My mom was in town visiting last week. We are blessed that Grandma and Grandpa chose to have their second vacation home right here in Big D. Mom is particularly fond of a Moroccan vegetable stew at one of our favorite Santa Fe restaurants, Harry’s Roadhouse, so I knew she would really like this couscous.
I was also hoping Rob would be a fan because since I cut gluten out of my diet, I never make couscous anymore. In my pre-gluten free days, we loved couscous, and I would make it as a side dish probably once a week. Our favorite recipe was this tasty Moroccan inspired one that is served cold, more like a salad.
I’ve been wanting to try using riced cauliflower in place of traditional couscous. Cauliflower is one of those stealth foods that I can sneak into recipes, and it mimics (or at least I think it does…Rob doesn’t always agree) the ingredient I am trying to replace, usually grains. It was surprisingly easy to turn into “couscous” – I just hoped it would taste good too.
Rob was so excited when he saw what we were having for dinner – what he thought was an old favorite. He took a bite, then another bite…I held my breath. He proceeded in conversation like normal, and before I knew it, he had a second helping on his plate. It wasn’t until after dinner, and he was partaking in his standard ritual of entering his calories into MyFitnessPal, that the truth came out. This is the part of the evening when I have to come clean about all of the ingredients I’ve used because he needs to break down the meals to enter his foods (He’s an Ironman triathlete who is meticulous about his diet.). Shocked is an understatement (in fact he said he felt tricked) when he learned he had eaten and even liked cauliflower for dinner. So, if this “couscous” recipe can pass his test – and he definitely gives it a thumbs up – you should give it a try.
One quick health note about my friend cauliflower…It is extremely low in calories at only about 30 calories per cup, making it an excellent substitution for high glycemic, high calorie grains as a side dish or salad. Choosing foods that don’t spike your blood sugar help stabilize your energy level, mood, and mental focus, and they also help ward off weight gain and the growing threat of diabetes. Replace high glycemic grains with vegetables and you gain all of their vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients as well.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced onion
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon curry
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut cauliflower into florets and place in a food processor.
- Pulse until cauliflower is "riced".
- Place riced cauliflower in a cooking pan, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Transfer cauliflower to a medium bowl, and add carrots, red bell pepper, onion, pine nuts, and raisins, stirring to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, curry, and salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the cauliflower mixture and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate before serving.