cauliflower rice “paella”

This is not a paella by any stretch of the Spanish imagination, as it is clearly missing its integral rice component. To call it by any other name, however, and I couldn’t convey how it tastes nearly as good.

(Let it be noted, however, that it is in fact primal/paleo/keto friendly/low carb/gluten free/dairy free, but don’t let that put you off)

Evidently, it’s not all treats around here. I’ve subbed out rice for cauliflower – one of my favourite, fart-stench-creating-to-prepare low carb substitutes. I absolutely love the taste of rice – to the point where I have previously claimed it to be one of my favourite carbohydrates, but thankfully with the caramelised prawns and spicy chorizo to contend with, I don’t miss it here. It even reheats beautifully – however there was certainly none left when I served this to my parents while I was home for the weekend.

I think this dish is a beautiful combination of flavours using ingredients that most people would have either on hand, or handy to have in the pantry anyway! It reheats well and would be just as marvellously simple made in large batches. Food processors are absolute lifesavers here when it comes to ricing cauliflower, but if you don’t have one, it would be worth the effort to grate the florets, I promise.

Also, I absolutely love food vocabulary, and through my research into creating this wee dish, I discovered the beautiful word that is “sofrito”, describing the flavour base for the dish (onions, garlic, red pepper). See also: mirepoix (France), soffrito (Italy) and discover the foundation for creating elegant, tasty, traditional food.



  • 1 head cauliflower, riced in either a food processor or hand grated
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper (capsicum) diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, freshly crushed (or 4-5 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 200g chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 300g raw prawns
  • 250g chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 large handfuls parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large fry pan over high heat, heat the olive oil until sizzling. Add the prawns, season with salt and cook on each side until just caramelised. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. In the same oil, fry the chorizo until crisping up and turning brown, infusing the oil with its delicious flavours. Remove from the oil and set aside with the prawns.
  3. Make the sofrito by lowering the heat to medium and frying the onion, pepper, garlic and paprika. Stir frequently until the onion is becoming translucent and soft, around 5 minutes. Add the chicken and continue to cook until just cooked.
  4. Add the cauliflower, chicken stock, lemon juice, cooked prawns and chorizo and stir to combine. The cauliflower will take very little time to cook, and should start to soften and be warmed through within 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir through most of the parsley, leaving a little for sprinkling on serving.
  5. Leave to cool slightly just before serving – this actually tastes best at a slightly lukewarm temperature.

Serves 3 people.


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