As a general rule, I do not do diets. I generally eat quite healthily anyway, but I don’t ever deprive myself of things that I enjoy; I simply know when to say enough is enough and I enjoy things in moderation. If I’m out for dinner for a big, indulgent meal, lunch is usually a light one, and vice versa.
Recently, we’ve been trying, where possible, to avoid processed foods, sugars and things that aren’t necessarily good for our bodies. I had heard all this hype about cauliflower ‘rice’ and how it’s delicious and nutritious, but never paid it much attention; why make life difficult when you can just eat rice, right?! I then came across a recipe for spiced ‘rice’ with beef salsa that looked really interesting, and so I decided to give it a shot and see what all the fuss was about.
I can definitely tell you that making cauliflower ‘rice’ is more hassle than simply taking rice out of a bag and cooking it. In my case, since we just have a small food processor, I had to do it in batches, which was annoying, but I got there in the end and it was definitely worth it. I probably had more of a couscous consistency than rice, but it had a great texture and you’d never have guessed that it was completely paleo. I improvised a little, adding a bit of bacon and some extra chillies, so feel free to add your favourite veggies or anything else. A bit of grated cheese would be good if you aren’t fussed about it being entirely paleo.
For the ‘rice’:
2 medium cauliflower heads
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
½ – 1 tsp chilli powder, depending how much heat you like
½ cup chicken broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
For the beef salsa:
1 tbsp coconut oil
500g minced beef
4 rashers lean bacon, roughly chopped
½ medium red pepper, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1. Place the cauliflower in a food processor until it is a fine ‘rice-like’ consistency. It may turn out a little finer than rice, but that’s fine. This can also be done using the large side of a grater, but I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have to.
2. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the grated cauliflower, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes, until tender and slightly darker in colour. Do not let it burn.
3. Add the paprika, cumin and chilli powder and stir for 1 minute.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and tomato paste until well blended. Add this to the ‘rice’ and stir until it is completely incorporated. Season to taste, cook for a further 2 minutes until the liquid has dried out and remove from the heat.
5. In a separate pan, heat the second tablespoon of coconut oil on a high heat. Add the beef and bacon, breaking it up and stirring until browned.
6. Add the pepper, spring onions, garlic, tomatoes and chilli (if using) and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve the spiced ‘rice’ in bowls, topped with the beef salsa, slices of avocado and a sprinkle of parsley.