I love being the person “in the know.” You know, the person who always has the best tips or shortcuts, and is the first to pass them along. The one with the solutions to all your problems.
I got to be that person when I arrived at the Big Idea house, groceries in hand, ready for a cooking extravaganza with Sarah. The conversation went something like this:
Sarah: “Whatchya making today?”
Me: “Cauliflower rice.”
Me: “You haven’t heard of ricing cauliflower?”
Sarah: “Like, with a ricer?”
Me: “No, it’s way easier than that!”
I thought by now this Paleo trick had been around the block enough times to be considered old news. But like one man’s trash is another’s treasure, it isn’t old news unless you’ve already heard it.
If this is your first time hearing about cauliflower “rice” I can’t wait to share this! It’s super easy to create a totally BRD-approved “starch” to go with your dinner entrees. First let me break it down for you, and then I’ll give you a some other ideas for using this versatile BRD substitution.
Since the BODYReDESIGN lifestyle plan is mostly grain-free, sometimes you just, you know, need a little something to sop up the goodness of the sauce. Something besides rice or other starchy sides.
This is where cauliflower “rice” comes in. The only thing you need to get the consistency of rice is a food processor. After you break up your cauliflower pieces you can add them, in small batches, to your processor. Just pulse lightly until they’re chopped up into rice-sized pieces.
You (and Sarah): “That’s it?”
See how simple? I wouldn’t tell you something was simple if it wasn’t! Once you’ve “riced” your cauliflower, you have a few choices for cooking it. I think the fastest way is to heat 1-2 tbsp. of oil to a skillet on med-high, and cook the cauliflower for 7-10 minutes while stirring frequently. The rice will brown slightly, and then it’s ready to add to your dish.
If you’d like it to be even drier (and it will need to be, if you’re using the rice as a substitute for a soup or a casserole), I recommend layering it thin on a baking sheet and baking for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees. Stir the cauliflower once during baking, and it should dry out enough to soak up the flavors of whatever you’re adding it to.
So what else can you do with this “rice?” Well, you could:
- Make chicken fried “rice”
- Add chopped cilantro to serve with Thai food
- Add ginger, tumeric, & curry spice to serve with Indian food
- Add soy sauce & rice vinegar to serve with Asian food
- Add to chicken vegetable “rice” soup
- Substitute for regular rice in a casserole recipe
- And finally…serve with baby kale, and three-citrus marinated chicken (which is the real reason we’re here today!)
We went seriously simple on this one and used a delicious pre-made marinade from Frontera.
So…prepping and cooking your rice is the most complicated part of this meal. After that, all that’s left to do is put it all together. It’s almost easier to make than it is to eat. Almost. 😉
This dish gets 4 M‘s, but the 5-M cauliflower rice is so versatile you’ll be making it all the time. Just use the left over rice for other dishes during the week to keep your meal planning simple and clever.
Keeping you in the know,
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 lb. of boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- 1 bag of 3 citrus garlic chicken marinade by frontera
- 10 oz of baby kale
- 3 tbsp. + 1 tbsp. of herbed olive oil
- Empty ¾ of the marinade and the chicken thighs into a plastic bag covered glass wish and let it marinate for 60 minutes.
- In a food processor chop the cauliflower into small rice size pellets. You'll only be using half of the cauliflower in this recipe so set the remaining half to the side to substitute in another rice dish
- In a skillet heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat and add ½ of the cauliflower. Stir frequently until cauliflower browns lightly and is heated through.
- On the grill or using a George Foreman grill cook the chicken thighs (about 3 minutes per side or 5 minutes on a GF grill)
- On a platter place the baby kale
- Top with cooked cauliflower rice
- Add chicken to the platter
- Mix 3 tbsp. of olive oil with the ¼ remaining marinade from the bag and whisk well.
- Drizzle the dressing over the top of the platter
- Serve & enjoy