10-Minute Riced Cauli & Kimchi: a Summer Obsession

If lite, nutritious, colorful, and filling is your jam, this dish–warm or cold–is ready to devour in 10 minutes…you’re welcome! Plus the texture contrasts and bursts of layered flavors makes this “throw together” exciting to eat and share.

I can eat an entire recipe when famished, but it should serve two. I doubled the recipe for a luncheon with a pair of dear friends yesterday–they are retired and I am on summer break–and we had one serving left over (which will be my lunch today).

To my delight–and surprise in one case–they both asked for the recipe.

I hope you will enjoy this dish often this summer as I already have! When I dreamed it up while trying to devise a dish to go with my husband’s bulgogi for an upcoming supper club party, it quickly became my go-to.



10 ounces frozen riced cauliflower, steamed in the bag in the microwave for 5 to 6 minutes, according to directions

2.5 ounces baby spinach, wilted for about two minutes in bowl in microwave

2 tablespoons non-dairy cream cheese, flavored or not (I use Tofutti “Smoke”)

1/2 cup mild kimchi with vegetables (I use Cleveland brand from Harris Teeter; in Eastern VA and NC, it is in the cold case in the produce section where vegan items hang out)

1 tablespoon chili crisp (more or less to taste)

Garnishes: Peanuts, sliced scallions, sesame seeds–I like “tuxedo” (black & white mixed)–and optional carrot chip

Stir together cauli and spinach with cream cheese until melted. Stir in kimchi and chili crisp, reheat if necessary, or chill, and serve garnished as drsired.

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Cheesy Stovetop Mexican Rice with Spinach

Arriving home at 8 p.m. on Sunday night, and peckish after a (de-alcoholized) wine cruise on our new little boat, I whipped up this mouth watering comfort dish from pantry and fridge staples, including leftover rice from Chinese takeout. