April 2017 — The Vegetarian Tacos Issue

Grilled Red Chard

The heat of the grill can do fantastic things in transforming the flavor and texture of vegetables, and we love exploring new ways to take advantage of these culinary possibilities. At last count, we have more than 50 recipes on our website that feature vegetables and fruits as the main attraction, but we have never published an all-vegetarian newsletter…until now. And I cannot think of a better platform for a vegetarian-themed newsletter than tacos.

Tacos offer an ideal canvas for bringing together an assortment of flavors and textures. Plus, tacos and the grill are a match made in heaven. Get ready for three delicious, meatless tacos: Grilled Cauliflower and Chard with Roasted Garlic, Portobello Mushrooms with Creamy Tomatillo Avocado Salsa, and Roasted Sweet Potato and Poblano Tacos with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce.  I love the flavor and presentation of each one of these recipes. I hope you do as well.


Russ Faulk

Grilled Cauliflower and Chard Tacos with Roasted Garlic

Grilled Cauliflower and Chard Tacos with Roasted Garlic

These earthy tacos feature fire-roasted tomato salsa with smoky chipotle chiles and roasted garlic. The cauliflower is browned on the grill, and the fresh red chard is rendered crispy by the high heat. Wrap it all in a grilled corn tortilla, top with crumbled goat cheese, and prepare yourself for the perfect bite.


  • 3 whole heads of garlic plus 2 cloves
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 medium size vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle chile from a can plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 medium size heads of cauliflower
  • 4 leaves red chard, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 12 soft white corn tortillas (or 24 if they are thin because you’ll want to double them up)
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the grill for multi-zone grilling with a HIGH heat direct zone and an indirect zone at between 350 and 400°F.

Cut the tops off the 3 heads of garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the top and season generously with salt. Place the garlic in the indirect zone of the grill with the cut sides facing upward. Close the grill, and roast until browned and soft, about 25 minutes, rotating a couple of times. (You can also use the pizza oven to roast garlic. See this recipe for instructions.) Remove the roasted garlic from the grill and let cool.

To make the fire-roasted tomato salsa, cut the onion into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush generously with olive oil and season with salt. Place the onion and tomatoes in the direct zone. Grill over HIGH heat, turning occasionally, until the onion slices are browned and soft, and the tomatoes are blistered all over and heated through, about 12 minutes. Remove from the grill and transfer to a food processor (or a blender).

Add the chipotle, adobo sauce, cilantro and lime juice to the food processor bowl. Peel the 2 raw cloves of garlic. Add those and 1 teaspoon of salt. Process to a semi-smooth consistency and check the seasoning. Add more salt or lime juice as needed. Reserve.

Cut the bases out of the cauliflower heads and discard. Slice the heads into cauliflower “steaks” about 1 inch thick. Brush generously with olive oil and season liberally with salt. Cook directly over HIGH heat until marked by the grill, flipping once, about 2 minutes per side. Move to the indirect zone, close the grill, and roast for about 25 minutes, flipping once.

While the cauliflower is grilling, extract the roasted garlic cloves from the cooled heads. Reserve. Lightly brush the red chard with olive oil. Reserve.

The cauliflower should be golden brown with a nice crunch. Remove from the grill and reserve between two heavy metal half sheet pans placed together like a clam shell to keep warm.

Lightly grill the corn tortillas on both sides in the direct zone of the grill. Reserve between the same half sheet pans to keep warm.

Grill the oiled red chard in the direct zone over HIGH heat, flipping once, until the edges turn brown and crispy/flaky, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into strips.

Fill the tortillas with cauliflower, cutting it into smaller pieces as needed. Add the chard and roasted garlic cloves to the tacos, then spoon in the fire-roasted tomato salsa. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the top and enjoy!

Tip: The warming rack in the Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill is a great place to roast vegetables, including the cauliflower in this recipe. Mark the cauliflower on the hot grill grate in the direct zone, then move to the warming rack above the direct zone and close the grill for even browning. The heat on the ample warming rack of a Kalamazoo grill is more gentle and indirect than the heat down at the grill grate, but it can be far hotter than you would find in most other brands of gas grill.

