Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Curry

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The thing I love about pilafs is that you can add in a lot of good healthy ingredients to them – think immune boosting onions, garlic, kale and spices.

The thing I love even more about using cauliflower as the “grain” is that it gives you the illusion of a carb without the calories and blood sugar spike. Nothing wrong with whole grains, but good to mix things up every once in a while.

When I talk about pilafs I’m not talking about something your mom made in the 70’s with white rice and a chicken flavored bouillon cube. Pilafs are an excuse to add in more vegetables and goodness into your meal.

In the age of Corona, I had two bags of frozen riced cauliflower in my freezer. Normally, if I am going to make a pilaf with cauliflower I like to use fresh so I can “rice” it in my food processor. It’s just more sturdy and fresh tasting.  Since I had no fresh cauliflower on hand, and was not about to just skip on over to the store, this was easy and convenient.

I served this pilaf with grilled swordfish and my Pineapple Cilantro Slaw – a delectable combination of flavors. This pilaf will definitely be in my Corona cooking rotation, and hopefully for years to come.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Curry


Makes 4-6 servings


2 10-ounce bags frozen riced cauliflower, or 1 large head fresh cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt and pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground curry powder
1 small bunch of kale (you can use 1 cup frozen and feel free to use other greens), stems removed and chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, totally optional but gives it nice texture


  1. Prep the cauliflower: if using fresh, remove the inner core and cut off the florets. Add the florets to a food processor (you might need to do this in two steps) and pulse until they are the consistency of rice. Set aside.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add in the onion with the salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minutes, until soft.  Add in the garlic, turmeric and curry powder and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
  3. Add in the cauliflower and incorporate into the onion mixture. Saute for 5 minutes until beginning to soften.
  4. Next, add the chopped kale (you might have to do this in batches to let it wilt down), and continue cooking until softened.
  5. Turn off the heat and taste, you might need to add in a little more salt. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and pumpkin seeds if using and serve.



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