Cauliflower rice has been a trend for a couple of years now and continues to be gaining popularity.  It is a great way to sneak more vegetables into your diet.  I love to make it with store-bought frozen riced cauliflower but you could certainly buy fresh or make your own cauliflower rice in your food processor.  I find the already prepared and frozen one best so that I always have it on hand and can enjoy without any effort (no cleaning, chopping or kitchen tools needed).  Lately I have been combining the riced cauliflower with fluffy cooked quinoa.  I love the texture combination and it gives the side dish a bit more oomph.  The quinoa adds a chewy texture and, of course, plant-based protein.  Together, this easy side dish provides a vegetable and a protein all in one shot.

In addition to being a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids, quinoa also provides fiber and is a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many phytochemicals.  It also offers important minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper and zinc.  I make a large batch of quinoa once a week as part of my meal prep so that I can enjoy it throughout the week.  If you haven’t already, definitely check out my secret to perfectly cooked quinoa.

I kept the recipe below simple so that it can pair with almost anything.  But you can certainly add fresh garlic or other spices to match your main dish.  My entire family loves this dish.  It is so easy that it almost doesn’t warrant a recipe.

I always find using a high-quality olive oil yields the best results.  Here, I used extra virgin olive oil by my favorite specialty olive oil brand, Pomora.  Pomora is committed to supporting small, independent growers.  Their farmers have generations of experience behind them and use traditional and sustainable farming methods. They respect the land which supports them and they take care of their employees.  The coolest part about their company is that you actually foster or adopt an olive tree from one of two farmers.  You will receive quarterly shipments of premium quality olive oil from your very own adopted tree.

Each quarterly shipment of olive oil contains 3 x 250ml tins of oil. Typically, these are:

  • Winter: olio nuovo – young/fresh oil;
  • Spring: flavored oils (e.g. 1 x lemon, 1 x chili and 1 x rosemary);
  • Summer: classic extra virgin olive oil;
  • Autumn: flavored oils (e.g. 1 x basil, 1 x garlic and 1 x white truffle).

You can even adopt a tree as a gift which would make the perfect holiday gift for that foodie/cook in your life.  If you are interested, check out their FAQ page (scroll to the bottom and select “FAQ”) to learn more.  And be sure to use discount code: “EBE25” – which gives 25% off the cost of the first quarter of an Adoption.

This faux rice side-dish is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free and nut-free.   If you give this recipe a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see you enjoying your “rice!”