Intentions and Cauliflower Walnut Tacos


I always have the best intentions, I will eat healthier, I will stop postponing any number of things I want to do, I will speak my mind more often, I will show up for myself more, I will blog/write more. And then between my work, between fun (in the case of the last months different friends weddings), between my second guessing myself (sure lets call it fear which it probably is), and between the horrifying news of late I simply can’t find my way to follow through on those intentions I held.

Intentions are a strange thing – held properly they can be transformative but more often they are acted on in ways that unintentionally hurt. We use our intentions as a scapegoat sometimes for the harm our actions cause. Years ago when I was in Kenya and had been temporally removed from the orphanage I called my dad crying from outside of my Kenyan family’s house. I told him what had happened as children and neighbors peered over the stone fence at the crying muzungu. I told my father I had come with the purest of intentions and in his good Catholic way my father repeated a phrase he says often “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I sniffled and in that moment I think I shed a layer of naïveté that I had carried the 34 years of my life up to that point. I could mean well, I could care passionately, I could try to understand but I might not be able to do more then show up in those moments humbly and accept that I might be able to change things or more often I might only be able to bear witness.


Perhaps our intentions are something to hold lightly like our hopes – they can steer us but we must admit when they have failed us, when we have failed ourselves, or when despite our intentions the world feels too daunting to act on our intentions. Perhaps we can only bear witness in those moments and let them steer us later. When I returned to the orphanage a few days later I had a different perspective for my last 10 days – I had been changed forever by those children and perhaps I would not change those children in return, perhaps I could never deliver enough food, or stickers, or help. Perhaps I had to accept that my intention to make a difference was wrong and I had let the experience make me different.

With intentions in mind – I have intended to share a recipe but have felt I could never exactly sit down with what was happening in our country the last few weeks. I have been heart broken and sickened to watch and hear of family’s being separated and children detained in cages and tents along our border. I have not been able to understand who as a country we are or how we got here. I called and emailed my representatives and donated to charities helping in this battle. But how could I possibly do more or continue in life as this continued.

As I think of intentions I think of the recipe I have been intending to share for cauliflower walnut taco meat, its really good, and every time I would stop to share this past week I would stop myself – world news seemed more important, that procrastination or fear – who cares about this recipe right now with what is going on in the world. My intentions dwarfed but they were still intentions – to feed myself good food, to share with others, to make the world in the smallest way kinder and better. I held onto my intentions and tried to remember Kenya and how complicated things were for me there and how the experience changed me. I held my intentions and understood it was all they were intentions that could either help but didn’t guarantee anything, but I showed up to bear witness with my intentions and perhaps that is all we can do.
Oh and here is that delicious cauliflower walnut taco recipe, trust me its good! I made this a few time last summer and couldn’t wait to make it again this summer. The best part of the recipe is the adornments – bean and corn salsa and pico de gallo made with everything super fresh and delicious.
With all of the best of intentions and a lot heart,
Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat:
3 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups whole shelled walnuts 
2 individual chipotles in adobo sauce (more to taste if you like spicy)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Corn Black Bean Salsa:
1 can corn (or fresh off the cob if you have it)
1 can black beans 
1/2 of a pickled jalapeño (more or less to taste)
1/2 shallot 
Juice from half of lime
Cilantro to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste


Picco De Gallo:
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved or quartered
1 shallot
1/2 of a pickled jalapeño (more or less to taste)
Juice from half of lime
Cilantro to taste
  • Preheat over to 375° F and lightly grease a baking sheet
  • Pulse all of the ingredients for cauliflower walnut taco meat in food processor until the mixture is evenly ground, you might have to do this in stages.
  • Transfer to greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. You will have to stir around halfway through.
  • While the cauliflower walnut mixture is in the oven make the corn & black bean salsa, and pico de gallo.
  • Corn/Black Bean Salsa – sauté ingredients in pan until heated through and well combined.
  • Pico de Gallo – toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Assemble tacos or eat over rice or as part of a burrito. I like mine layered in a tortilla with a slice of avocado. But you do as you wish and I promise you will love these!



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06 2018

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