cauliflower rice and roasted red cabbage pilaf

cauliflower rice and roasted red cabbage pilaf

Currently Reading: Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay

Currently Listening to: Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd; the High Low podcast

Currently Eating: Too many frickin’ carbs…

too much cabbage on the pan oops.jpg

Know the feeling?

It’s why I’ve recently taken to dabbling in Whole30 and Keto. Last month I made it 12 successful days into a round of Whole30 before rushing home to Mobile for a family emergency and returning with a heinous case of bronchitis. It’s all good though, I feel confident about the way I’ve handled the hurdles this year has brought so far, and I’ll still probably try again at some point. (FTR, that was actually my second attempt; the first time I stopped after 17 days with no last minute travel sitch interruption. That shit is genuinely hard to follow through on, y’all.)

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That said, what grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (so many things-free) cooking I have done so far has been - thank goodness - more enjoyable than I expected. I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily choose to cook or eat this way all the time, but it’s nice to change things up every once in a while, especially when changing it up doubles as doing something good for yourself. It took me awhile to regain my footing in the kitchen without being able to use my favorite ingredients (luv u grains & dairy) but once I got the idea for this remake of our long-time favorite side dish, my mindset shifted to treating it more like a puzzle and less like a restrictive burden to be endured. The goal became simply to recreate my favorite flavors using the set of ingredients to which I’d committed.

It’s always an act of congress for me to surrender to what I know I want for myself when it means sacrificing something in the present. That said, the only way I can move through, and not around, the health issues I’m trying get to the bottom of is to find or create recipes that fall into that sweet spot category where leaving out grains and dairy doesn’t *feel* like a sacrifice. Where you don’t miss what’s not there because it wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.

That’s what this recipe is for me. It’s a smoky crunchy cauliflower pilaf.

Is it rice? Hell to the no it ain’t, but it doesn’t need to be because I love cauliflower a whole whole freakin lot. I also love a pilaf vibe and the smokey flavor of this charred red cabbage very much. This dish has all three, along with a subtle variance of texture thanks to the pine nuts. {chef kiss} Let me know if you give it a try!

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Cauli Rice and Roasted Red Cabbage Pilaf, from Umami for Days with a hat tip to Turshen
Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main with an egg on top!

2 cups finely shredded red cabbage, half a small-sized head, or a quarter of a large one
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
A handful of pine nuts, about ¼ cup
1 tbsp ghee or butter
10 to 12 oz frozen or fresh riced cauliflower*
Freshly ground black pepper

*This is the range of frozen bags I’ve found. I rarely make my own, but you’ll need a small to medium-sized head of cauliflower to ensure you have this amount. Don’t sweat an exact measurement here though. This is a flexible method of art more than a science.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (220 C).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pile the cabbage on top. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with ½ tsp salt, and toss everything together using your hands. Spread the cabbage out over the surface of the baking sheet.

Roast the cabbage for about 30 to 35 mins, checking in 10-minute increments to redistribute the cabbage shreds so that they brown evenly; the ones around the outside will cook much faster than those in the middle of the pan. The cabbage is done when all shreds have shriveled down to a crisp, and many are riding the line between dark purple and burnt. Set aside.

While the cabbage is roasting, toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat. Watch and stir and toss constantly, for about 5 minutes. Try hard not to walk away - they burn outta nowhere! Once toasted, remove the pine nuts to a small bowl or ramekin; they will continue to cook in the pan.

Melt the remaining tbsp of olive oil and the ghee (or butter) over medium heat in a skillet that is 12-inches or larger. The more smooshed up in the pan your cauli rice is, the more likely it is to steam and get mushy, so give it as much space as you can. Saute the cauliflower rice until it is warmed through and beginning to pick up a little color. Season generously with salt and pepper, then taste, and season again if needed. Once the cauli rice looks good enough to eat, add the roasted cabbage and pine nuts and toss everything up. Garnish with green onions or parsley if you feel like it, or top it with a fried egg and voila! Supper’s ready!

moro's butternut and chickpea salad

moro's butternut and chickpea salad

rice and roasted red cabbage pilaf

rice and roasted red cabbage pilaf