Over the weekend I found myself doing the thousand yard stare into my pantry, trying to decide what to make for dinner. I had some salad ready and some chicken but I needed a side dish. Potatoes, polenta, rice...hmm...I kept coming back to the rice. I guess I like rice with chicken. Except that I'm trying to cut back on the starches for a while and add a few more vegetables. And then it hit me that I could make my favorite non-rice rice!
Cauliflower Fried "Rice" recipe with you but I actually make it quite often for lunch. I didn't know how the little pieces of cauliflower would hold up in the oven but it seemed worth experimenting. I thought about adding bits of broccoli as well but decided to go with the creaminess of butternut squash to compliment the slight crunch of the cauliflower.
When I tasted it for seasoning before putting in the oven for a crunchy top, I knew I had a winner. And I couldn't wait for it to crisp so I could eat it. Once again, my un-rice rice is a winner. Why do I even bother to look in the pantry? Enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Ingredients (2 Servings)
- 1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
- 1 Cup diced butternut squash
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 Cup milk (low fat is fine)
- 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups riced cauliflower
- 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons seasoned panko breadcrumbs, for topping
- 1 Teaspoon olive or canola oil, for topping
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the diced squash in the tablespoon of oil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes. Remove when done but leave the oven on.
Add the butter and flour to a large skillet and stir on medium low heat until the flour is fully coated. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to stir and cook until the mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in the cheese and garlic powder.
To "rice" the cauliflower, add florets to a food processor and pulse 10 - 15 times until it starts to resemble granules of rice. Don't over-mix. Add the riced cauliflower to the sauce along with the roasted squash and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
You can bake this in any gratin dish but I made mine in a mini spring-form pan. If you're using the spring-form, lightly butter the sides and bottom and sprinkle with one tablespoon of breadcrumbs to make a little crust. To make the crunchy topping, add the two tablespoons of breadcrumbs and teaspoon of oil to a dish and mix thoroughly. Pour the cauliflower mixture into your baking dish and sprinkle on the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the topping is a light golden brown. Makes 1 entree serving or 2 side dish servings.
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