Are you looking for a delicious dish that's also a healthy meal? Look no further than this easy recipe for Mediterranean Smokey Tomato Rice with Lemon Cauliflower. This versatile recipe is a great option for those on the go and looking for a flavorful and nourishing dish using simple ingredients!
I first attempted this recipe when I was looking for a way to incorporate more vegetables into my meals. I stumbled upon a head of cauliflower in the produce section of my local Trader Joe's grocery store. It was a game changer! If you've never tried cauliflower cooked with lemons before, it's a great recipe to start with.
- Arborio rice
- Vegan Bacon THRILLINGFOODS
- Tomato Paste
- Olive oil
- Vegan Sour Cream
For the tomato rice, you'll need olive oil, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and fresh herbs like fresh basil and fresh parsley. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the cut up Vegan Bacon, tomato sauce and tomato paste, and let it simmer until it thickens. Then, stir in the cauliflower rice and let it cook until it's tender.
The lemon cauliflower is a perfect side dish to the tomato rice. Start by heating some olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until they're golden brown. Then, add some lemon juice, lemon zest, and sea salt. Cook until the cauliflower is tender and the flavors have melded together.
- Cauliflower: If you're not a fan of cauliflower, you can use broccoli or even any vegetable you may have.
- Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste: If you don't have these, you can use diced tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes. Just cook them down until they become saucy.
- Fresh Herbs: If you don't have fresh basil and parsley, you can use dried herbs. Just remember that dried herbs are more potent, so use less.
- Lemon: If you don't have fresh lemons, you can use bottled lemon juice. The zest can be omitted or replaced with a bit of lemon extract for flavor.
- Olive Oil: You can use any other neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil.
- Vegan Sour cream: you may use vegan mayo or vegan yogurt.
Remember, substitutions can slightly alter the taste and texture of the dish, but it will still be delicious!
- Protein-Packed Version: Add some cooked chickpeas or lentils to the tomato rice for extra protein. If you're not vegan, you can also add some grilled chicken or shrimp.
- Greek Version: Add some Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and a sprinkle of oregano to give this dish a Greek twist.
- Spicy Version: Add some red pepper flakes or chopped jalapenos to the tomato sauce for a spicy kick.
- Veggie-Packed Version: Add some diced bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach to the tomato sauce for extra veggies.
- Cheesy Version: Stir in some grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese to the tomato rice for a cheesy twist. Baby spinach is a great addition. Sprinkle crushed pine nuts for extra creaminess.
- Curry Version: Add some curry powder to the tomato sauce and replace the lemon with lime in the cauliflower for a curry-flavored version.
Remember, the best part about cooking is making a recipe your own, so feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors!
Mediterranean Tomato Rice with Lemon Cauliflower
- - 1 cup Arborio rice
- - 1 bell pepper diced
- - 1 onion diced
- - 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- - 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or a mix of dried basil, oregano, and thyme
- - 2 lemons
- - 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
- - 2 tablespoons olive oil
- - ½ cup vegan sour cream
- Start by making the tomato rice. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and bell pepper and vegan bacon! and sauté until they are soft and the onion is translucent.
- Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and stir until the rice is well coated in the oil and has a slightly toasted aroma.
- Stir in the tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Cook for another minute until the tomato paste is well incorporated.
- Slowly add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth to the skillet, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let the rice simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare the lemon cauliflower. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until they are golden brown and slightly charred.
- Cut one of the lemons into thin slices and add them to the skillet with the cauliflower. Squeeze the juice from the second lemon over the cauliflower. Continue to cook until the lemon slices are charred and the cauliflower is tender.
- Once the rice and cauliflower are done, serve them together in a bowl. Top the dish with a dollop of vegan sour cream.
- Enjoy your Mediterranean Tomato Rice with Lemon Cauliflower!
- This dish is a flavorful and healthy meal that's perfect for a weeknight dinner. The creamy tomato rice pairs perfectly with the tangy and slightly charred lemon cauliflower. Plus, it's vegan and can be made in under an hour!