I’ve been on a cleanse recently, and while I have discovered a newfound love for salad and steamed veggies, there are only so many meals of them you can have in four weeks. So when I overheard my friend talking about cauliflower rice, my ears pricked up.
It’s a simple concept, though one I couldn’t quite believe when I heard: cut up cauliflower florets, stick them in a food processor/thermomix and voila! I was sworn to ‘that you wouldn’t know the difference’ (between eating rice and cauliflower rice) – but this isn’t true. You can certainly tell the difference, but it’s a good thing.
Cauliflower rice is simple, quick and flavoursome. The texture is great, it’s not heavy (so a great summer dish or dinner) and it’s a great base for whatever veggies or pulses you have. You can have it raw, slightly steamed or stir fried with other veggies. And I’d guess you could use it as a base for a coconut curry, dahl, a tomato-based sauce or pesto – though I have yet to experiment with these myself.
And so as we go into a season that groans with rich food, this may be a nice recipe to have up your sleeve for a night when something light is called for. Enjoy.
Stir fried cauliflower rice with roasted pumpkin and beetroot
½ cauliflower (or ¼ if quite large)
½ a red or brown onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ jap pumpkin, cut into small squares
1 large or 2 small beetroot, cut into small squares
½ red capsicum (pepper), diced
½ bunch asparagus, cut into small pieces
½ zucchini (courgette), diced
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh thyme
ev olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- heat oven at 180°C/350°F
- coat the pumpkin in oil and paprika and the beetroot in oil and roast until soft and caramelised. Set aside
- cut the cauliflower into small florets and the stem into small pieces. In 1 or 2 batches, place in a food processor and pulse for around 5 seconds at a go, until the florets resemble small pieces of rice (albeit strange ones!). If using a thermomix, put the blade on reverse
- sauté the onion and garlic in a large fry pan with some olive oil until translucent
- add the cauliflower rice and stir fry for 2 minutes to heat through
- add the capsicum and zucchini, cook for around 3 minutes
- add the asparagus, spinach, thyme, salt and pepper, stir through and cover with a lid until the spinach wilts
- uncover and turn off the heat. Add the pumpkin, beetroot and olives, and stir to combine. Serve warm.
I have made this a few times since and have changed it up each time – any vegetable you have will do. For texture and protein, I’ve added chickpeas, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and some cashew pulp left over from making cashew milk, although not all at the same time :-).