Quick vegan side dish of cauliflower rice cooked with grated carrots, and tossed with cilantro and lime.
Cauliflower is the most flexible vegetable I know. It can be roasted, fried, made into tater-tots, substituted for potatoes in mashed potatoes, used as pizza crust, and grated for a lower carb alternative to rice. What other food can do that and be such a powerhouse nutritionally? It really is the white food we should be eating.
I’ve had my eye on cilantro-lime cauliflower rice for ages now – and the recipe couldn’t be easier. The only big decision to make is how you want to grate the cauliflower. If you have a food processor, I highly recommend using it for this. But don’t throw it all into the bowl and whirl it around like crazy. You’ll get an infinite number of sizes from tiny granules to large chunks. Use that grater attachment you threw into the back of the cabinet and wondered if you really needed. Trim away the leaves and bottom stem from the cauliflower, cut it in half with a whack, remove the core, and separate the large florets. They should just pull apart in your hands. Slice them in half or in thirds (including the core) to a size that fits down the shoot on the food processor. Nothing is wasted. The entire prepping of the cauliflower shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes (once you haul out the food processor, which alone can take a few minutes).
The rest is easy peasy, and the cooking zips by in 10 minutes or less, making this a great, healthy side dish for a busy weeknight. This week’s theme for the Food Network’s blog FN Dish is fast side dishes, so if you’re on the hunt for something like this, check out the below links, and check out our Pinterest board! We’ve been focused on Sensational Side Dishes all spring and you’ll find lots of wonderful ideas there.
Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice (with Coconut)
- 1 small head of cauliflower (or 1/2 of a large head)
- 2 carrots
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup diced spring onion
- 1/2 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Garlic Paste
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- Grate the cauliflower and carrots, or do as I do and use a food processor. I use the grater attachment and feed cauliflower pieces through the shoot, and in the interest of reducing food waste, I cut the core of the cauliflower and feed it through the shoot too. This method gives you a consistent size of cauliflower, ensuring an even cooking, and grates a head of cauliflower in about 1 minute. You should have about 5 cups of grated cauliflower and carrots when you're done.
- Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the coconut oil. A sauté pan has vertical sides to it, which is important to this dish as you want the vegetables to soften without browning.
- When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, and pile in the riced cauliflower and carrots. Cook until tender, while occasionally tossing - about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the lime juice, zest, cilantro, salt and red pepper flakes.
- Serve warm.
Fast Side Dishes
Feed Me Phoebe: 5-Ingredient Za’atar Beet Toasts
Devour: Beat the Clock with Easy, Under-15-Minute Side Dishes
Healthy Eats: 7 of the Quickest — and Healthiest — Side Dishes Ever
Creative Culinary: Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Pasta Ponza)
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Five Fast & Fantastic Spring Side Dishes
TasteBook: Asparagus Ribbons with Lemon Juice and Shaved Parmesan
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice (with Coconut)
Taste with the Eyes: Teacher Appreciation Luncheon and Corn with Sweet Chili Butter
FN Dish: Counting Down the 5 Quickest Spring Side Dishes Ever
And if you’re looking for more cauliflower ideas, go check out my Pinterest board solely dedicated to this amazing vegetable.