I do my best to avoid making wide-sweeping statements like “this cauliflower rice will rock your world” or “this cauliflower rice will blow your mind” but dangit, cauliflower rice DOES ALL OF THESE THINGS. Since doing my first Whole30 in January, cauliflower rice has found a regular spot in my weekly meal rotation. I cook a big batch once, if not twice, each week. Did you know an entire average-sized head of cauliflower is only 150 calories? Numbers don’t lie, guys.
Since no two cauliflowers are the same size, this is one of those non-recipe recipes. I’m encouraging you to stand at the stove, and taste as you go; find the mix of seasonings and flavors that make you do a happy dance right there in the kitchen.
My two favorite varieties of cauliflower rice are listed below. There’s the Asian-inspired version with soy sauce (or Coconut Aminos, if you’re shooting for Whole30 compliance), and a Spanish rice with chipotles in adobo. You could even do a Middle Eastern version with coriander and lemon and lots of parsley. The sky is the limit my friends. Below you’ll find my “recipes” — it’s what I normally throw in and the process I normally use, but it’s honestly different every time, depending on what I have on hand and how distracted I am that particular day.
HOW TO RICE CAULIFLOWER: Quarter the head of cauliflower, chop off the base stem, and rinse quartered sections thoroughly. Holding the knife at an angle, slice off the core of each section of the cauliflower so that only the florets remain. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until the cauliflower is in rice-sized bits. In my Nutri Ninja Blender, I can do a whole cauliflower in 2 batches, 5 pulses each batch. This process takes a whopping TWO MINUTES.
INSTRUCTIONS: Heat 2 tbsp fat in a skillet. Once hot, add chopped onion, season with S&P. If using any raw veggies, add them now, and season. Saute for several minutes, until the onion and veggies soften, then add garlic and saute one minute more. Add riced cauliflower and any cooked veggies you’re using. Season with S&P and any dry herbs you’d like, stir to combine, and saute for a few minutes. Add your liquids (coconut aminos, hot sauce, sauce from the chipotles in adobo can, etc.). Cook until the cauliflower softens slightly. Add any fresh herbs you’d like. Adjust seasonings to taste. Top with protein, if desired.
PROTEIN: Totally optional. Try shrimp, pulled pork, scrambled eggs, meatballs, chicken sausage, or whatever leftovers you happen to have in the fridge.
Back in 2010, I made a personal vow to focus on healthy eating (read all about it here). This was a challenge for me, the girl who considers bread, brie, and wine a square meal, so I started with small things, like packing a homemade lunch each day, instead of relying on Lean Cuisines and fast food. Slowly, I established a routine of making healthy choices whenever I was the one in control of the preparation (well, MOST of the time, anyway), which lets me enjoy eating at restaurants without worrying quite so much about all the salt and the butter and delightful carbohydrates I’m consuming.
One of my healthy eating goals for 2014 is to incorporate more kale into my diet, as part of the Kale Up campaign. Kale is a green I’ve shied away from in the past, other than occasionally tossing a few handfuls into a nice bean soup. Kale is a very hearty green — you don’t have to worry about it going limp or getting soggy. I often find kale salads are even better when the kale has a bit of time to “marinate” in the dressing.Read More
I vividly remember my mom sitting cross-legged in the pantry, furiously flipping through cookbooks and earmarked magazines, her disheveled auburn curls in disarray around her face as she searched for that one recipe she’d seen months ago and mentally filed away. As far back as I remember, my mom was adventurous in the kitchen. I helped her bake bread in recycled tin cans, wrinkled my nose as she savored caviar loaded crackers, and hesitantly obliged to mandarin oranges in our dinner salad (which was UNHEARD of at the time). I remember raising my eyebrow and dramatically cocking my head to the side as she scraped this mysterious spaghetti squash onto her plate. I gagged at the anchovies on her pizza, and I cried, yes cried, when she urged me to try her sushi.
Mom was always cooking something big, and when she made her Spanish paella she’d use this absurdly large dish–big enough to feed a family of four twice and a half over. It took her hours to prep and cook the meal–well, at least it seemed that way to her teenage “mom, I swear to god I’m dying of starvation” daughter.
I hated peas and hated shrimp, but man did I love her paella. How could I not with those huge hunks of sausage and pieces of chicken poking through the steaming bed of orange rice?
This is not my mom’s paella recipe because, according to her, she “doesn’t have one.” Uh huh. Surrrrrre mom. This is my lightened-up version of paella, which uses chicken sausage rather than Spanish chorizo, simply because I wasn’t able to find any at the grocery store. Traditional? No. Pants friendly? Absolutely.
Recipe inspired by my mom and Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Paella
Note: This pants-friendly paella uses chicken sausage. For a more authentic flavor, sub in a link or two of Spanish chorizo. Spanish saffron can be quite expensive. I’ve seen bottles for as little as $6 at Trader Joe’s, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls.
Step 1: Combine chicken rub ingredients in a medium size bowl or large zip top bag. Add chicken breast, and toss or shake to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the fridge for one hour.
Step 2: Heat a large pot coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Once hot, add the sausage. Break apart sausage with your spatula, and cook until no longer pink. Remove sausage from pot and set aside. Add additional cooking spray to pot, if needed, then add chicken pieces. Sear chicken on all sides then remove from pot and set aside.
Step 3: Add onions, red pepper, garlic, and parsley to the pot, season with S&P, to taste, reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes, using your spatula to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and crush with your spatula. Season with S&P. Add uncooked rice to the pot and stir to combine. Once the liquid is absorbed, add chicken broth and cooking wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add the sausage, chicken, and saffron to the pot and stir to combine. Add the shrimp, pushing them down into the rice. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the peas. Garnish with remaining parsley.
Per serving: 274 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fat, 31g protein, 3g fiber
Although it may seem like I eat meatballs at every meal, I occasionally opt for different meats of the non-ball variety. (Like when I’ve run out of meatballs and don’t have the necessary ingredients to make more.) Tonight was one of those nights. With a grumbling belly and nary a meatball in sight, I decided to remix my usual spaghetti squash with some ingredients I had on hand.
Enter Spaghetti Squash with Sausage, Pesto, and Tomatoes:Read More
I love to cook, but sometimes all I want is to dump a bunch of ingredients in a pot and come back an hour later to a piping hot bowl of flavorful comfort. I need my unproductive internet perusing and phantom shopping time, which means I can’t spend every ounce of my free time in the kitchen. That’s what I love about this chili. You simply brown the turkey then dump everything in the pot.
Perhaps, at first glance, the name Brown Dump Chili is unappealing to some. Given the two-step process behind the chili, I’m sure you wholeheartedly agree the name is appropriate (or, at the very least, foretelling).Read More