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Dr Leah Romay DDS

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In my house, we are ALL about Mexican food, so it’s something that I love to make often. Plus we recently were in Mexico City and it was amazing. During this trip, I had my first encounter with nopales, or cactus pads, as they are a staple side dish and were served with many of our tacos. I think they taste a bit like green beans. They also are super good for you and are loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals, so they are a great addition to your burrito!

how to make vegan tacos | whole food plant based | dairy-free | gluten-free | oil-free

This recipe starts out by preparing the veggies to be grilled. If you slice the cauliflower as in the picture below, it will be much easier to grill. Keep your mushrooms and cactus whole and slice the zucchini into 1/2″ thick slices. Sprinkle all of the veggies with some salt, pepper, cumin and lime juice, and then you are ready to grill!

how to make vegan tacos | whole food plant based | dairy-free | gluten-free | oil-free

While the veggies are grilling up over medium heat, you can prepare a quick salsa and the spice sauce. For a big batch of salsa, you can use your food processor. For a smaller batch, hand chop the ingredients for the perfect pico de gallo texture. I make my quick pico with 1 large fresh tomato, 1/4 of a red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 red bell pepper, a handful of cilantro, and juice of 1/2 a lime and the zest. Chop all of the ingredients to be small pieces and mince the garlic. You can also add jalapeño for spice. Fold all ingredients together and add a pinch of sea salt and some grinds of black pepper. That’s all! It’s so good and so easy! 

The spice sauce is a simple combination of chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, lime juice and zest, with some water. Keeping it easy! I like to drizzle this over the veggies as I’m assembling the burrito. You can make it as spicy as you like. 

how to make vegan tacos | whole food plant based | dairy-free | gluten-free | oil-free

The collard green “tortilla” is a great option if you need something grain-free. To prepare the leaf, cut off the bottom stem and then flip it over. Hold your knife horizontally and slice down the length of the stem to peel it, making it thinner. you can see this in the photo above. You can use the leaf straight away, or steam it for 1 minute to soften it further. Both ways work and I think it’s personal preference. 

When the veggies are done grilling, chop them into smaller pieces. You can pre-mix them with the spice sauce or leave the sauce on the side. Then layer in your ingredients and roll it up!

how to make vegan tacos | whole food plant based | dairy-free | gluten-free | oil-free
how to make vegan tacos | whole food plant based | dairy-free | gluten-free | oil-free
how to make vegan tacos | whole food plant based | dairy-free | gluten-free | oil-free

If you love this post, please share or comment below! Tag me on IG @drleahromay with a picture of your grilled vegetable burritos!

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Grilled Vegetable Burritos

Author: Leah Romay

Serves 4


  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 1/2 cups mushrooms
  • 3-4 Cactus paddles (nopales)
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Collard green leaves
  • Pico de gallo 
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • Jalapeño, sliced
  • Cilantro
  • Additional optional toppings: vegan sour cream or cheese, rice
Spice Sauce
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 t chipotle powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • black pepper
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Prepare the cactus paddles by cutting off any thorns. Cut the zucchini into 1/2″ thick slices. Cut the cauliflower into thick slices (makes grilling easier)
  2. Place all veggies on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the lime juice over the veggies and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 or 2 teaspoons cumin, and freshly ground black pepper. Grill over medium heat until tender. Remove from the grill and cut the veggies into smaller pieces. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the spice sauce: combine all ingredients except water in a small bowl. Slowly pour in water until thin enough to be a pourable consistency.
  4. Prep the collard green “tortillas”: wash and dry 1-2 leaves per person. Slice the bottom off the leaf where the stem becomes thick. Flip the leaf over. Holding your knife horizontally, slice down the length of the center stem to thin it out. The lower 1/3rd of the stem is very thick – thinning it out will keep it from snapping when wrap up your burrito. Optional: gently steam the leaf for 1-2 minutes to soften it.
  5. To assemble: layer black beans, grilled veggies, and salsa on the collard leaf, plus any additional toppings you desire. Drizzle with the spice sauce. Roll and enjoy!

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Dr. Leah Romay is a dentist passionate about health and wellness and believes that health is possible for everyone. She’s been in the kitchen cooking from scratch for most of her life and greatly enjoys creating healthy and delicious recipes. In addition to practicing dentistry full time, she spends her free time developing recipes, reading scientific studies, and helping others live their healthiest lives through evidence-based lifestyle and diet. Read more about Dr. Romay and her story here.

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