We are officially halfway through Holy Week (!!), which means that we only have 4 more vegan dinners left for Vegetarianism 4.0. (seriously, guys, why is this year flying?!)
As much as I love our old supper standbys, I wanted something different to mark these last few days of my Lenten journey. When I need inspiration, I always like perusing Instagram and Pinterest for dinner ideas. Two huge trends stuck out – dinner bowls and cauliflower rice. And that’s when I decided to combine the two into an epic vegan dinner mash-up.
Cauliflower does not taste like rice.
It tastes like cauliflower.
But is a great dinner option for those who have been eating a lot of carbohydrate-heavy meals and want to switch it up occasionally! I decided to put a Tex-Mex spin on my vegan dinner bowl, adding lots of fresh lime zest to the “rice”, smothering it with a spicy bean mixture, and topping it with all the classic Tex-Mex fixin’s.
Guys, this is vegan dinner awesomeness!
Here’s how you make it.
First, make the veggie/bean mixture that goes on top of the “rice”.
It starts with some chopped onion and diced carrot that is sautéed in olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet.
When the carrot and onion are just becoming tender, add in some diced bell pepper. Continue to cook the veggies until they are soft.
Add in some minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
For some added vegetable goodness, I threw in a cup of frozen, ROASTED corn. Regular frozen corn is delicious, but if you can get your hands on frozen, roasted corn… man, your bean mixture will be divine. It adds a nice charred flavor to the whole dish.
Then spice things up with salt, black pepper, cumin, and some hot sauce.
Don’t forget to add the beans! Give everything one large stir, let the beans heat through, then turn off the heat and let them hang out.
Now it’s time for the cauliflower rice.
Grab a medium-sized head of cauliflower and cut the cauliflower into large florets.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add in 3-4 pieces of raw cauliflower. Pulse 3-4 times until the cauliflower has broken down into small rice-sized pieces. Transfer the cauliflower rice to a large bowl and continue on with the rest of the cauliflower.
When all the cauliflower has been turned into “rice”, it’s time to cook!
In a large pot or skillet, heat some olive oil over medium low heat. Add in the cauliflower rice, stiring to coat in the olive oil. Pop the lid onto the pot/skillet and cook the cauliflower rice for 5-8 minutes until tender.
When the cauliflower is cooked, add in some salt, ground black pepper, and a lot of fresh lime zest.
Finish off the rice with a big squeeze of lime juice!
Now it’s time to plate…
Portion out some cauliflower rice into a bowl.
Top with some of the bean mixture.
And garnish with some Tex-Mex fixin’s. I chose to add some cilantro leaves, sliced avocado, and some additional lime… but you can do whatever fixin’s you want! (you can totally do the cheese/sour cream route if you don’t want to go vegan).
So, kiddos, what do you think about cauliflower rice?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium-sized carrots, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup frozen, roasted corn kernels
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce – depending on how spicy you like things!
- 1-15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Zest and juice of one lime
- Toppings – avocado, cilantro, lime wedges
- In a large, high-sided skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the onion and carrot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in the red bell pepper and continue to cook vegetables until golden and tender, about 2-3 minutes.
- When the vegetables are tender and golden, add in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the corn kernels and cook for an additional minute until the corn is warmed through.
- Add in the kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, and hot sauce - stir to combine.
- Add the black beans to the vegetable mixture, stir thoroughly, and cook for 1-2 minutes until the beans are warmed through. Turn the heat off and set the beans aside until serving.
- In a food processor with a steel blade, place 3-4 florets into the bowl of the food processor and pulse 3-4 times until the cauliflower is broken down to the consistency of rice. Pour the "rice" into a large bowl and then continue to process the cauliflower into rice.
- In a large skillet (with a tight fitting lid) set over medium-low heat, add in olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in the cauliflower rice and stir to coat with the oil. Put the lid on the skillet (no lid? use a cookie sheet in a pinch!) and cook the rice for 5-8 minutes until tender.
- Season the rice with salt, pepper, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
- Portion out some of the cauliflower rice into a bowl and ladle over some of the bean mixture. Top with your favorite fixin's, like avocado slices, tortilla chips, and cilantro!