Friday, February 27, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower "Rice" {featuring Thai Chicken & Vegetables}

I've always loved rice.  Growing up I would beg my mom for a simple bowl of rice & soy sauce for lunch, whereas some kids probably wanted mac n' cheese or peanut butter and jelly.  I realize it's kind of a weird thing to love so much.  Since then I've branched out with different types of rice.  Whether it's fried rice, lemon rice, brown rice, wild rice, etc. - I love it all.  Now I have a new "rice" to love - cauliflower rice!  Have you heard of this?  I had not until I was looking up ideas for using cauliflower because I had just purchased two very large heads of cauliflower for super cheap and I didn't want them to go bad.   Much to my delight - I found a recipe for cauliflower "rice" and I instantly knew that it was right up my alley.  

Whether you're looking for low-carb option or just want to try something new, I highly recommend trying this fun, creative, and delicious way to eat cauliflower!  

Roasted Cauliflower “Rice”
Serves 2-4

1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425F. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the bowl of a large food processor until about ½ full (you will need to do this in multiple batches to ensure all the pieces chop up nicely and are not overcrowded).  Pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. This takes about 10 to 15 one-second pulses.

Place the cauliflower rice in a large bowl, add the melted coconut oil and salt. Toss with a spoon until the rice is coated with the oil. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast until tender and beginning to get a few brown spots, about 25 minutes.

Serve with anything that you would normally serve on a bed of rice, such as roasted veggies & chicken with the Thai Peanut Sauce below.    

Note: You can freeze the “rice” before you roast it by sealing it in a Ziploc bag or split into several bags for smaller servings.  When ready to eat, simply thaw, toss with coconut oil and salt and then roast as instructed above.  I had two heads of cauliflower that I got on sale so I roasted some right away and froze 2 other bags for later use.  It worked great when I roasted the frozen cauliflower and tasted just as good.

Chicken & Vegetables with Thai Peanut Sauce
For this particular dish, I pan fried some chicken breast and then sauteed vegetables in the same pan. I've also roasted the vegetables by adding them to the same baking sheet as the cauliflower rice half way through cooking (or less if you want the veggies to stay extra crunchy).  Both ways work great.  You can do peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and more.  You could also grill the chicken breast, or use pre-cooked shredded chicken that you make ahead in the crock pot. 

Thai Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy is my favorite brand)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canned coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter, melted
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of ½ lime
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.  Once cauliflower rice, other veggies, and chicken is done – toss everything together with the Thai Peanut Sauce and top with green onions and peanuts.

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