Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews

Does the state of your fridge dictate what you’re going to have for dinner? We generally like to eat up most things in there before filling it again, so if there’s something in there that needs using up ASAP, there’s a good chance we’ll be cobbling together a meal out of it. Our fridge is usually filled with a stock-pile of veggies, so you can guarantee that the “something that needs using up” is either the root veggies that are getting soft, or the peppers that are losing their lustre. In this case, it was the small age spots on the cauliflower.

Instead of roasting the veggies, like we do 9 times out of 10 (we’re often not that imaginative during the week), we decided to do something completely different. And our cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews was born!

A few years ago, we went through a phase of making cauliflower rice. It’s full of fibre and low on the carbs, if you’re wanting to cut down on the standard starchy rice. Then the price of cauliflower increased to an absurdly high amount ($8 a head?!), so we stopped buying it.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

Fast forward a year or so, the price has come back down, and I get all over excited and buy 2 large heads because it’s so cheap! This meal is the product of Jonty’s idea and execution. I had a quick search for what’s in a standard rice pilaf, and then winged it from there.

This is a super easy, really flavourful side dish, that we will totally make again. We ate the cauliflower rice pilaf with homemade fish tacos, instead of usual coleslaw. Yup, this meal was totally out of left field, but it ended up being really tasty!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

For our version of cauliflower rice pilaf, we added diced onion, carrot and red pepper. A healthy dash of turmeric and a handful of chopped cilantro really make the colours of this dish pop, and add a great flavour too. Because cauliflower is mainly water, you don’t need to add much additional liquid to cook the rice. We dissolved a bit vegetable bouillon paste in a bit of water, and used that to add more flavour to the meal.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

If you’re looking for a new way to use up that gigantic head of cauliflower in your pantry, give this cauliflower rice pilaf a try. It’s an easy, flavourful and healthy side-dish that is quick to make on a weeknight (just take a look at the nutritional power of this meal!). It’s fantastic on its own, or wrapped into a taco with fish or chicken or tofu – ah, the options are endless 🙂

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (~650 g), chopped into florets and processed into rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium chicken or veggie bouillon
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zest plus juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a food processor, fitted with the S-blade. Pulse until the florets turn into small rice-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, and add the diced onion and carrot. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the diced mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red chili flakes and turmeric and stir to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Let the mixture cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the vegetable or chicken broth and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you desire.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and zest. Cover and allow to steam until ready to eat.
  6. At this point, toast the cashews in a hot skillet or under the broiler until the nuts become fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Roughly chop them once they are cool enough to handle. Sprinkle the cashews over the cauliflower rice pilaf when ready to serve.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews
 
Author: 
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews Recipe Type : Dinner Author: Moira Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (~650 g), chopped into florets and processed into rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium chicken or veggie bouillon
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zest plus juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a food processor, fitted with the S-blade. Pulse until the florets turn into small rice-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, and add the diced onion and carrot. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the diced mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red chili flakes and turmeric and stir to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Let the mixture cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the vegetable or chicken broth and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you desire.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and zest. Cover and allow to steam until ready to eat.
  6. At this point, toast the cashews in a hot skillet or under the broiler until the nuts become fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Chop them roughly once they are cool enough to handle. Sprinkle the cashews over the cauliflower rice pilaf when ready to serve.

Enjoy this cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews

Chunky Cauliflower with a Ginger-Parsley Pesto

Cauliflower has a host of health benefits (rich in antioxidants, helps the body’s anti-inflammatory response, and is a good detoxifier) but on its own, it can be a bit bland. However, roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil and chili flakes, and topped with a ginger-parsley pesto? Well, now you’re talking!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chunky cauliflower with a ginger-parsley pesto

We cut up a cauliflower into “steaks” (starting at the centre, chop the cauliflower into 2-cm thick slices) and roasted them at 425°F for about 20 minutes (10 minutes per side), along with some of the smaller florets that didn’t stay attached to the big pieces.

The pesto-type vinaigrette comes together in less than 5 minutes and adds a tonne of flavour to the roasted cauliflower. Simply throw some ginger, garlic, lime juice, olive oil and parsley into a blender and whiz until smooth.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chunky cauliflower with a ginger-parsley pesto

Jonty cooked a nice piece of salmon along with a few cherry tomatoes and mushrooms and in less than 30 minutes, we had a filling, super flavourful meal! This was a perfect weeknight dinner that really hit the spot.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chunky cauliflower with a ginger-parsley pestoClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chunky cauliflower with a ginger-parsley pesto

Really, there is nothing special about this meal, but it’s amazing how quickly it can become something noteworthy, just by adding a few fresh herbs and lime juice into the mix.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Chunky cauliflower with a ginger-parsley pesto

Chunky Cauliflower with a Ginger-Parsley Pesto
 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2 - 3 as a main, 4 - 6 as a side
  • Serving size: ¼ recipe
  • Calories: 122
  • Fat: 7.6 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.4 g
  • Sugar: 3.6 g
  • Sodium: 49.4 mg
  • Fiber: 4.5 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
For the Cauliflower Steaks
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into steaks and florets
  • 1 tbsp dried chili flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Bit of olive oil
For the Ginger-Parsley Pesto
  • 2 - 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lime, juice + zest
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Handful of fresh basil (if you have it)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the cauliflower into 2-cm thick steaks and large chunks, keeping any of the smaller florets. Spray the cauliflower with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with red chili flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, flip, and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cauliflower start to brown.
  2. To make the pesto, place the olive oil, ginger, garlic, parsley, basil and lime juice + zest into a blender. Puree until smooth.
  3. Remove the roasted cauliflower from the oven and serve with a good dollop of the ginger-parsley pesto.

Enjoy!