One of my favorite dishes at my local Mexican restaurant is green rice. It’s such a simple thing, but it’s so easy to get wrong (and it’s not exactly a paleo recipe). But when it’s done right, it’s one of the most delicious rice side dishes you can have. Now that seemingly everyone is cutting back on empty carbs, like rice, how can you still enjoy this simple side dish? One word…cauliflower.
Yep, good ol’ cauliflower comes through again. This versatile vegetable, once relegated to the side of the plate or coated in cheese to be considered edible is making a triumphant return to dinner plates everywhere. It just might not quite look like cauliflower.
Wonder Twins activate…form of…rice! Shred up a head of cauliflower and you’ve got something that looks an awful lot like rice. Even better, it acts a lot like rice. It absorbs flavors like a champ but has lots more nutritional benefit to your body than rice does. So this green “rice” recipe today is brought to you by cauliflower.
I’ve substituted cauliflower for bulgur wheat in a tabbouleh recipe and now I’m using cauliflower for the rice in this green rice dish. Using cauliflower, in place of rice, also makes this a great Paleo recipe.
To give this a big shot of good for you green, there’s more in here than just cilantro. How about a healthy dose of spinach and some of those in-season hatch chiles that are everywhere right now. For even more flavor, there’s a bit of onion and a dash of garlic. After adding the flavorful green part to the cauliflower, you’d be hard pressed to even tell that it’s not rice and the flavors in this little rice side dish will knock your socks off.
You’ll be looking for things to pair this paleo recipe with just so you can eat more of it.
- 1 Cup Baby Spinach Leaves (packed)
- ½ Cup Cilantro (packed)
- ¼ Cup Onion (roughly chopped)
- ¼ Cup Water
- 4 Mild Hatch Chiles (roasted and roughly chopped)
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Head Cauliflower (shredded or chopped)
- Drop the first 7 ingredients into a blender and buzz until smooth and liquid.
- Add olive oil to large skillet and heat over medium high heat.
- Once oil is hot, add cauliflower to pan.
- Turn and cook cauliflower until it is well coated with the oil and just begins to cook (3-5 minutes).
- Pour spinach cilantro mixture over cauliflower and stir to thoroughly coat cauliflower with it.
- Continue cooking (and stirring)until all of the excess moisture has been cooked off.
- Remove from heat and serve.
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