Growing up, we always ate rice as a side dish and I’ve had/made more rice dishes than I could ever possibly count. A type of rice that’s new-ish to me is cauliflower rice. This low calorie alternative to regular rice is super rich in vitamin C, and also rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6. I prefer to buy frozen cauliflower rice that is readily available at most grocery stores since it’s easy to prepare and use in recipes and I can make sure I have it on hand. This recipe combines cauliflower rice with flavor packed dried herbs and bright, fresh fruit for a crowd pleasing side dish!
Festive Cauliflower Rice
Makes 4 Servings
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
1 Lb Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower Rice
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic, Minced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
¼ Cup Chopped Walnuts
½ Cup Pomegranate Seeds
Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. My oven has a roast setting, so I used this!
- If using frozen cauliflower rice, take it out of the freezer and cook for half of the time it says to on the package, you want the cauliflower rice thawed enough to separate and spread onto a baking sheet, but not heated through or it will be a bit mushy in the final dish.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with olive oil. Spread the cauliflower rice evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until there are some light brown edges developing on the cauliflower rice.
- While the cauliflower rice bakes, add the parsley, thyme, garlic and olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat. The herbs will absorb most of the oil. Cook for five minutes, stirring the mixture continuously so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Don’t skip this step or you will be left with super bitter garlic and a less flavorful dish!
- When the cauliflower rice is done cooking, remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Stir in the garlic herb oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In the same pan you used to make the garlic herb oil, heat the chopped walnuts on high heat for one minute, stirring the entire time so that they don’t burn.
- Add the walnuts to the cauliflower rice mixture to combine.
- Add the pomegranate seeds to the mixture and stir gently.
If you’re not a fan of thyme, try this recipe with rosemary. If you don’t have pomegranates, try using red grapes cut in half. This dish works as a room temperature “salad” for a healthy luncheon dish or a warm side for a dinner, whatever you prefer!