Eggplant Cauliflower Dirty “Rice” satisfies cravings for both carb and zest, while actually being a low-carb, plant-based meal!
Dirty Rice is a traditional Cajun / Creole dish that takes white rice and combines it with sautéed vegetables, spices, and chicken livers or giblets (Yuck! Even when I wasn’t eating a plant-based diet, organ meat never sounded enticing). The latter is the part that brings the “dirty” look to the rice dish and how it gets its name. I am aware that Cajun and Creole are different: Cajun is considered to be “country food”, Creole is considered “city food”. I am way out of my depth in terms of understanding the characteristics that differentiate one from the other — and apparently so are a lot of other people! I spent a lot of time trying to research the difference between the two just to identify the proper label for my dish, and it was really a zero-sum gain. So Cajun / Creole it is! That is until I can find someone who lives or has lived in that area that can give me a legit education on the fundamentals of this fabulous cuisine.
It’s winter in my parts. With winter comes cravings for comfort food — like carbs and spices! Well, that’s what comforts me when the temperatures are reaching the single digits and I have no escape plan. Really, I just want to feel like I am carb loading. I don’t actually want to fill my body with too much carbohydrate and suffer the inevitable consequences. I have discovered that cauliflower is a great substitute for white rice. Not only is it a great match-up in terms of flavor and texture but also kaboom: a nutrient explosion! (To see all of the great benefits of this new rock star in the world of nutrition hop on over to my post for vegan Cauliflower “Egg” Salad.) I roasted eggplant with some of the seasonings that are traditionally present in most sausages and it makes a great plant-based substitute for the “dirty” or meat based part of the dish. Roast your eggplant while you are chopping and sautéing your veggies, mix it all together and dig in to a meal that won’t fail to satisfy. One of my favorite things about this dish is the flexibility it offers in terms of heat or spiciness. I know many people who either don’t like spicy hot food, or they simply can’t eat it. Because many of the seasonings are not zesty, you can add less of the spicy ones and still be true to the flavor of the dish. Either way, you are gonna love this.
Enough chatter. Let’s get cookin’!
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