Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Cauliflower craze - Chipotle Rice


Ok, so I`ve seen recipes with cauliflower masquerading as a pizza crust, mashed potatoes, and now rice. Secretly, I want to try all of those recipes, but I think I prefer that someone else make them for me and not tell me until I decide I like it :) Unfortunately, I have to not tell my husband and see if he likes it instead.  This `rice`recipe though, was something I was interested in trying as, once again, I wanted to have blackened chicken for dinner.

What you need: 

1 medium-large head of cauliflower, fresh
1 tsp minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
2-3 diced scallions
1 large lime
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp olive oil

First, chop the cauliflower into small florets, whatever your blender/chopper will handle. You may need to do this in batches, mine took 3 and I ended up with leftover florets anyway for another meal.

Rinse and dry your cauliflower and then put it into your chopper and pulse until you have something that Looks like rice. If you have a powerful one, it may take one time, or like mine, about 5 or 6 times. Repeat until you are done.

Some of mine still ended up larger than I would have liked, so I just picked them out.

Put your oil in a pan and heat up on medium. Add the scallions and garlic, cook until soft. If you use pre-minced garlic, this will not take as long as fresh garlic.


Add the cauliflower and turn the heat up to high. (My range required this to cook it, you know yours best, so adjust accordingly if you start accidently searing it instead).

After you have mixed everything together thoroughly, cover and once a minute for the first 3 or 4, stir well. After that, stir every 10-20 seconds until it starts to get faintly brown or crispy. 

Add the salt, to taste, but about 1/2 - 1 tsp, juice of a lime and the roughly chopped Cilantro. If you don`t let it cool a little, your cilantro will wilt immediately, so you may need to add a bit extra.

You can serve this as a side dish, or make it with the blackened chicken and throw it all into a Tortilla for a `Chipotle` like effect. If I had been planning on it, rather than spur of the moment, I would also have added in peppers and onions to it, maybe some black beans. You can see the general idea though. It was also great as a cold wrap for lunch the next day!

Overall, I would be fine with having cauliflower rice instead of real rice. At least in this dish. I don`t think it tasted like rice, exactly, but it didn`t really taste like cauliflower either, especially with more cilantro or lime added.  Give it a try, it may surprise you, like it did me. And check out the original recipe, there are lots of great recipes on the Skinny Taste website!

Blackened Seasoning - and Blackened Chicken

Craving fajitas, but don`t have a lot of time to make a marinade, or do you just want them now? Are you craving something with a Mexican flavor, but don`t want to go all out? This seasoning is very simple to make, and you most likely have all the ingredients already. I used it last night, ran out, and realized I hadn`t posted it yet, so just made a double batch. It will last just as Long as your other spices if you put it in a spice jar, but I`ve used it so many times the past month or so, that I wanted to make sure I wouldn`t run out any time soon :)

There are a few variations out there, but this is what I used

What you need for the seasoning: 

2 large Tbls Paprika
3 1/2 t salt
2 large tsp garlic powder
2 large tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne, (+/- depending on your like of spicy things)
4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp Oregano

Mix together well and then store in a sealed bag or jar.

To make the chicken, you will need: 
1 chicken breast for each person
1/2 tsp of seasoning per chicken piece
a handful of cilantro (koriander), roughly chopped
1 lime
olive oil
1 avocado, diced

Put about 1 Tbls of olive oil in a pan and heat up. Sprinkle the seasoning on one side of the chicken pieces, flip over and do the other half. 

When the oil begins to smoke, lay the chicken down and sear it for about 2 minutes. Turn it over and sear the other side. 

Cover, and turn down the heat to medium. Depending on the size of your chicken, cook anywhere from 5-10 minutes per side - flipping once half way through).  

While the chicken is cooking, dice your avocado and add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, more if you wish. Squeeze half a lime in as well and mix gently. 

When the chicken is cooked, squeeze the rest of the lime over chicken and then add a scoop of the avocado mixture.