Grilled Portobello Tacos with Creamy Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

Grilled Portobello Tacos with Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

These tacos incorporate delicious, traditional vegetarian flavors. The meaty, umami flavor of grilled Portobello mushrooms is contrasted by the tart and herbaceous tomatillo salsa. The pickled cabbage and onions and a bit of queso fresco finish off these delightfully light tacos perfectly.


  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large (or 4 small) tomatillos, husks removed, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 9 medium-sized Portobello mushroom caps, stems discarded
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 12 soft white corn tortillas (or 24 if they are thin because you’ll want to double them up)
  • 6 ounces queso fresco, crumbled


To prepare the pickled vegetables, combine the water, vinegar, honey and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place the cabbage and onion in separate nonreactive, heat-resistant bowls. Pour the liquid over the onions and cabbage, splitting it evenly and making sure all of the veggies are submerged. Cover the bowl tightly and allow to pickle for 30 minutes. Drain off and discard all of the liquid. Refrigerate the pickled onion and cabbage until serving time.

To make the creamy salsa, combine the tomatillos, avocado, cilantro, garlic, serrano and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor (or a blender). Add 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Process until very smooth. Adjust seasoning with more salt if needed. Transfer to a bowl and seal tightly with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap into the surface of the salsa to eliminate air. Refrigerate until serving time.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling over MEDIUM-HIGH heat.

Generously brush the mushrooms on both sides with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Portobello mushrooms on the grill

Portobello mushrooms with stems removed cooking on the Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill

Grill the mushrooms in the direct zone, starting with the gill sides facing upward. Grill for 3 minutes, then flip them over and grill for about 5 minutes more. When finished, the mushrooms should be well-browned and substantially smaller in size than when you started. Transfer to a cutting board and reserve.

Lightly grill the tortillas on both sides.

Slice the mushrooms into strips.

To assemble the tacos, spoon the creamy salsa into the tortillas. Add a few strips of mushrooms. Top with pickled onions, cabbage and queso fresco. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Poblano Tacos with Crispy Shallots and Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Sweet Potato and Poblano Tacos

It is difficult to adequately describe just how delicious these tacos are, but I can share with you that they are a unanimous staff favorite here at Kalamazoo. Even if you never make the tacos, I highly recommend you make the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce for dip  with chips and vegetables, or serve it with grilled meat. As a key component of these tacos, the sauce provides the bright and tangy flavor needed to balance the roasted goodness of the sweet potatoes. Tender poblano offers an easy-going heat while crispy shallots deliver a welcome crunch. Together with a warm tortilla fresh off the grill, these ingredients make a perfect combination. 


  • 10 ounces plain Greek yogurt (we use Fage Total)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 large shallots, peeled
  • Canola oil
  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch sticks
  • 2 poblano chiles
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 12 soft white corn tortillas (or 24 if they are thin because you’ll want to double them up)


To make the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, combine the yogurt, cilantro, garlic and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Process until smooth. Cover tightly and refrigerate until serving time.

Prepare the grill for multi-zone grilling with a HIGH heat direct zone and an indirect zone at between 350 and 400°F.

Thinly slice the shallots (I suggest using a mandolin).

Preheat a small, cast iron skillet on the direct zone of the grill. Fill with 1/2 inch of canola oil, and bring the oil to a temperature of about 350°F. Add the sliced shallots to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove fried shallots from the oil and dry them on paper towels. Reserve.

Roast the poblanos over the hottest part of the fire on the grill. Turn them occasionally until they are blackened all over. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a plate to lock in the steam.

Lightly coat the sweet potato sticks with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place them in the indirect zone and close the grill. Roast the sweet potatoes until tender and browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Turn them once or twice during this time for even browning.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, scrape the blackened skins off of the poblanos and discard. Stem and seed the chiles, then dice the remaining flesh. Reserve.

After the sweet potatoes are done and off the grill, lightly grill the tortillas in the direct zone.

To serve, place 3 sweet potato sticks in each tortilla. Top with sauce, then diced poblano and crispy shallots. Enjoy!

Innovation is at the heart of every Kalamazoo product. Each part of the collection – from grills and pizza ovens to refrigeration and cabinetry – represents a significant departure from the established norm. Our passion for outdoor cooking and our fiercely independent design philosophy drive us to establish new industry benchmarks. Consequently, our list of exclusives and innovations speaks for itself.

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