Cauliflower Coconut Rice with Mango & Pineapple
Cauliflower is a truly amazing vegetable. You can turn this unassuming veggie into creamy sauces and soups, flatbread, pizza crust, tortillas, rice and couscous. The internet is bursting with transformational cauliflower recipes.
Lower your carb intake and up your vegetables
The most recent nutritional science is pointing to decreasing carbs and sugar, and increasing vegetables. Even fat is no longer the boogieman. Sugar and processed white foods are the villains that keep us out of our skinny jeans and launch us into an unhealthy trajectory. Check out this article published in The New York Times that describes an NIH-funded study comparing low-carb and low-fat diets. Guess which group lost the most weight and which group improved their cardiovascular health? Low-carb -- without counting calories and without increasing exercise. That got my attention.
Cauliflower rice comes to the rescue
This recipe is based on my Puamana coconut rice recipe. The ingredients are the same, except you substitute cauliflower for the rice. The end result is a dish bursting with vegetables and fruit instead of carbs. All the flavor, all the vegetables, all of the fruit, and greatly reduced carbs.
Avoiding gluten? Eating paleo? Reducing carbs and white food?
This recipe is for you!
You need a food processor to make this recipe. It is too laborious otherwise. Use the food processor to make the cauliflower rice and mince the garlic and ginger. If you are in the market for a food processor I recommend you get the biggest food processor you can afford. I recommend at least a 14-cup. I personally own a Cuisinart professional 20-cup food processor. Weirdly, the 20-cup version is almost 4 times as expensive as the 14-cup, but I use those extra 6 cups nearly every day and my first 20-cup food processor lasted over 20 years. The 14-cup food processor, however, is a great value and a great entry point.
I recommend Aroy-D coconut milk, because it comes in BPA-free cartons, is just pure coconut milk and the flavor is delicious. On my trip to Thailand, all the cooks I worked with used Aroy-D unless they were making their own coconut milk. Check out my article on coconut milk for more information. Or if you want to make your own coconut milk, this is what I learned in Thailand.
Keitt California mangos are in season now and boy are they delicious. Grown in the Coachella Valley, these extra-large, flavorful mangos stay green on the outside, even when they are ripe on the inside. To tell if they are ripe give them a squeeze; if the fruit yields slightly they are ripe. Buy Keitt mangos now. They are generally available beginning in August, through September and if we are very lucky into October. For more information on mangos see my article. Keitt mangos are also grown in Florida.
Mis en place
The key to making this recipe is to prepare all your ingredients in advance. The French call this mis en place. Chop and measure the ingredients, process the cauliflower in the food processor so everything is ready to go. The actual cooking of the rice will go very quickly.
Cauliflower coconut rice with mango & pineapple
Yield 4 -6 servings
Cauliflower coconut rice is a great way to enjoy all of the tropical flavors of coconut rice without the carbs. Loaded with ginger, garlic, cilantro, mango and pineapple, this "rice" is bursting with flavor.
- 2 t coconut oil
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 1 2" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 3/4 pounds cauliflower, cut into florets (1 large cauliflower)
- 1 cup coconut milk, not lite, preferably Aroy-D
- 1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
- 1/2 t sea salt
- Zest and juice of 2 - 3 limes
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup mango, chopped
- 1 cup pineapple, chopped
- Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is chopped into fine rice-like pieces.
- Heat a large saute pan on medium heat. When hot add 2 t of coconut oil. When oil is hot add chopped ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add cauliflower to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and toasted coconut flakes or shredded coconut, and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender and coconut milk has been absorbed.
- Stir in lime juice and zest, cilantro, green onions, mango, pineapple to combine. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH