Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

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Burritos are delicious but I haven’t ordered one from a restaurant in years. That’s because of how unhealthy they can be. They’re often loaded with calories and a lot of fat and carbs. The carbs from the rice and the tortilla always leave me feeling sleepy and super full. The portion size is so huge that I can only eat half. But since I love burritos and crave them, I came up with a healthier version to make at home. Once you get the hang of making cauliflower rice, it’s pretty easy. It’s important to make sure your cauliflower florets are free of any excess moisture. You also want to work in small batches. If you add too many florets to the food processor, you may end up with cauliflower puree on the bottom of your food processor and big chunks of cauliflower at the top. You will definitely need a food processor to make cauliflower rice (or a high powered blender like a Vitamix). I love my food processor because it’s the right size and easy to clean (you can find it here). It makes cauliflower rice a breeze. Cauliflower rice is a staple at my house. I use it as a rice substitute in almost everything. I don’t typically cook it because I’ve been trying to eat as many raw vegetables as possible. But if you prefer it warmed up, you can sauté in a large pan in olive oil spray for about 2-3 minutes. Instead of lettuce, I chose purple cabbage as a healthier and more colorful replacement. It adds some crunch and fiber to this dish. There are limitless variations for burrito bowls. You can substitute black beans, chickpeas, or any other plant based protein. You could also add corn or vegan cheese. I tried to keep the processed ingredients at a minimum. This recipe is super quick. It’s filling, nutritious, low carb, low fat and most importantly – delicious! I prefer homemade pico de gallo over store bought. It adds freshness and spicy kick. If you like a little sweetness, some ripe mango would go really well with all of the flavors in this meal. If you decide to make this recipe, make sure to let me know! Tag me @thefriendlyepicurean or Pin the recipe on Pinterest.

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Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

    For the cauliflower rice:
  • 1 medium sized head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups of cauliflower florets)
  • 2 to 3 tbs lime juice (juice of half a lime)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the refried beans:
  • 1 (150z) can of organic, vegan refried beans (such Amy’s Organic brand)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the Pico de Gallo:
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbs chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (about 3 tbs)
  • 2-3 tbs lime juice (juice of half a lime)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • To serve:
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream, homemade (click here for the recipe) or Toffuti brand (optional)

Directions

First, make the Pico de Gallo. Combine diced tomatoes, onion, minced jalapeno, lime juice, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl and chill. Next, make the cauliflower rice. Cut cauliflower into florets and towel off any excess water. Place 1/2 of the florets in a high powered blender or food processor. Pulse until cauliflower is rice sized. Remove from food processor and place in a large mixing bowl. Pulse second half of cauliflower florets until rice sized then empty into mixing bowl. Toss with lime juice, salt, and chopped cilantro and set aside. Finally, make the refried beans. Heat olive oil spray in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Saute onions until golden brown – about 5 to 6 minutes. Then sauté minced garlic for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add refried beans, chili powder, and salt and sauté for another 4-5 minutes. Assemble bowls with cauliflower rice, 1/2 cup refried beans, purple cabbage, 1/2 avocado, and pico de gallo. Garnish with cilantro, vegan sour cream, and lime wedges and serve immediately. May store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for one day.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories per serving: 401 cal (includes 1/2 cup refried beans, 1/2 avocado, and 1/4 cauliflower rice mixture)

 

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Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili Lime Chickpeas 

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This is probably one of the simplest, easiest recipes I’ve ever made. It doesn’t require much prep or constant attention and clean up is a breeze. This is a great weeknight meal especially after a long cardio workout. I love comfort food that comes with minimal guilt. Chickpeas and sweet potatoes are two of my favorite foods, so combining them sounded like a great idea! What I like about this dish is that the spice, salt, and garlic in the chickpeas balance out the sweetness of the potato. The lime adds the perfect amount of acid and freshness. The mint, lime, and sweet potato go really well together. This is a hearty dish that will keep you satisfied long after you’re done eating. It’s healthy because it’s minimally processed and the chickpeas add protein and fiber. Chickpeas are also a great source of  folate and iron. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A and are lower in calories vs. white potatoes. There are lots of variations to this recipes that would work as well. You could try adding avocado, vegan sour cream, or cilantro as toppings. Chili lime chickpeas are great as a salad topping, snack, or in your Buddha Bowl. If you make this recipe make sure to tag me on social media @thefriendlyepicurean or Pin It on Pinterest!

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Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili Lime Chickpeas

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can of chickpeas
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 lime (about 2 tbs)
  • 1 tbs chopped, fresh mint

Directions


Preheat oven to 400F. Wash and dry sweet potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and lime juice. Add drained and rinsed chickpeas to lime juice mixture and stir well to coat evenly. Spread chickpeas in a single layer on a separate baking sheet. Bake chickpeas and sweet potatoes for about 40 minutes. Flip chickpeas halfway through cooking time. Allow sweet potatoes and chickpeas to cool before handling. Slit potato and scoop out about a 1/4 of it. Stuff each potato with about 1/2 of chickpea mixture and top with fresh, chopped mint. Serve immediately. May store in the fridge for up to one day.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories for 1 baked sweet potato plus 1/2 chickpeas: 496 cal

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Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

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This summer I’m trying to eat as little processed food as I can. I’ve been trying to stick with whole food meals made at home. I love to use cauliflower because it’s so versatile. I roasted my cauliflower steaks for this recipe but you could also pan fry them or grill them. Since I eat a lot of cauliflower, I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. To make cauliflower ‘steaks’, I cut my cauliflower into 3/4 inch slices. Using a large head of cauliflower makes it easier. It’s also important not to separate or cut the stalk, since the stalk is what holds the cauliflower steak together. Cauliflower steaks are a great meat substitute, much like portobello mushroom caps. Chimichurri sauce pairs really well with cauliflower steaks. It’s traditionally used as a condiment for beef steak and other meat in certain South American countries but goes well with most vegetables and also with rice. It’s got intense flavor because of the raw garlic but the acid from the vinegar, and the freshness of the herbs balance it out. It’s really quick and easy to prepare since it doesn’t require cooking. There’s lots of different versions of this sauce. I had to make it a few times to decide how I liked it best. I also wanted to reduce the amount oil to make it healthier. Using high quality, extra virgin olive oil and high quality red wine vinegar will make this sauce even tastier. You can put chimichurri sauce on almost everything you grill – it adds a fresh, spicy flavor to otherwise bland food. I like to prepare it on the weekend and keep it in the fridge to use as a quick condiment for whatever I grill. You can top vegan protein such as tofu and tempeh it for a delicious kick. If you have an herb garden, this sauce is the perfect way to use up your parsley and cilantro! Let me know if you make chimichurri sauce by taking a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Instagram or Facebook or Pin this recipe on Pinterest!

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Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed (do not cut stalk), and cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tbs to brush on cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup fresh flat leave parsley
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt for sauce (plus more to sprinkle on cauliflower)
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper (plus more to sprinkle on cauliflower)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. Cut cauliflower into 3/4 inch slices. Brush cauliflower with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Flip cauliflower halfway through roasting time. Prepare chimichurri sauce while cauliflower steaks are roasting. In a food processor or blender add 1/4 cup olive oil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, crushed red pepper, red wine vinegar, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Puree for about 1 minute. Sauce should be slightly chunky in consistency. Place 1-2 roasted cauliflower steaks on a plate and top with desired amount of chimichurri sauce. Serve while hot. Makes about 1/2 cup chimichurri sauce. May store extra sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate calories: 137.5 calories per 2 tbs chimichurri sauce
  • Approximate calories: 235 cal for half a large head of cauliflower (with 1 tbs olive oil)

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