Paleo Creole Ham and Cauliflower Rice

Regardless of whether you are on the paleo diet or not – we can all learn from the principle of eating less processed food! The magnificent Melissa Joulwan has shared this recipe with us!

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads fresh cauliflower

  • 1 pound ham, diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking fat, melted 

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme leaves

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne

  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. This takes about 7 to 10 one-second pulses. You may need to do this in multiple batches to avoid overcrowding.
  3. Place the riced cauliflower in a very large mixing bowl. Add the ham, onion, and bell peppers. Toss with a spatula or two spoons until everthing is evenly distributed.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the fat, garlic, salt, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, and celery seed. Mix, then pour over the cauliflower. Toss for at least two minutes so the ingredients are evenly coated with the flavored fat.
  5. Divide the rice between two large, rimmed baking sheets (or a roasting pan) and roast in the oven 30-35 minutes, stirring about halfway through the baking time. At the end, the cauliflower should be tender, with little brown bits beginning to appear.
OPTIONAL: For added caramelization, zap each tray under the broiler for about 2 minutes after the baking time is up.

How to serve:

Melissa says “Alone, this is a good dose of veggies, but if you want to double-down on plants, this is super tasty with a side of steamed green beans tossed with olive oil and garlic. You could also serve your pile of creole rice on a bed of raw baby spinach leaves; the heat of the cauli rice will warm and tenderize the leaves. It’s also worth noting that this is an excellent way to use up leftover Easter ham.”

Recipe courtesy of Melissa Joulwan, author of the cookbooks Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat (http://amzn.to/NGfMcv), Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat (http://amzn.to/GZDvq6), and the blog Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed (http://www.meljoulwan.com). Photo by David Humphreys.

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