Who doesn’t love a good rice salad? A blank canvas for the foodie!
Growing up I ate many deliciously homemade pasta and rice salads. Ninety-nine percent of my high school brown bag lunches included some version, sporting a pesto sauce or Italian dressing. While there’s certainly something to be said for the texture of pasta or rice, it really was the flavors mixed in that I loved.
If you are looking to boost your veggie intake and reduce your nutrient-void starchy carbohydrate meals, Mediterrancean Cauliflower Rice Salad and other cauli-rice dishes may be just the ticket. Did you know that this cruciferous vegetable is a very versatile substitute for rice and couscous?!
With the help of a food processor, or a hand-held grater, you can turn a beautiful head of cauliflower into “rice” both quickly and inexpensively. Bonus: it even cooks faster than its grainy long-lost sisters.
Using cauliflower in real food meals has become even more convenient in the last couple years. Ricing it yourself used to be a must, but now you can find pre-riced, or chopped, organic cauliflower at most health food stores and even some conventional supermarkets.
While you’ll still save money doing it yourself, I’ll admit the messy clean-up is enough to sway me towards the already-done-for-me version more often than not.
This colorful, primal diet friendly Mediterranean cauliflower rice salad holds all the same flavors as a true rice salad, but with an extra punch of nutrition and fewer starchy carbs. It even gets the primal kids thumbs up in our house.
The combination of the Kalamata olives, tomatoes, fresh basil and purple onion makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
This Mediterranean cauliflower rice is a great dish during the summer months when you can find many of the ingredients in your own backyard garden or at the farmers market in town. Make it ahead and bring it to your next social gathering, or add sliced grilled chicken or steak to complete the meal.
- 1/4 cup kalamata (or green) olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup fresh basil (or cilantro), chopped
- 1 roasted (or raw) yellow pepper, chopped
- 1/4 purple onion, chopped
- 1 head cauliflower florets
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. raw honey (optional)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Add olives, tomatoes, basil, roasted pepper, and onion to a large bowl.
- Using a food processor fitted with the grater attachment, add cauliflower florets to “rice.”
- Heat a medium to large sauté pan over med/high heat. Add 2 tbsp. coconut oil to melt.
- Add riced cauliflower and pan fry until warm, tossing occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine lemon juice, garlic, cumin and paprika. Slowly whisk in olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove saute pan from heat and add vinaigrette. Toss with cauliflower.
- Add cauliflower to the large bowl and gently combine with other ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
A great side dish warm or cold! Add shredded chicken or thinly sliced steak for a complete meal.