Do all new vegetarians go through the "rice and beans" phase? I feel like it was a big thing when I first converted.
I went through my own rice and beans phase some time during my late teens. That would be after my rice and rice phase, or maybe if I was feeling ambitious, occasional rice and soy sauce and shredded lettuce phase. At some point I realized I wasn't getting adequate nutrition and someone informed me that rice + beans = complete protein. So I graduated to rice and beans, and that was my choice of quick and easy meals for quite some time. Complete proteins were a big deal back in my early vegetarian days in the 90's. They don't seem to be anywhere near as big a cause for concern these days.
Nutritional priorities change, as do my own personal dietary priories. These days, my version of a complete meal always involves copious amounts of veggies. I still eat rice and beans from time to time, but now it's usually accompanied by a salad.
This version of rice and beans is my kind of rice and beans. The veggies are the rice. Clever. I became pretty enamored with cauliflower rice a while back when I created a version of cauliflower fried rice. I decided if it works for Chinese food, it should work for Tex-Mex. It did.
For the "rice" part of this dish, I opted to recreate a popular Tex-Mex cilantro lime rice that I've enjoyed eating in many-a-lunch burrito I could not finish. To make a nice-well balanced meal, I added beans and skipped the burrito part, because it's just as nice to eat with a fork, if you ask me. I also threw a few avocado slices on top, which was nice. Feel free to stuff yours into a burrito, or a taco, or anything else that sounds like it might be good, for that matter; it probably will be.
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice & Beans
- 1 large cauliflower crown
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 red onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ¼ cup lime juice about 2 limes
- 3 cups cooked or canned black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Remove outer leaves from cauliflower. Break into 8-10 large chunks (sufficiently small to fit into food processor bowl). Working in batches if necessary, place cauliflower chunks into food processor bowl. Pulse a few times until finely chopped to about the the size of rice grains. Set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
Add cauliflower, salt and pepper. Stir fry until cauliflower begins to crisp-up and brown in spots, about 5-7 minutes.
Add lime juice and beans. Flip a few times to mix everything and get beans thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and add cilantro.
Divide onto plates. Serve with hot sauce.