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Why You Need This Plant-Based Cauliflower Rice Bowl To Fuel Your Day

Photo Credit: Magdanatka/Shutterstock

Cauliflower is the darling of healthy alternatives at the moment — and with good reason. As a vegetable low in carbs and is gluten-free, it can be made into vegan Buffalo wings, rice, chips and so much more. In case you missed the memo, Chipotle even added cauliflower rice to its menu in 2021. 

If you've tried it before and didn't like it, you might want to give it another chance. First of all, it helps not to expect it to taste like rice. Although it can readily fill in for rice in your dishes, the flavor and texture is a bit different. Proper preparation and seasoning are also key. Overcooking or overblending can result in a mushy texture. Underseasoning can result in a bland flavor. But when you get it right, it's a delicious, nutritious, and versatile alternative that can fuel your body in the best possible way. 

This recipe can be adapted to suit your tastes and to the veggies you have on hand. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (or 1 bag of store-bought riced cauliflower)
  • 1 can of black beans 
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large or several small yellow potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup veggie broth
  • Any other veggies you have on hand and want to include in your bowl
  • 1 handful of fresh, finely chopped cilantro
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and other seasonings to taste
  • Salsa, guacamole, goddess dressing, or another sauce of your choice

Directions

You can buy cauliflower that has been pre-riced at most grocery stores these days. That might be the easiest jumping-off point if you’ve never done it yourself. However, ricing cauliflower is quite easy to do at home. Simply wash, dry, and cut up one head of cauliflower into smaller chunks. Put one half of the chunks into a food processor and pulse until it starts to look ricelike. Pulsing is important so as not to overblend the rice, which can cause it to become mushy. Remove the cauliflower and repeat the process with the second portion. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash and peel the sweet potato, yellow potatoes, and carrots and chop into small pieces and put into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add half of the large finely chopped onion and 1 cup of frozen corn. Drizzle with olive oil and season with onion and garlic powders, paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss until veggies are thoroughly coated. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the oven, stirring several times. 

Meanwhile, drain and rinse the black beans. Add them into a saucepan with one quarter cup of veggie broth. The veggie broth adds a more dynamic flavor, but you can also make the beans without it. Season to your liking. I prefer a generous serving of onion and garlic powder, a little chilli powder, cumin, and salt. Simmer the beans at a low heat for about 10 minutes. 

While the veggies and beans cook, saute the other half of the finely chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for a couple of minutes in a large skillet. Add in the riced cauliflower and season with onion and garlic powder and salt. Stir thoroughly and often as you saute for approximately 5 minutes on medium heat. Toward the end of the cooking time, stir in the juice of one small lime and a handful of chopped cilantro. (You can skip the cilantro if you don’t care for it.) Taste the cauliflower to make sure it’s attained a texture you like. You might want to adjust the cooking time based on your preferences. 

Next, it’s time to assemble your bowls. Put the riced cauliflower in the bottom, then add the beans and the veggies. Top off the bowl with a few tablespoons of salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, or any other kind of dressing you like. Prior to eating, I always toss all of the ingredients together to mix up the flavors. Enjoy. 



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