Yield: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Ready in: 55 minutes
Why we love it:
Cauliflower is a trendy way to sneak veggies into your diet while reducing your carb intake and managing blood sugar due to its low glycemic index. Its time in the spotlight is well-deserved, but its benefits stretch well beyond the proverbial five minutes of fame.
Cauliflower is literally a powerhouse vegetable, according to the Centers for Disease Control, due to its concentrated heart-healthy benefits and nutrients. One cup of the cruciferous veggie delivers roughly 75% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, making it a top-10 source of the regenerative mineral; and it's packed with other antioxidants that help ward off cancer. It's also high in fiber, and with its low calorie content, you can feel good about filling up on cauliflower no matter what form it takes.
What you need:
1 pound chorizo sausage*
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
3 cups cauliflower rice, divided*
1 medium onion, diced
1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pinch salt
Ground black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup frozen peas
3 frozen tilapia fillets
*Cook's note: Use spicy Mexican chorizo. This provides a good amount of the flavor and seasoning to the dish, which is why there are small amounts of herbs used in this recipe. For cauliflower rice, either purchase as such or, to make your own, remove outer leaves from cauliflower, cut into florets (removing most of the thick core), and place in a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds or so, until cauliflower resembles fine rice. You may also grate the raw cauliflower on a coarse grater.
What you do:
1. Place paella pan or large flat-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Cook and crumble chorizo sausage, stirring to break up chunks, until browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add chicken. Cook and stir with sausage until chicken is no longer pink and is browned. Transfer chicken and sausage to a plate.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add 2 cups of cauliflower rice. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to brown the cauliflower slightly (this brings out a nutty flavor).
* Cook's note: When stir-frying the cauliflower rice, do not remove any of the grease in the pot left from the sausage and chicken. There shouldn't be much grease anyway, but what is left will help to harden the cauliflower into a nice, toasty crust very similar to the best part of traditional paella with rice, where the rice is seared and sticks to the bottom of the pan.
4. Add diced onion and bell pepper. Season with a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste. Add minced garlic. Cook 2 minutes longer.
5. Pour canned tomatoes into pan. Add bay leaves, thyme leaves, saffron and basil. Mix well.
6. Transfer sausage and chicken mixture back to pan. Add water, tomato paste and bouillon. Stir to combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 15 minutes.
7. Remove lid and fold in peas and remaining 1 cup of cauliflower rice. Place frozen tilapia fillets on top of the paella mixture, cover and steam for another 10 minutes.
8. Remove lid and check for doneness. Gently break apart fillets with wooden spoon,and stir to incorporate chunks of fish into paella. Serve from the pot at the table.