We have a new regular in my house!
This dish is a fun one. It’s elegant yet utterly practical. It shines by pairing that wow factor with an unassumingly dependability.
It’s the gem nestled at the bottom of a menu at a trendy, upscale splurge restaurant (one of those $$$$ on Yelp), a consolation vegetable dish relegated to the ‘unfortunate’ herbivores who happened to be dragged along. Well.
Are they in for a treat.
Beyond the passion project of my baking addiction that drives the dessert recipes that make up the majority of this blog, I need to have some quick, veggie-heavy delicious meals in my back pocket.
Because when dinnertimes rolls around for my mom and me, Trader Joe’s(be still my beating heart) frozen meals should only be eaten so many times a week.
I’ve been having my own share of health challenges, so the time I can spend on my feet in the kitchen is pretty limited. This usually means sacrificing delicious nutritious whole food meals, so recipes like this make all the difference!
I have two very powerful testimonies to provide for this recipe:
- My mom ACTUALLY ATE IT. And SMILED. AFTER EATING A VEGETABLE. SHE ENJOYED EATING A VEGETABLE. If this isn’t sorcery, I don’t know what is
- My beloved Christine came over while I was testing the recipe and I gave her a bowl of this to hold and smile so I could take a picture of a human (and a beautiful one at that!) enjoying one of my recipes. We were going to do the shoot outside, so I brought her the bowl on my terrace, went inside to get my cameras/any props I’d need/etc, and when I came back… it was gone.
“It’s not my fault. Actually, it’s yours.”
“Because it was delicious! I had to finish it…”
Can’t argue with that.
I do have a picture of her holding the bowl and smiling, but I managed to misplace it. Leave it to me to lose a digital file.
I got the old band back together in terms of components for this recipe. I’m always looking for reasons to whip up my oldie-but-goodie oil-free avocado pesto.
But no more of that. I’m back in style.
One thing to note though! When making the cauliflower, make sure all of the broth is completely absorbed before the “rice” goes anywhere near the pesto. Soggy pesto is for the birds.
Keep cooking until the cauliflower is somewhat browned. Like so:
This will maximize a slightly caramelized (think: the glory of caramelized onions) flavor in the cauliflower.
Also it helps keep the integrity of the rice-like texture once you stir in the pesto. Highly recommended.
1 small onion (28) + 3 garlic cloves (12) + 1 pound cauliflower (115) + 1/2 large avocado (161) / 3 = 105 calories per serving
1 small onion (6g) + 3 garlic cloves (3g) + 1 pound cauliflower (11g) + 1/2 large avocado (3g) / 3 = 8g net carbs per serving
1 small onion (1g) + 3 garlic cloves (0g) + 1 pound cauliflower (11g) + 1/2 large avocado (2g) / 3 = 5g protein per serving
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound cauliflower, processed into rice (I use the cauliflower rice from Trader Joe's)
- 2 cups veggie broth
- ½ large avocado, mashed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- salt, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons almond milk, if needed
- Add the diced onion to a large greased skillet over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just starting to brown, about three minutes. Add in minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add in cauliflower and stir until completed combined.
- Pour in 1 cup of the vegetable broth and stir until combined. Stirring occasionally, cook until the cauliflower has completely absorbed the veggie broth. Then, deglaze the skillet with ½ cup of the veggie broth and cook until the cauliflower has absorbed the broth. Deglaze again with the remaining ½ cup broth and cook until the cauliflower has absorbed the broth.
- In a food processor, puree the mashed avocado and lemon juice. Add in minced garlic and basil and blend until smooth. Be patient as this could as this could take a bit, but you will be rewarded with super smooth and creamy pesto. If the pesto seems too thick, you can add a tablespoon of almond milk to thin it about a little.
- Once the cauliflower has fully absorbed all the broth and is starting to brown, stir in the pesto. Cook for a few more minutes until thoroughly heated and uniform. Serve and devour.
More avocado favorites: