Cauliflower Rice & Beans

If you follow my blog, it should be no surprise that I love beans. I find them to be a very under-appreciated food. The convenience of canned beans means that many people have never tasted properly seasoned and cooked beans. Rice and beans are a staple of many diets across the planet. When not adequately seasoned it may seem like a plain and boring dish, but when done properly it is fantastic. 

Unfortunately as a diabetic, while I may love rice & beans, the combination of the two starches makes it tough to eat regularly. So, recently I was craving a flavourful bean dish and had the idea of substituting the rice with cauliflower rice to lower the carbs in the meal. After a few rounds of fine tuning, the recipe came out delicious! The beans and cauliflower are packed with flavor and topped with pan fried halloumi. As always, I recommend you take the time to cook your own beans, but canned beans can be used in a pinch. Let me know what you think! 

Active time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Beans

  • 3 cups cooked kidney beans (2 cans)
  • 1 cup bean cooking water (substitute for vegetable broth if using canned beans)
  • 2 shallots, cut into quarters
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cauliflower rice & toppers

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Haloumi cheese, sliced
  • Chopped green onions & cilantro, to top

Directions

  1. Using a food processor with the grating attachment, or box grater, grate the cauliflower into rice. 
  2. Set your stove to broil – high. Place the jalapenos and the quartered shallot on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven. We want the peppers and onion to acquire a nice char on all sides to bring a smoky flavour to the beans. This should take anywhere from 8-12 minutes — check often. Once done, set aside to cool. 
  3. Now it is time to cook the cauliflower rice. Heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat. Add in 2 tbsp neutral oil, and then sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent; 2-3 minutes. Then add in the cauliflower and all the seasoning: brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and a lot of freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes stirring occasionally until tender. Set aside. 
  4. Return the pan to medium heat and add a splash of neutral oil at the bottom and add in yellow onion and garlic for the beans, saute for 3-4 minutes until beginning to turn translucent. While they cook, roughly chop the cooled jalapenos and shallots. 
  5. Once the onion and garlic are turning translucent add in the beans, jalapenos, shallots, tomato paste and all the spices: chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine then pour over the bean cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer and then let simmer for 3-4 minutes. 
  6. Now, we will pan fry the haloumi: heat another non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add a splash of oil and fry the halloumi slices. Saute until golden on both sides. 
  7. Serve immediately. Add a healthy scoop of cauliflower rice followed by the beans, the halloumi and finish off with green onions and cilantro. Enjoy!

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