Cauliflower Rice Bake with Roasted Butternut Squash, Cremini Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper & Spinach
OK, it’s safe to say that I have a love/hate relationship with cauliflower. I ate en entire one last week in one day… & NOW, I’m back at it. I just CAN’T get enough. It’s literally the most versatile veggie out there. You can do SO much with it & transform it into almost anything (Keep an eye out for my Cauliflower Pizza, Cauliflower Fried Rice, Cauliflower Turmeric Sushi, Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Cauliflower Soup & Cauliflower Mac & Cheese – ZOMFG I’m literally drooling just writing out the names of these recipes for you guys).
Last night, I whipped up this babe. AND WOW. This simple recipe is the definition of everything I love about fall & winter: it’s hearty & feels like comfort food (YET WITHOUT THE GUILT). It’s super rich in flavour & the roasted butternut squash & mushrooms add tons of warmth. The spinach adds TONS of nutrition (HELLO, POTASSIUM) and bursts of colour to this beautiful dish. I threw in some leftover kidney beans (HI FIBRE. HI PROTEIN.) (From my dreamy lunch. Please refer to my Mashed Kidney Bean Salad in a Pita Pocket post – A.K.A. give yourselves yet another reason to drool). Spiced this dish with tons of cracked black pepper, garlic powder, chilli powder, smoked paprika & turmeric (OBVI!) & BOOM.
Oh &… How could I forget? I sprinkled NUTRITIONAL YEAST (the one by Bob’s Red Mill) all over this dish. If you haven’t already bought it, as per my previous recommendations, seriously, what are you waiting for? Do yourselves a favour & do so PRONTO. The “cheesy” deliciousness will make you feel as though you drizzled half the container of Parmesan on your dish and get this? It only has 60 calories & 0.5g of fat per 1/4 SERVING. A 1/4 cup is huge. I used 0.5 tbsp. and it was more than enough to sprinkle the dish with a VERY generous amount. Best part? For all of you who HATE red meat (like moi), nutritional yeast is an amazing source of Vitamin B12 (which, like me, you are probably lacking) & it has a whopping 8g of protein per serving, so GUYS, please, go get this product NOW. You will thank me. I promise. And, if for some impossible reason, If you hate it, let me know. I’ll come pick it up.
OK, now that I got that out of my system (& promoted Bob’s product like there’s no tomorrow), here is the list of beautiful, fresh & clean ingredients you need to whip up this babe:
- 110g of butternut squash, roasted & seasoned with coconut oil, organic Himalayan pink sea salt, garlic powder & smoked paprika;
- 2 tbsp. of coconut oil;
- 30g of yellow onion (White onion will work too, just don’t use red onion!);
- 1 clove of garlic, minced;
- 160g of cauliflower (Keep only the heads & cut the stems off as much as possible);
- 70g of loosely packed spinach spinach (or any other beautiful leafy green, i.e. kale, arugula or cress);
- 100g of Cremini mushrooms (No waste policy is in effect, therefore, if you have white or portobello mushrooms in your fridge, please use them. I promise, the recipe will be just as yummy);
- 45g of red bell pepper (Yes, your pepper can be yellow or orange too. Personally, I wouldn’t use green because I don’t find them as sweet as the others, but NO WASTE, so go for it, if that’s what you have!);
- 80-100g of kidney beans (or any other bean: I recommend black beans, chick peas, white beans or navy beans!);
- 1/4 tbsp. of Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast (GAHHHHH, I LOVE YOU);
- 1/2 tsp. of chilli powder;
- 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika;
- 1/2 tsp. of turmeric;
- 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder;
- Organic Himalayan pink sea salt & cracked black pepper for seasoning.
OK, now that you have all your yummy (ALMOST ALL RAW, wow, just wow) ingredients put together, LET ME TELL YOU HOW TO MAKE THIS DELICIOUSNESS. I mean, at this point you’re drooling right? If not… what’s wrong with you?
- Lightly grease a baking dish with my personal fave, coconut oil (of course, any other oil or butter will work too, BUT USE COCONUT OIL. IT’S SO GOOD) and preheat the oven to 400 degrees (As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I use Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil or Naked Coconuts Organic Coconut Oil);
- OKAY, THIS PART IS NOT FUN. You have been warned. Peel & chop your butternut squash into cubes. Honestly, it takes me like 20 minutes to do this. It’s always hard to cut that thing open & I’m always scared to cut my hand off in the process. The best way to cube it is to start with a really, really sharp knife (GAH!), cutting off the top & bottom portions, a.k.a. the stems). Then, once that’s done, IF YOU SUCCEED (or just ask your hubby to do it), cut the squash in half where the small cylinder shape and round bulb shape meet. Once you succeed at halving it (AGAIN, IF YOU DO), remove any seeds with a spoon. Cut it into small cubes & PROCEED. Like I said, not fun, BUT, it’s so good, it’s worth it;
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Add the cubed butternut squash, 1 tbsp. of coconut oil. Season with a healthy amount of organic Himalayan pink sea salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder & smoked paprika. Toss to coat & bake this babe for 18 minutes, or until JUST fork tender. Remove from the oven & set aside (Usually, I’d roast my butternut squash for longer, BUT, because you are putting these cubed babies back in the oven later on with the rest of the dish, 18 minutes should do! Again, it depends on your oven, and you may need to add a couple more minutes, but you be the judge. OR, call me in a panic when you’re not sure);
4. In the mean time, rinse & chop your cauliflower. Since it’s going in the mini food-processor, it’s always best to chop it up as small as you can. This will make your chopping/grinding task easier because it’ll turn into that rice-like texture quicker. Once rinsed & chopped, put your cauliflower in a mini food-processor & CHOP & GRIND until it looks like rice (BUT IT AIN’T).
5. Once your RICE (LOL, JK) is ready, add it to a metal mixing bowl and season it with the chilli powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, organic Himalayan pink sea salt & pepper. THEN, add it to your baking dish and spread it out evenly throughout so that it serves as the base for all the beautiful veggies you will soon be adding;
6. NOW, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the remaining 1 tbsp. of coconut oil (oh baby!), onion and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper. Cook until the onion is soft & translucent (a.k.a. you begin to see through the onion, a.k.a. it becomes see-through), 4-5 minutes, stirring often. THEN, add your mushrooms & bell pepper. Add some more seasoning (as desired – if you haven’t already noticed, I LOOOOOOOVE SPICES);
7. Continue cooking all this yumminess for 5 minutes, or until your mushrooms are lightly browned & your peppers begin to wilt.
8. NOW, add your spinach (or other leafy green) to the pan. Season once more with salt, pepper & garlic powder and stir to coat. Cook until the spinach is JUST tender (should take approximately 1-2 minutes). Remove all your veggies from the heat & set aside. At this point, your kitchen will smell like heaven. You know that smell when you fry mushrooms? Well ya, that. UGH, SO GOOD.
9. OK, NOW IT’S THAT TIME. TIME TO ASSEMBLE THIS BABE OF A DISH. Reduce your oven temperature to 375 degrees. Top your cauli-rice with the vegetable mixture, the roasted butternut squash & the kidney beans. THEN, DRIZZLE DAT NUTRITIONAL YEAST. Be generous please. Feel free to use more than 1/2 tbsp. IT’S SO GOOD. Like, there’s really no reason why you wouldn’t use this…
10. BAKE, BAKE, BAKE uncovered for 7 minutes to warm through.
11. When that timer beeps, I am warning you, the smell in your kitchen will be HEAVEN ON EARTH. You will want to dig into this dish RIGHT WAY. IMMEDIATELY. But, don’t. It’s worth the wait. Remove the dish from the oven, pour entire yummy contents into a metal mixing bowl & MIXXXXX.
12. Add this yumminess back to your baking dish & set aside until you are ready to serve it. Before serving, reheat the dish in the microwave or in your oven (at 375 degrees) for 5 minutes. THEN… EAT UP. Guys, I devoured it (as always). You will too. I promise.
Feel free to add chicken, beef, or seafood to this dish! If you do so, I would add it at step 9, a.k.a. when you assemble this babe of a dish.
Leftovers will defs. keep for a few days, so don’t worry if you doubled, tripled, quadrupled OR (GAH, how do you say 5x) this dish. However, I highly doubt you will have any leftovers. Like, you can literally eat SO MUCH OF THIS & not feel guilty. It’s so fresh, so raw, so healthy, SO GOOD FOR YOU.
Nope, I didn’t forget. Of course, I have to show you what the final product looks like… I mean, like I said, if you weren’t already drooling, you’re weird. BUT, now you will be.
YOU SO PRETTY. Enjoy my loves!!! 🙂