Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Way "Dirty Rice"

I grew up in Cajun south Louisiana where red beans and dirty rice were frequent on the family menus and holiday gatherings (along with gumbo, corn bread and lots of gluten-filled meals).  Now that we're not eating rice or beans much these days, I don't have those kinds of meals often. 

However I can experiment and come up with my own way, my own style of recreating a similar dish to the ones I used to love so much.   Happily and successfully, I think I did it....  I created my own less spicy but still flavorful "dirty rice" that fits my family's needs (no grains or traditional rice and no spices for my husband and little girls who don't like peppery things either!)

This is such a FAST, EASY meal to make on a busy day or when you don't feel like putting much effort into cooking.  I love this simple yet savory dish. 

My Way "Dirty" Rice
Serves 3-4

1 Tbsp extra light olive oil
1 frozen bag of cauliflower (or about 3 cups of chopped, 'riced' cauliflower)
1 pound of ground chuck (or turkey, veal, sausage or whatever meat choice you like)
2 Tbsp virgin olive oil or flavored olive oil of your choice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (or other flavored vinegar of your choice)
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp of sea salt

*Note: You may want to start with less seasoning and taste as you go to see if you like more or less.  My family likes a lot of flavor in this meal so I use a variety of flavors to give it flare. 

First, make the "rice" - follow my simple recipe of turning cauliflower into "rice."
After you have your "rice," made, toss it into a skillet greased with 1 Tbsp of the extra light olive oil.  Add in your defrosted one pound of ground meat (turkey/sausage or whatever).  Cook them together on medium heat so the "rice" can soak up the fat and flavor.  There is no need to drain any grease or fat off.  That's the good stuff, remember?  Fat is our friend!  :-) 

Once the meat has browned and your rice has browned too, add in your seasonings.  Start with the olive oil, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano.  Stir well and cook for another five minutes.  Then if needed and you want it, add in your Italian seasoning and sea salt.  Cook for an additional two minutes.  Don't be surprised if your "rice" blends in with the meat so you don't even see it much.  That's okay. 

Remove your "dirty rice" from the heat.  Let it cool for a minute before serving.  We usually enjoy  my broccoli chips with this recipe along with a big spinach salad. Yum, yum, good stuff.

Both my girls love this too.  Like I said, this is a fast meal to throw together so I highly recommend it after a long, tiring day.  I hope you enjoy it!

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