Raise your hand if you love simple dinners.
*slowly raises hand*To be honest, when I’m not working on a recipe, I usually enjoy big ole’ salads for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. But there’s no reason a dish that’s bursting with flavor and aroma should be complicated.
This dish, for example, takes only 45 minutes to make – including prep work – only requires two pans, and has a very easy clean up.For those of you new to cauliflower rice, it’s simply cauliflower that’s been grated into rice shaped granules. Even better, it takes only 4-6 minutes to cook, pairs wonderfully with any meal, and isn’t full of the simple carbohydrates that white rice is made up of. It’s a win-win all around!
We spice up the flavor level of the cauliflower rice by infusing it with toasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast (I’m aware nooch isn’t very Italian, but it’s a perfect vegan “parmesan” substitute).The stir-fry is composed of finely diced sweet potato – we used a Hannah sweet potato, which is firmer & starchier than the common Garnet and Jewel varieties – sliced crimini mushrooms, and a few handfuls of baby greens, which are finished off with a hefty splash of balsamic vinegar and generous proportions of Italian seasonings (a mixture of marjoram, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, and sometimes sage).
For proper stir-fry preparation, cook the sweet potatoes at a low enough temperature that they soften without burning. For my stove, this means cooking them in a cast iron pan over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes before adding mushrooms. However, every stove top is different, so if you see them burning before any of the other veggies have been added, lower the heat.While this meal will definitely make a dent in the stomachs of two, a side salad topped with a simple balsamic dijon vinaigrette is a beautiful addition to this dinner.
We hope you reach into your heart and give cauliflower rice and veggies a chance. With the right ingredients and sensible preparation, humble vegetables can be transformed into a restaurant worthy meal within the span of an hour.
All the best,
Ryan & Kim
Garlic Cauliflower Rice w/ Italian Stir-Fry
Balsamic seared mushrooms & sweet potato are served atop toasted garlic cauliflower rice.
- 1/2 large head of cauliflower, grated on a large box grater
- 5 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 heavy pinches of salt + more to taste
- 1/2 large sweet potato, finely diced (hannah variety, if possible)
- 3 large crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large handfuls of baby greens, such as spring mix or baby spinach
- 2 tbsp olive, divided
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 tsp dried Italian seasonings
- 3 heavy pinches of salt + more to taste
Side Salad (optional)
- large bowl of spring mix, romaine lettuce, or other salad greens
- 1/4 sweet or yellow onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced or diced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
- heavy pinch of salt
- For the stir fry, heat a large skillet (I used cast iron) over medium low heat. After heating up for 2-3 minutes, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, diced sweet potato, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato begins to brown and is almost fork tender, 10-15 minutes.
- Move the sweet potato to the sides of the pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of salt, and mushrooms to the center of the pan.
- After cooking on one side for 2-3 minutes, stir the mushrooms into the sweet potatoes and cook altogether until the mushrooms start to brown and sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 3 more minutes.
- Toss in three large handfuls of baby greens, Italian seasonings, another pinch of salt, and cook – stirring frequently – until the greens are wilted; 1 minute. Then, stirring constantly, add in balsamic vinegar and cook for 30 seconds. Remove to a plate or bowl for serving.
- While the stir fry cooks, start cauliflower rice by heating a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil & chopped garlic.
- Cook the garlic until the edges are brown – not burnt. Then, add in all of the grated cauliflower plus three heavy pinches of salt, stir to incorporate, place a lid on, and steam for 4-6 minutes or until the rice is tender but not mushy. Set aside for serving.
- To prepare salad, simply toss together greens, avocado, and onion slices in a large bowl. For dressing, shake together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and salt in an airtight container.
- Serve stir fry atop of cauliflower rice with a bowl of salad on the side. Best while fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for three days.