Comforting, nourishing, and healthy as can be, this Winter Cauliflower Rice Bowl is full of mouthwatering flavors, textures, and seasonal ingredients.
Over the past year or so, I’ve become the hugest fan of “bowls.” I think it all kind of started with my love affair with Chipotle. I used to be like, “What’s the deal with Chipotle anyway?” And now I’m all about those burrito bowls! After awhile, I finally started recreating those bowls at home. (But I still get to Chipotle once or twice a month. Because, ahem.) I also started developing recipes for one of my clients which included quite a few veggie bowls – delicious veggie bowls with delicious sauces. Oh, the sauces! Now I’m all about the veggie bowls too.
It’s January. It’s frigid where I live. And all I can think about is warm, comforting “bowl” food. Soups and stews are great. But sometimes I want something I can sink a fork into. Ha! Big cubes of roasted veggies. Mmm…
I created this Winter Cauliflower Rice Bowl to share with you. And I really wish I could actually share it with you. You and me, hanging out, eating yummy food, and chatting away. This kind of bowl food needs to be shared with friends! During our chat, I’d probably complain about the weather because it’s cold where I live. You may tell me about your recent trip to the beach. (I’ll get super jealous, but still be oh, so happy you got to go.) We’d sip something fizzy, maybe my homemade kombucha. And we’d chat about what we’re watching on Netflix or our fave playlist for working out. (We’ll avoid politics all together.) You’ll tell me about the book you just checked out from the library. And then we’ll laugh about the funny things our kids say. You know, the basics.
The truth is, I have a hard time making food and not sharing it with people. It’s like when you’re bursting to share the new (fill in the blank) that you just found and you want everyone to share in the bliss. That’s how I feel about food. Seasonal food is totally my jam. I get all warm and fuzzy walking through the produce aisles and visiting farmer’s markets. Gimme all the butternut squash! Hand over the pears! I’ll take a dozen cauliflower heads please! This cauliflower rice bowl if going into our regular rotation until the sun warms my face again.
So let’s have a quick chat about cauliflower rice – I can’t get enough of that stuff! If it’s not your thing, I get it. You can sub brown rice or quinoa. Quick tip: a lot of places now are carrying cauliflower rice in the refrigerated produce section. Trader Joe’s carries it (and broccoli rice!!!!), but if you can’t find it, it’s so easy to make at home. I like to give it a quick sauté in a pan with shallots and garlic, and add plenty of fresh herbs. It may make you think of Thanksgiving, especially when you top the bowl contents with the delectable ruby-hued cranberry-mustard sauce. *heart eyes*
If you can still find fresh cranberries, awesome. If not, frozen are perfectly acceptable here. You can blend this for a smoother sauce, but I like it with a little more texture. It’s like a flavor explosion – bright and tart with a hint of sweetness. It really is perfection with the earthy roasted veggies, cauliflower rice, crunchy hazelnuts, and tender baby kale.
The juicy pears were almost an afterthought. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I love, LOVE, LOOOOOOVE fruit. So I couldn’t resist adding in another flavor and texture here. The D’Anjou pears I used were so sweet and juicy…sigh. It was a meal that I honestly could.not.wait for the next day to eat the leftovers. (My husband actually enjoyed this cauliflower rice bowl too – much to my surprise!)
#EatSeasonal January 2017 Round-up:
I continue to be amazed and excited with the recipes my fellow bloggers come up every month for #EatSeasonal. This month is no exception. I want to eat ALL THE THINGS. Give them each a visit. I’m sure you’ll find a new favorite (or ten) in there somewhere. You can follow along with us on social media using #EatSeasonal. If you make one of our seasonal recipes or one of your own creation, please post it and share using the hashtag. We’d love to see what you’re making!
Healthy Tangerine Julius Smoothie by Letty’s Kitchen
Leek and Turnip Soup by Vintage Mixer
Apple Almond Bircher Meusli with Winter Fruits by Simple Bites
Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel by Floating Kitchen
Saucy Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Curry and Mint by Healthy Seasonal Recipes
Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Squash Boats by She Likes Food
Peanut Butter Crusted Sweet Potato Fries by JoyFoodSunshine
Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Harissa Vinaigrette by Project Domestication
Winter Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Cranberry-Mustard Sauce Cafe Johnsonia (me!)
Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta by Kitchen Confidante
Maple Orange Teriyaki Salmon Bowls by Flavor the Moments
- For sauce:
- ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- For bowl:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 4 cups butternut squash cubes, about ½ medium squash
- 1 onion, halved and cut into thin wedges
- 15 ounce can white beans, drained, about 1½ cups
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 ounces riced cauliflower, about 4 cups
- ¼ cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (sage, rosemary, thyme)
- 2 cups baby kale or fresh kale, cut into thin ribbons
- 1 firm-ripe pear, sliced
- ½ cup chopped nuts (hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil.
- Place diced butternut and onion wedges on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until deeply golden and cooked through. Place the drained white beans on the baking sheet and place back in oven for 3-5 minutes to warm them through.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cauliflower "rice." Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set on medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic cloves. Sauté for 1-2 minutes then add the riced cauliflower. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the fresh herbs. Remove from heat, but keep warm.
- To serve - divide the herbed cauliflower rice between four shallow bowls or plates. Divide the roasted butternut, onions, and white beans between the plates. Add ½ cup kale, a few slices of pear, and 2 tablespoons chopped nuts. Drizzle with the sauce and serve immediately.