvious benefits. They exemplify honor and respect for the body, heart, and mind, which leads to benefits in mood, self-talk, and even productivity. I don’t know about you but I find it difficult, if not impossible, to summon as much motivation when I’m in my pajamas with a gnarly case of bed head as I do when I’m showered, dressed, and potentially have both a workout + meditation session under my belt too.
More motivation = more productivity = more positive self-talk = more positive mood = more motivation. See the cycle?
Summer of 2014 was much happier and more productive than its schedule-free predecessors, and I’ve been touting the importance of routines in my work with students ever since. Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned about psychology haven’t been collected in a graduate school classroom or absorbed through a costly textbook; they’ve been acquired through life experiences, and I figured it might be worthwhile to share some of these learnings on the blog.
Speaking of which. . .
When I first started blogging, I often incorporated psychology tidbits and wellness tips into posts, but I’ve found myself sticking to recipe-talk more and more in recent years. Not because I haven’t wanted to talk about psychology or share a more personal perspective on wellness, but because I’ve actually developed a bit of stage fright as the blog has grown. And although Blissful Basil is first and foremost a food blog, psychology has, continues to be, and will always be an insatiable passion of mine.
Since I’ll be taking a leave of absence from my position as a psychologist this upcoming school year, I’ve realized it will be especially important to have an outlet for this passion (and a space to share all those long-winded, occasionally rambling thoughts of mine).
With that in mind, I have two hopes for the future: 1| That I can release some of this accumulated stage fright and get back to sharing more personal thoughts, learnings, and ideas through writing; 2| That you’ll be open to the idea too.
And no matter what, there will always be plenty of deliciousness in tow. Deal?
Now, these BBQ Cauliflower Tacos with Pineapple Salsa. They’re simple to make and require just 10-ish ingredients.
Cauliflower florets are roasted, tossed in a flavorful combination of spices, and simmered in barbecue sauce until tender. Then, they’re tucked into warm corn tortillas with homemade pineapple salsa, a few sprigs of cilantro, and a spritz of fresh lime juice.
The smokiness of the spiced BBQ cauliflower complements the sweetness of the fresh pineapple salsa, yielding an irresistibly summery combination that satisfies.
BBQ Cauliflower Tacos with Pineapple Salsa | Vegan, Gluten-Free
Cauliflower florets are roasted, tossed in a flavorful combination of spices, and simmered in barbecue sauce until tender. Then, they're tucked into warm corn tortillas with homemade pineapple salsa, a few sprigs of cilantro, and a spritz of fresh lime juice. The smokiness of the spiced BBQ cauliflower complements the sweetness of the fresh pineapple salsa, yielding an irresistibly summery combination that satisfies.
- 1 large head cauliflower (8-inch diameter), cut into small (1-inch) florets
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ cup 10-Minute Sweet + Tangy BBQ Sauce or vegan barbecue sauce of choice
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 1 large pineapple, cored and finely diced
- 1 small red onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
- 2 red chile peppers, seeded and minced*
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 10 mini corn tortillas or 8 small corn tortillas, warmed through
- Fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional, for spritzing)
For the BBQ Cauliflower
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Spread the cauliflower florets out over the lined pan. Roast for 25 minutes, or until firm-tender and just beginning to turn golden. Let cool slightly.
Transfer the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if using), and toss to coat.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the seasoned cauliflower. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce and water, and pour it over the cauliflower. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until most of the barbecue sauce has been absorbed by the cauliflower, stirring occasionally.
For the Pineapple Salsa
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, chile peppers, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt until combined. Refrigerate until serving.
Fill each corn tortilla with a small spoonful of both the BBQ cauliflower and pineapple salsa. Garnish with the fresh cilantro and serve with the lime wedges if desired (for spritzing).
Refrigerate leftovers in separate airtight containers for up to 4 days.
*For a mild version of this salsa, use 1 cored, seeded, and finely diced red bell pepper instead.