I’m a dietary traveler. I’ve got my culinary passport stamped from all different diets and lifestyles, from vegetarian to vegan to gluten free to raw. I’ll probably have to get some extra pages soon. I love trying something from anything and everything and seeing what I can incorporate in my own kitchen. Today we’re visiting the land of Paleo.
Paleo’s exploded in the past few years, largely because crossfit boom. Most crossfitters go paleo to help achieve their fitness goals and feel cleaner. Others adopt paleo because it makes them feel better. Paleo cuts out grains (including pseudograins like quinoa), legumes, dairy, processed oils, and anything that a caveman (from Paleolithic times, hence the name) couldn’t come across in his daily life.
I’m not super deep in Paleo Land, but I do like the emphasis on less refined and processed foods and more fruits and vegetables. Making a paleo recipe also means that my gluten-free friends can enjoy it without worry.
Cauliflower rice is a side dish I’ve seen pop up a few times in the paleo community and I’ve been hooked on it ever since I first made it. When you put cauliflower in a food processor and blitz it up, it looks a lot like rice. It has a light flavor and is so easy to dress up any way you want.
I’ve made variations with peas, carrots, kale, spinach, curried, spicy… the options are endless. And, what I love about cauliflower rice the most is that you get so many more vegetables than if you just had real rice with a side of vegetables. This recipe has 3 vegetables, not including the cauliflower! You can eat well and get so many more nutrients than before.
Depending on the size of cauliflower you get, you can also easily turn this into an entree, and just top it with some protein or stir in some beans (which wouldn’t make it paleo, but that doesn’t bother me). I’ve topped it with cooked crumbled tempeh a few times, and the chewiness of the tempeh is a good contrast to the softness of the rice. I used a 1 1/2 pound cauliflower and for our table, we got about 3-4 side dish servings.
Enjoy this adventure into Paleo Land. Maybe I’ll see you on my travels in another dietary country and we can discover and enjoy another new staple.
Want more cauliflower dishes from this series? You can find them here:
Nutrition DL: Cauliflower
Curried Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower Greek Yogurt Dip
Quick Roasted Cauliflower Soup
This recipe is part of a series called Nutrition DL. Nutrition DL gives you the download on seasonal fruits, vegetables, or pantry staples. Once you learn about the basics of the featured ingredient, I share a four recipes over four weeks to inspire and feed you with this great seasonal food. Check out other foods I’ve covered here.
- 1 cauliflower, florets separated from stalk, most of core removed
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 6-7 chard leaves, stems removed and reserved
- 1 15 oz can canned diced tomatoes
- 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup water
- salt, to taste
In 1-2 batches, put the cauliflower florets, garlic cloves, and carrots into the food processor. Run until all vegetables are finely chopped and are around the size of grain of rice or a little smaller. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Chop chard leaves into bite size strips and slice the chard stems. If your stems are wide, cut the stem in half lengthwise before chopping. Put the chard stems in the mixing bowl with the cauliflower, garlic and carrots.
Heat a medium saute pan to medium high with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Once hot, pour the cauliflower mixture in and mix around. Let that mixture cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water, depending on the size of your cauliflower.
Stir in chard leaves, canned tomatoes, and parsley. Lower heat to medium or medium low and cover. Let that cook covered for 5-8 minutes, or until chard leaves have wilted.
Add salt to taste. If the "rice" is a little watery, increase the heat and let cook uncovered for a few moments more, stirring occasionally.
1.5 lb cauliflower can yield about 3-4 side dish servings (depending on the appetite of your table mates).