For the past few years, we’ve always spent Super Bowl Sunday surrounded with the most epic of feasts. I’m not a big football fan (sorry), but Anguel’s friends host a Super Bowl party every year and it's not one to miss. The food is excessive and the laughing barely stops.
This year’s shaping up a little different. Now that we’re living on opposite coasts, it makes get-togethers like these more difficult to attend, no matter how much tasty food is waiting on the other side. And, of all things, Anguel has caught a cold. The dude that never gets sick is now sniffling and sneezing, while downing cups of tumeric and ginger tea (#proud). So rather than a loud, friend-filled day, we’re going to cozy up with some epic treats of our own. Because sick or not, we’re still going to have some fun after all.
These Spicy Cauliflower Nachos are one of the most delicious things to come out of our kitchen recently. We’ve had this variation up our sleeves for a while now (sorry, again), but we wanted to save it for a special occasion like this.
The recipe starts by mixing together an easy spice blend that’ll bring both heat and flavor to the cauliflower “chips”. In the spirit of keeping it simple I use bottled hot sauce as part of the base. You can use whatever hot sauce you want, but my personal favorite is a Mexican-style hot sauce (like this one). I recommend sprinkling salt on the cauliflower after you’ve laid it out on your skillet pan, otherwise it'll just get stuck on the sides of your mixing bowl. And I think almost everyone would agree that chips need salt (whether they’re made of cauliflower or not). To state the obvious, the cauliflower in this recipe are like "chips" because they’re the vehicle for getting melted cheese, peppers, and avocado into your mouth. They won't however get crunchy like a tortilla chip - because it's cauliflower for pete's sake(!). But with all the flavors going on, greasy chips are the last thing you’ll need.
For the record, we’ve served these nachos to plenty of our "health phobic" friends, and these were still a banging hit. So don't be shy - bring these to a party and watch the skeptics gobble this up. Or, even better, pull on your sweat pants and rock a nacho night at home. We sure are.
Spicy Cauliflower Nachos
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (see note 1)
- 1½ lb head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- 1¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese (see note 2)
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Season cauliflower: In a large bowl, whisk together oil and hot sauce. Add cauliflower, toss to coat. Sprinkle in onion powder, paprika, and salt. Toss to coat.
- Bake cauliflower: Spray or lightly grease a 12-inch oven safe skillet (or baking sheet or 13 x 9-inch casserole dish). Transfer cauliflower (and any spices from the bowl) into the skillet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip cauliflower, then bake until golden brown, another 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add toppings: Scatter bell pepper and onion on top. Sprinkle with cheese, tomatoes, and jalapenos. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Garnish with avocado and cilantro, serve immediately.
- Hot sauce: We like to use a Mexican hot sauce, like Valentina or Cholula for this recipe. If you don't like spicy things, reduce the amount of hot sauce to your liking. You can always add more hot sauce at the end.
- Cheese: Use aged cheddar cheese for more flavor. If vegan, substitute with your favorite meltable shredded vegan cheese.