Tag Archives: cauliflower

Fork and Taco – Vegan Tacos in North Austin

After folks like the Vegan Nom and Taco Deli close up shop it isn’t as easy to find awesome vegan tacos on the north side as it is south of the river (or east of 35). When I’m on a taco cleanse and find myself in that area I start panicking about where to get my night tacos! The new-ish Fork and Taco on Burnet is the perfect fit for a vegan looking for margaritas and tacos to fit a taco-based lifestyle. They have several vegetarian menu selections that can be easily veganized, margaritas, and black beans and chips with guacamole to round out the vegan meal.

The restaurant is actually a bit hard to see sandwiched in a strip mall between the Noble Sandwich Co. and Pinthouse Pizza on Burnett at 48th street by where the Omelettry used to be. When you walk in you order at the front and then sit while with your number waiting for someone to bring tacos too you. The inside is colorful in a modern fast casual kind of way and they also have a back patio which seemed a little better for lounging.

It tried two tacos, the Crispy Cauliflower that comes with Mexican Street Corn (they can leave the cheese out if you ask), avocado, cilantro and lime. I liked this one quite a bit though my dining companion and I both agreed that there was way too much lemon in the cauliflower. Hopefully that was a one time thing. I also ordered the Beet taco which had grapefruit, avocado, pepitas, and cilantro (ask for no sauce) and I really liked it even though I typically do not care for grapefruit. It worked really well balancing the earthiness of the beets. Both tacos were strengthened by being served on thick homemade corn tortillas. In fact, I’d say these were some of the best tortillas at a yuppie kind of place in Austin. They also have a portabello taco with zucchini, crookneck squash, bell pepper, and tomatillo sauce but two tacos seemed like it would be enough for me. Plus portobellos are always risky at non-vegan places. Anyway I should have tried one for the team or at least gotten the side of beans because after only eating these two vegetable tacos I was as hungry as all get out by the time I got back to my south Austin abode hours later. Next time I will definitely get the beans and guacamole because a woman like myself can not survive on vegetables alone.

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The Quest for Kalonji, making the Bengali 5-Spice

I haven’t had any money in the past few weeks. Things are usually pretty tight but between going to Costa Rica, Dan crashing his car, and not getting paid since December 15th I have been beyond broke. I have been mostly eating rice and beans and other favorites from the pantry but I knew I needed some fresh vegetables. I went to the store attempting to spend only 5 dollars, I needed onions and garlic and some sort of green. When money is the tight the best thing to buy is usually cabbage because it is good for you and cheaper than the rest of the leafy greens.

The next day I was on Fat Free vegan and she had an Indian style recipe that looked too good to pass up but I also noticed that it was a side dish for a Cauliflower dahl that she raved about in a previous post. Since I also had cauliflower it seemed like the perfect meal, except that I was missing one spice, Kalonji.

I had never heard of it before so of course I became overcome with a burning desire to find it as soon as possible. Later that day Dan was in the area of Whole Foods so I sent him on a mission, they didn’t have it. The next day I went to the middle-eastern grocery store by my house that sells some other “ethnic” ingredients but they didn’t have it either. I ended up making samosas that night anticipating making an Indian feast later in the week and having the leftover samosas. I spoke with an Indian friend at work who told me she would look for it but had never heard of it. The next day, I stopped by Central Market, our huge, high-end, has-every-kind-of-produce store. I looked all over; the Indian section, the bulk section, the spice section. I was standing gaping at the spices when a friendly worker asked if I needed help. She couldn’t find the spices either but told me about a secret south side Indian grocery store. Thrilled, I went on my way to the access road of the IH-35 and nearly passed a non-descript Indian grocery store. I walked in the front door and the first thing I saw was Kalonji! I also found dried mangos for amchoor, black urad dhal, and some tamarind chutney.

cauliflower-dal-with-panch-phoran