Cauliflower Quinoa Vegetable “Rice”
Cauliflower quinoa vegetable rice is an easy, flavorful and delicious side-dish that you can serve with just about anything. Cauliflower rice, or riced cauliflower as it’s also called, has become incredibly popular in recent years as a low-carb alternative to rice. Don’t get me wrong: I love rice and I always have. But I have been eating less of it over the years. To clerify, cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that has been grated or finely chopped to the size of rice.
Cauliflower is a non-starchy cruciferous vegetable (like cabbage and broccoli) and is considered a white food not to be ignored. Cauliflower rice is hearty and filling and if not overcooked, can have a great texture that is very similar to rice. But it is a 100% nutrient rich vegetable, brimming with vitamin C and rich in fiber, something we all need more of. It is also readily available, if you know where to look. Pre-made cauliflower rice can be found at grocery stores such as Safeway and Trader Joe’s making it even easier to whip up this dish or substituting it for rice in your other favorite recipes.
Trader Joe’s has seen such a high demand for this gluten-free specialty item that it has started rationing it to its customers. Don’t panic, apparently the two-bag limit is only in effect in certain Trader Joe’s locations, including Millburn, New Jersey and Fairfield, Connecticut. For those that wish to make their own “rice”, don’t be intimidated, check out this link which shows you how, it’s not all that labor intensive. My recipe for cauliflower quinoa vegetable rice is not a complicated recipe at all, and has a nice subtle earthy cauliflower flavor that shines through.
Recipe: Cauliflower Quinoa Vegetable Rice
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 16-ounce bag of cauliflower rice/crumbles
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, loosely packed, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Step 1 Cook the quinoa and allow to cool on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until needed.
- Step 2 Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When hot, but not smoking, add the cauliflower rice and sauté until you start to see some coloration, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add to the quinoa and cool.
- Step 3 Place the saucepan back over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the carrots and sauté until slightly tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
- Step 4 Using a large mixing bowl, add the cooled quinoa, sautéed cauliflower rice and carrot-garlic mixture. Add the almonds and cilantro and toss well to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. You may wish to drizzle with a bit more olive oil, but only if desired.
- Step 5 Can be served warm or at room temperature