ok. So yeah, I am constantly either eating or thinking about eating. I feel like how I imagine it is to be a guy thinking about sex: I get really intense cravings that completely take over my mind until I satisfy them or get distracted by a different craving. Sometimes all I can think about is meat. Sometimes this happens at really inconvenient times like in the middle of a meeting or during yoga (I feel like thinking about meat during yoga is particularly offensive for some reason). Sometimes I daydream about cake. I don't really like cake - or sweets for that matter - yet I find myself actually salivating at the thought of a large moist (yes I used the word moist) hunk of chocolate cake. Point is, of the many things that compete for my attention on a daily basis food has become the undisputed winner. However, instead of eating more I am trying to eat smarter. I am not fully paleo but I do try to avoid preservatives and minimize wheat and dairy. I have several websites and cookbooks that are my go-to when meal planning and sometimes I hack together a meal from many different sources. Here is such a recipe that was kind of an accident but turned out to be the most delicious thing I've made in a while. I am calling it: A Small Taste of Heaven It is part salad, part paleo, part fried chicken, part ambiguous Asian and all delicious.
Coconut Cauliflower Rice Salad with Crispy Chicken and Thai Chili Sauce (A Small Taste of Heaven)
- Serves 6-8
- Time: 45 minutes
For the Coconut Cauliflower Rice (adapted from Well Fed 2)
- 1 large cauliflower head
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardomom
- 3/4 canned coconut milk
- salt and black ground pepper to taste
1) Break up the cauliflower and pulse in a food processor until it looks like rice. Be careful not to over pulse it.
2) Heat up the coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet at medium-high heat for about 3 minutes and add in the ground cardamom. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3) Add the cauliflower and coconut milk stirring them to combine. Simmer / sautee the cauliflower for about 10-12 minutes. At first it will look like a wet mushy mess but you must have patience. Eventually, the coconut milk will absorb and the cauliflower will dry out a bit.
4) Once it is finished set aside.
For the Salad
- While your cauliflower is cooking you can start to assemble the salad ingredients:
- 1 head of purple cabbage, shredded
- 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 8 cups of baby spinach
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 1 cup of chopped cilantro
- a cup of cashews, finely chopped
Combine them all in a large bowl.
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce (you can either use store bought one or make a preservative free big batch of your own like I do. I like this recipe)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon say sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (~1 lime)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (can use almond butter too)
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 teaspoons ginger, grated
Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer for a couple minutes until the peanut butter is melted and the dressing is smooth. remove from heat and set aside.
For the Chicken (From Nom Nom Paleo)
For more detailed instructions and lots of process photos check out the link
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (approximately 4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 2 teaspoons seasoning blend of choice (optional)
1) De-bone your chicken thighs with a pair of kitchen shears. (I buy bone in skin on thighs because they are cheaper, and the skin is as essential part of this recipe. You can freeze the bones to save them for a chicken stock once you have enough)
2) Rinse and dry the chicken thighs and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
3) Heat up the ghee (or sunflower oil or butter) over medium high heat and add the chicken thighs skin side down once it is hot
4) Let the chicken cook undisturbed for 7-10 minutes - until the skin is crispy golden brown. During this time you can combine the salad with the coconut cauliflower rice and dressing. Toss it all together so it is well mixed and pile it onto plates
5) When the skin is crispy and golden brown you can turn them over with tongs. Cook for about 3 more minutes until it is cooked through.
6) Remove chicken from pan and let it sit for a couple minutes on a plate. You can either slice it and serve it on to of the salad or serve each thigh whole on top of the salad.
The crispy skin gives a bit of crunch, the cauliflower rice adds creamy flavor and texture, the salad is super fresh and the dressing adds a little punch of heat and flavor. We made this on Monday night and devoured it!