I recently came across the absurd thing that is cauliflower “couscous”, also called cauliflower “rice”. I’m no stranger to trying out such weird food trends that pop up all over the internet. Sometimes these trends are complete busts, but other times – other rare, mind-blowing times – something amazing happens.
Cauliflower couscous? Sounds crazy, right? I thought so. Then I tried it, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never look at a grain the same way again. This, coming from an insane carb monster.
Now, I love my starchy, carby bases. Rice, pasta, couscous, rice noodles, even quinoa have graced my dining table many, many times. Couscous, in particular, has become a favourite this past year. I love it’s grainy texture, it’s versatility, how insanely EASY it is to prepare. It’s my kind of super food.
It’s not a superfood in the way that, say, blueberries or quinoa is. It’s kind of a grain, kind of a pasta, and it doesn’t hold a ton of nutritional benefits.
Which is why cauliflower couscous caught my attention.
I love cauliflower. I often eat it raw with hummus or roasted in the oven (slightly burnt and crispy, YUM). Every time I chop one up I curse at how messy they are to cut. There’s always those little granules that fly all over the counter. It’s a crumbly vegetable.
Now imagine if the entire cauliflower was transformed into those little specs. Whiz a head of cauliflower in the food processor and you have a grainy, course mixture with a texture almost identical to couscous. It really is magical.
It will have a strong cauliflower taste, but that can be easily masked with seasoning. There are multiple ways to “cook” cauliflower couscous, including a quick zap in the microwave to steam it, roasting it on a baking sheet, or sautéing it on the stovetop. It takes only a few minutes to soften up. Throw in some additions, like sesame oil, chili sauce, hot sauce, spices, etc, and the cauliflower turns into a flavourful, robust dish.
And it’s 100% VEGGIE.
Like I said… VEGETABLE SORCERY!
Today’s post is one of those experimental meals I whipped together on weeknight when I was trying to clear out my fridge. Some caramelized onions, lots of garlic, golden brown mushrooms (with a dash of Worchestershire sauce, yessss), a bunch of kale, a handful (or two) of fresh Parmesan cheese. Saute these together and it turns into a sort of flavourful stir-fry. Then, toss it with the textured, HEALTHY cauliflower couscous, and, well, yum.
Maybe it’s the flavours of the sausage, or the melted cheese, but this is the kind of dish that tastes amazing while hiding all the delicious veggies.
I say this recipe yields enough for four, but it’ll feed a very hungry two. It’s filling, thanks to all the veg, but it’s yummy and healthy enough to warrant an extra large portion!
One word of advice, splurge on high-quality sausage. The flavour difference is worth it.
|Cheesy Cauliflower "Couscous" with Mushrooms, Kale & Chorizo|| |
- ½ head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 4 chorizo sausages, casings removed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 cups kale, torn into pieces, stems removed
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, to serve
- Place cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until course and crumbly with a texture resembling couscous. You may have to do this in batches. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, saute sausages. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat, crumbling it as it cooks. Cook, stirring often, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage from skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet with the sausage juices still in it, add olive oil and saute onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add in garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook until mushrooms have turned a dark, golden brown colour, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the cooked sausage and kale and stir until wilted.
- Toss with the couscous and Parmesan cheese. Serve with fresh parsley and a sprinkling of more cheese, if desired.