Hey, hey you guys.
It’s spring! Have you noticed??
I think my standards have been lowered so substantially by the brutal winter we went through that 50 degrees and NOT snowing makes me feel like I should go outside and prance around in a skirt and sandals.
It’s ok. Lowered expectations just mean that I’ll be THAT much happier come summertime, right?
Regardless, I’m taking the change in weather as an opportunity to spring clean my diet a bit. In other words: more veggies, more lean protein, less processed food. Simple, right? Oh, and add to that the fact that I gave up fried food for Lent and I’m really craving some crappy bar food right about now…I mean, I feel great! Yeah!
Anyway, today I’m bringing you another fake-out makeover dish that includes more veggies, less nutrient-lacking starch.
Remember that time that I posted a recipe for mashed cauliflower? This is sort of like that, in that it’s NOT rice. I’m not pretending that it is going to taste the same. The texture isn’t as chewy, naturally. But dare I say that the flavor is actually better?
Here the cauliflower is seasoned with plenty of spices, onion and garlic, and really absorbs the flavor of the cooking liquid. It’s excellent on its own as a side dish, but you could easily use it in most dishes that call for plain white or brown rice.
Basic Cauliflower “Rice”
1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 T coconut oil (or olive oil)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t Old Bay seasoning
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t dried parsley
1/4-1/2 c chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
1. Using the shredding attachment on a food processor, shred cauliflower florets. If you don’t have a shredding attachment, you can just place the cauliflower directly into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, you can shred the cauliflower on a box grater.
2. In a medium-large saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat until melted. Add onion, and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic, saute for 1 more minute.
3. Add shredded cauliflower to the saucepan and stir to mix well. Add spices (the above are just suggestions – use what you like!) and stir again.
4. Add 1/4 cup broth to the saucepan, lower heat to medium low, and cover. Allow to cook for about 7-8 minutes. At that time, check to see if all of the broth has cooked off. If so, add remaining broth and cover. Cook until tender, about 5 additional minutes.
I won’t lie to you: chopping cauliflower is messy. I don’t care how slowly you chop it, how much counter space you have, or how sharp your knife is. You will end up with tiny pieces of cauliflower all over your floor. There’s no way around it, friends. May I suggest investing in a Dustbuster?
I’m pretty sure my food processor holds 9 cups, and this small/medium head of cauliflower nearly filled the thing.
Added benefit of replacing your starches with veggies? MORE FOOD.
I use a lot of coconut oil these days. I appreciate the higher smoke point, and I like the flavor. If you don’t dig it (or can’t find it), feel free to use whatever healthy-ish oil you’ve got. Olive and grapeseed oils would both work well.
By the way, does anyone out there use coconut oil as a moisturizer/hair mask? I tried it once and just felt…oily. And coconut-y. And not in the Bain de Soleil way, either.
It really does look like rice, doesn’t it? I kind of get a kick out of that. I am by no means the first person to come up with this idea/recipe (this is just how I personally make it), but whoever did is a smart cookie.
Oooh, cookies…those sound good right about now…
No, Megan. FOCUS.
If you’re vegetarian, feel free to use vegetable broth instead of chicken. (And if you’re newly gluten free, please check the label on your brand of broth – they’re not all GF!) As I said, the cauliflower really absorbs the flavor of the cooking liquid, so just make sure to use a flavorful brand.
I ate this simply as a side to some homemade turkey sausage patties (recipe from Martha Stewart, subbing turkey for pork) and sweet potato. I’m also thinking the leftovers would be great incorporated into some homemade fried rice.
Really, it’s cliché, but the possibilities are endless.
Enjoy, and happy spring, everyone!