If you’re familiar with the paleo lifestyle, you might know that this dish doesn’t actually have rice in it.
The first time I saw cauliflower used as rice, it blew my mind a little. Cauliflower is one of the darlings of the paleo world because it can be manipulated to replace grains in a lot of meals. I’ve used it in place of rice, pureed it to thicken soups, seasoned and roasted it as a vegetarian “steak”, mashed it in place of potatoes, and my favorite, used it as a base for a pizza crust.
No, I’m not joking. And it was all delicious.
Even if you’re not a paleo eater and avoiding grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar for various reasons, replacing grains with vegetables (particularly refined grains) can be a great way to increase nutrient density in a recipe.
So is the cauliflower. It likes to show off.
I adapted this recipe slightly, adding a few more things (notes below), so you’ll need a whole head of cauliflower, salt, pepper, soy sauce (or tamari), mushrooms, coconut oil, an egg, fresh ginger, garlic, onion, green onion, a tomato, and cilantro.
If you’re a nit-picky paleo, you may not use soy sauce or tamari. I don’t mind it in very small amounts occasionally, but you can also use coconut aminos which is a good substitute. You may be able to find it at Whole Foods or other natural grocery stores.
First, dismantle the cauliflower, and cut it into fairly uniform pieces.
My food processor holds 9 cupd, so I did half the head at a time to ensure even chopping. If you have a larger one you may be able to do it all in one batch.
Pulse several times until the cauliflower is about the size of rice grains. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Next, get the mushrooms prepped by wiping any dirt off with a paper towel, breaking off the stems, and quartering them. I used baby portabellas but any type of mushroom would do. Pulse the mushroom quarters in the food processor like you did the rice and transfer to a separate bowl.
You could just slice them into larger pieces and leave them big, but my little picky eaters aren’t into mushrooms, and I didn’t want to start a dinnertime battle. I minced mine out of survival.
Next, prep the onion, ginger, and garlic. Peel them all, then cut them into chunks.
Throw the ginger, garlic, and onion into the food processor and pulse to mince. That machine is going to earn its counterspace today. You could also use a knife. If you wanted. (I didn’t.)
Now you have three bowls of minced ingredients ready to go!
Yes, there is quite a bit of chopping in this recipe (and we’re not quite finished yet), but the dish comes together really easily and quickly. You could do all of the prep a day or two ahead as well.
Alright, time for some heat. In a large saute pan, heat the coconut oil to medium-high heat.
Add the onion-ginger-garlic mixture and cook it for a minute or two.
Add the mushrooms and cook those for a few minutes as well.
Now for the cauliflower!
Add salt, pepper, and a splash of soy sauce (or tamari).
Put the lid on, reduce the heat a bit, and let it steam for a few minutes while you finish up the mix-ins.
While the “rice” is finishing up, dice the tomato, and chop the green onion and cilantro. If you hate cilantro, just leave it out. (And then seek help. Ok, not really. But maybe.)
Remember that egg? Well now’s the time to pull it out. Beat it with a fork and cook it in a pan.
You can scramble it if you like, or you can make a flat omelet out of it and slice it up. Your choice.
You could also do it in the saute pan before you throw the vegetables in, but I have emotional meltdowns when I clean eggs out of stainless steel pans. So I do it in a small nonstick skillet.
I made a flat omelet, rolled it up, then sliced it into ribbons. They’re much prettier than scrambles, but scrambles are perfectly fine.
By now the cauliflower should be finished, so go ahead and drop in the tomato and green onions …
And the cilantro and eggs.
Stir everything gently, and done!
If you want to add more protein, you could stir in some pre-cooked shrimp, chicken, or steak.
Like I mentioned earlier, you could have dinner on the table in 15 minutes if you prep everything beforehand. I love quick meals like this!
1. I used brown mushrooms, but if that “dirty rice” look bothers you, just use white mushrooms.
2. I added two cloves of garlic, an inch of ginger, and one green onion to boost the flavor of the dish and substituted cilantro for the basil and mint out of personal preference.
3. I doubled the recipe, but left the mushroom quantity the same.
If you are a paleo-diet person or just on a low-carb diet, this recipe is perfect for you!
- ⅔ pounds Cauliflower
- 7 ounces, weight White Mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Onion
- ¼ cups Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 whole Egg
- 1 whole Egg White
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
- 1 dash Soy Sauce
- 1 pinch Salt And Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Basil And Mint
Wash the cauliflower and place it into your food processor. Pulse it until pieces are the size of rice.
Wash and slice up the mushrooms, chop up onion and tomatoes.
Beat the egg and egg white with a pinch of salt and cook on a hot nonstick skillet (like an omelet). Remove and slice it up.
In the same skillet, heat p the coconut oil. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft. Add the mushrooms and stir around until browned. Next, add the minced cauliflower, a splash of soy sauce and salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and add the tomatoes. Stir around. Chop up some fresh mint and basil and add it to the pot together with the eggs. Stir everything together and serve immediately. You can garnish the dish with more chopped herbs if desired.
Be sure to check out Natalie’s own beautiful food blog, Perrys’ Plate, where you can see her growing collection of lovely recipes. There’s always something new to see there. Go visit now!