This Delicious Burrito Bowl Has A Surprising Ingredient

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embedPhoto: Courtesy of Joy the Baker.
Be advised: It would be best not to get in between me and my burrito.

I’m talking about the kind of burrito that’s the size of a newborn baby, and served covered in cheese and red sauce on a scalding hot that plate that I always touch, even thought I’m cautioned against it. It's the kind of burrito that is filled with so much cheese, so much rice, so much stewed beef, so much guacamole; it feels as right as it does obscene.

This, thankfully (sadly?), is not that burrito. In this burrito-like rendition, we're welcoming cauliflower to the table. We’re setting aside all the beef, red sauce, and most of the cheese. This recipe starts with cauliflower rice which I’m pretty sure is all the rage on the paleo blogosphere. We’re talking about the simple art of turning raw cauliflower florets into little bits of simulated rice, and it's so good! Cauliflower + food processor = cauliflower rice.

Once the cauliflower is pulverized, it’s placed into a hot skillet with olive oil. It’s sautéed, softened, and browned. Salt and pepper are generously added.

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Cauliflower, olive oil, salt and pepper are just the basics. This rice really can take on any flavor that you’d like it to — based on what you've got lying around in your fridge.

You might consider adding sautéed onions and garlic, roasted tomatoes and fresh cilantro, or fresh lemon juice and parsley. I surrounded my simply-seasoned cauliflower rice with burrito bowl-inspired flavors: fresh avocado, black beans, spicy salsa, cilantro, jalapeños, leafy kale greens, cheese, and freshly fried corn chips because can we please live a little? Yes. Of course we can.

I think this bowl is best served in zones — very unlike a traditional burrito.

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
Makes 2 bowls

Ingredients

1 small head of raw cauliflower, any color, cut into medium florets
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large portions of cauliflower rice
1 cup black beans, warmed
2 cups kale or spinach, wilted and sautéed in olive oil and garlic
2 spoonfuls spicy salsa
2 small handfuls shredded cheddar cheese
1 ripe avocado, sliced or cut into chunks
Pickled jalapeños
Fresh fried corn tortilla chips
Fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

1. To make the cauliflower rice, place florets in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until cauliflower is ground into fine bits that resemble bits of rice or couscous.

2. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the cauliflower bits to the heated pan, and toss to combine. Allow to cook until the cauliflower rice has softened slightly and browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Add any other flavoring, herb, or seasoning you might enjoy.

4. To make a burrito bowl, start with a large shallow bowl or plate. Spoon cauliflower rice onto the plate. If you have any excess rice, store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

5. Spoon warmed black beans next to the rice. Spoon sautéed kale next to the beans. Top generously with hot salsa, shredded cheese, ripe avocado, pickled jalapeños, fried tortilla chips, and fresh cilantro leaves.

NEXT: The Perfect Picnic Sandwich
We may have Joy the Baker's infamous "Man Bait" Apple Crisp recipe committed to memory, but it's not the only reason we're loyal to this self-taught dessert maven. Joy's hilariously soulful commentary, undying devotion to butter, and her steadfast belief that cake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast choice is what really keeps us coming back for more.