Cauliflower Rice: Keep it Simple Stupid

"It's simple...  Keep it simple...  Keep it simple, stupid...  Truth is always simple... The things that work the best are usually simple..."  These are variations of a mantra I might repeat to myself on any given day, depending on how many times I have subtly tried to complicate my life by doing, saying, consuming, giving, etc..., to much.  Often the simplicity sermon I silently give myself becomes so sincere in its repetition, that I feel I could print it on a Bronner's Castile Soap Bottle: Simpleness is next to Godliness. Doesn't have the same ring… but simplicity and cleanliness are in the same family of ideas to me, so we'll work with it.

Even in seemingly complicated systems, the driving force can most often be boiled down a simple unifying principle or cause.  Although you can isolate a driving force, or small set of drivers they may be hard to put a finger on when you don't understand the system.  It feels like this can be applied to systems ranging all the way from the global economy, to an aquatic ecosystem, to your body.

Seeing as the only thing we realistically have a scrap of control over is ourselves, we might as well start there.  If you will, try to quiet the noise when you make decisions. Consider the moment within the bigger picture, and often, the questions you ask yourself will fall into their own answers.

 
Conquering the stumbling blocks come easier
When the conqueror is in tune with the infinite
Every ending is a new beginning
Life is an endless unfoldment
Change your mind, and you change your relation to time

You can find the answer
The solution lies within the problem
The answer is in every question
Dig it?
— Funkadelic, "Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts"
 

I remind myself of this when I notice certain habits I have that do nothing for me but complicate my life and serve as weapons of subtle masochism to take me away from the things and ones I truly care about.  I reminded myself of this when I made this recipe and hesitated to post it, wondering if it was too simple.

Of course, my mind went in a full circle to remember that this recipe's beauty is exactly in its simplicity.  Classic me, over-complicating things and overthinking what I already know. So simple, right?

It started with a want: To nourish myself with a balanced diet so I can greet the day with sustainable energy. That simple want blossomed into criteria for what I would make: it would be satisfying but not heavy, and a good compliment to the greens, fats, and proteins I feel like I have more than enough of.  It follows that what I made would have to be carbacious, with enough fiber to satiate me and taper my blood sugar response. With all the hype it's been receiving, the first recipe that popped into my head was cauliflower rice: the perfect fiber-rich base to so many meals.

To contribute to the balance in my diet and support my gut microbiome health, I try to diversify the plants I eat.  Thus, I felt I should add a couple more veggies into the pan. I've been trying to let the seasons help me diversify my diet, so I wandered to the local farmer's market to see what was available.

I found cauliflower, summer squash, yellow onions, garlic, celery, golden beets, and cilantro (which you can leave out or replace depending on your preference).  I took my time with the prepping and cooking process. Nothing crazy, just good ol' patience and mindfulness.

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I found cauliflower, summer squash, yellow onions, garlic, celery, golden beets, and cilantro (which you can leave out or replace depending on your preference).  I took my time with the prepping and cooking process. Nothing crazy, just good ol' patience and mindfulness.

 

 


 

OFFERING:  LATE SUMMER CAULIFLOWER RICE

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1 head of cauliflower

½ golden beet

1 yellow onion

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3 cloves of garlic

1 stick of celery

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp coconut oil

cilantro to visual and taste preference

 

 

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SPICES:

cumin

coriander

turmeric

bay leaf

cracked black pepper

salt


 

1. PREP: The onions and squash are coarsely diced.  The beet and the cauliflower are separately and briefly processed in a food processor.  Garlic is minced and cliantro chopped coarsely. I cut the celery in super thin slices to save a little crunch without using pieces that were so big, they'd overpower the flavor of a bite.

 

2. Start with ½ of the sesame oil in a warm pan heat on medium/high.  Carmelize the onions. Just as the onions are starting to turn gold, throw in the minced garlic.  Stir throughout to avoid burning anything.

 

3. Throw in the processed cauliflower.  Mix everything together, add the coconut oil and cover to STEAM. Turn heat to medium/low and stir intermittently.  

 

Once the cauliflower has softened slightly, add all the spices to taste.  I went heaviest on the cumin, and light on the coriander and turmeric to let the cumin ground the flavor and keep the cauliflower from becoming overwhelming.

 

4.  After a few minutes add the squash and mix in.  Add the rest of the sesame oil to taste and macronutrient preference (do you want more nuttyness or fat?).  After a couple more minutes add the processed golden beet and stir in. 

 
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5.  Cook until the spices have fully permeated the veggies and everything has softened without completely losing its structure.  Just before taking it off the stove, throw in the minced cilantro.

You can substitute with any herb of your preference or leave it out all together.

 

BONUS:  If I want a little more substance, I may add roasted almonds, roasted walnuts, or raw sunflower seeds.  


 

And there you have it:  a simple meal, made to satisfy a simple desire.  I savored the experience of cooking it, which has made it that much more nourishing every time I use a helping to supplement my meals.  I think of the farmers that grew it, the people that brought it to me, the nutrients in the soil it grew in, and all the amazing chemical processes that enabled them to thrive.  I think of how all these aspects of a plant's life cycle come together to give me delicious sustenance. It's simple. I enjoy, chew slow and feel the support I need to keep on keepin' on.

 


Ren Croshaw