I love food and could spend all day dreaming of different ways to cook and bake healthy & tasty food. Holidays, as we know, are full of eating, and holiday food is not known for being healthy. This time of year I always tell my patients to enjoy small amounts of their seasonal favorites but to balance those favorites with loads of food that's good for you.
With all of the sugar and carb heavy foods it is necessary to balance the season with anti-inflammatory foods like this Golden Cauliflower Rice Bowl. The cauliflower base is full of anti-inflammatory seasonings and the cauliflower is packed with vitamin C, glucosinolates (which help all parts of your body stay healthy) and antioxidants. To ramp up the good-for-you benefits I added sauteed kale and mushrooms.
Kale has had super-hero status for years now and for good reason. It's packed with lutein (important for eye health), has myriad of antioxidants, phytonutrients & fiber components that help with heart health, lowering cholesterol, fighting against cancer, improving inflammation, supporting the immune system (good for winter sniffles) and sooooo much more.
Mushrooms aren't always a favorite but these guys are powerhouses. One ounce of shitake mushrooms can lower inflammation without changing anything else in your diet. They can also prevent blood vessel constriction (hello lower blood pressure) and contain a type of carb, beta-glucan, which is digested by gut bacteria leading to improvements to our immune, antioxidant and endocrine systems.
But please, don't just add mushrooms to a bad diet and think they'll be a miracle cure. Incorporate dishes like this into your weeknight rotation, then when a holiday or special occasion arises, indulge (a little) without guilt!
Golden Cauliflower Rice Bowl
2 TB coconut oil, divided
1 TB minced ginger
1 tsp turmeric
6 cups cauliflower rice (defrosted if frozen)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
lots of fresh ground black pepper
1 bunch kale, sliced thin and stems removed
2 cups chopped mushrooms (crimini, shiitake, portabello, oyster etc.)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TB coconut aminos
1 tsp sesame oil
salt, to taste
quick pickled cucumber & red onion (use the recipe here)
Optional: sliced fresno or jalapeno peppers, nori, toasted cashews, cilantro
Make the pickled cucumber and red onion using the recipe found here.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 TB coconut oil & ginger, stirring until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the turmeric & give it a quick stir.
Add the cauliflower rice, coconut milk, salt and pepper to the pan and mix everything together. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is cooked to your liking (I cooked mine for about 15 minutes, so it still had a wee bit of crunch).
While the cauliflower is cooking melt the remaining coconut oil in a large skillet. Add the kale, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally. Once the kale has been cooking for 7-8 minutes, add the mushrooms to the pan. Give everything a good stir and continue to cook until the kale has softened to your liking (15 minutes total will give you relatively soft, easy to chew kale). Once you're happy with the kale, add the coconut aminos and sesame oil to the pan. Mix everything together and then season with salt, to taste.
Divide the cauliflower rice evenly between four bowls. Top with the kale mixture, pickled vegetables and any of the optional toppings.
Nutrition info: 317 calories, 24.5g fat, 19.2g sat. fat, 511mg sodium, 22g carb, 7.5g fiber, 10.6g sugar (naturally occurring), 9.2g protein