Happy April, everyone!
You know the saying, "April showers bring May flowers"? This is not a complaint, but with the way it is raining (and blustering and basically still acting like winter) in New York, this city better look like the Rose Bowl Parade exploded come May! I am grateful for the rain, though, since I know that my home state of California has been suffering an awful draught.** So while quietly repeating the afore-mentioned saying to myself to keep my spirits high amidst the dreary weather, I started thinking about one of my favorite veggies, cauliFLOWER!
This cruciferous vegetable is so delicious and so versatile! I've used it as a replacement for mashed potatoes, roasted it in "steaks" to be served as a main dish, eaten it raw with hummus, and even as a base for a vegan, gluten-free pizza crust! The cauliflower adventure I hadn't taken on yet? Cauliflower rice! Inspired by my good friend, Synthia Link, and her amazing blog Cookies to Kale, I set out to make my own version of her Cauliflower Risotto. Her dish is inspired by Italian cuisine, but I decided to give mine an Indian flare. Below is my lightened-up veggie version of Biryani, a traditional Indian rice dish! I had such a huge head of cauliflower to work with, that I decided to also roast some florets to add to salads and quinoa throughout the coming weekend. The simple recipe for this delicious side is also below for your culinary pleasure!
Cauliflower "Rice" Biryani
5 cups cauliflower "rice" (1/2 large head of cauliflower)
1 cup chopped mushrooms (I used oyster but any will do)
2/3 cup coconut milk (or other nut or seed milk)
1/3 cup raisins
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder*
1/2 tsp garlic powder*
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Pulse cauliflower in a blender or food processor until it resembles rice!
2. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat and add mushrooms and onion and garlic powders. Sauté 3-5 minutes until mushrooms start to release their water.
3. Add cauliflower rice and stir to combine with mushrooms. Add turmeric and cumin, cover and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add raisins and nutritional yeast, stir to combine and cook until the liquid has cooked out (about 5 more minutes).
5. Add salt and pepper to your taste and serve!
*I used garlic and onion powder because I find they don't bother my acid reflux as much, but feel free to use fresh minced garlic and onions - just sauté for about 3 minutes with the oil before adding the mushrooms!
Easy Roasted Cauliflower
1/2 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 450F.
2. Place florets on a large baking pan, cover with coconut oil and salt and toss to coat evenly. Make sure the florets are spread with space between them on the pan.
3. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. Take out, sprinkle the thyme and pepper evenly over the pan, and roast for another 3-5 minutes. Cauliflower should be able to be easily pierced with a fork and slightly crispy around the edges when it is done!
5. Let cool 5-10 minutes and enjoy as a side dish or on top of your favorite salad or quinoa dish!
I hope your spring has been finding you all well and that any April showers, real or metaphorical, bring only the most beautiful of May flowers your way!
With love, light and FLOWER power!
**I know there has been a lot of "almond shaming" going on due to reports of the crop having a large water footprint for California. While it is certainly not a bad idea to reduce your intake of this nut to reduce your personal water footprint, check out this article. It provides a good comparison of how meat production and nut production stack up. Maybe also consider cutting back on your animal proteins! This blog can give you a few ideas on how!