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Traveling Tacos with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce

By Carly Sitner, Guest Contributor

Traveling Tacos, aka Frito Pie, is a childhood staple of mine from lunches at school. Of course, in school it was not nearly as nutritious, or vegan for that matter. I remember uniformly-shaped, rectangular pieces of meat and shredded, plastic cheese inside a bag of Fritos. My version includes a quick homemade version of bean chili and a creamy, cauliflower-based cheese sauce. Top each bowl with heaps of toppings like avocado, jalapeno and cilantro and you’ve got yourself one delicious bowl of food.


Traveling Tacos

Serves 4

Bean Chili

  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, small dice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbl chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1-15oz can hot chili beans, undrained
  • 1-15oz can red kidney beans, undrained
  • 1-15oz can fire roasted tomatoes, undrained


  • 1-1lb bag Fritos
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ½ jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbl minced red onion
  • 3 tbl cilantro leaves

Saute the onions, jalapeno and garlic in olive oil until tender and fragrant, 7 minutes. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the beans and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the Fritos into four bowls. Top with chili, cheese sauce, avocado, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro.

Caulilflower Cheese Sauce

  • 1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbl tahini
  • 1 tbl Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric

Combine the cauliflower in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and season with salt.

Photo: Carly Sitner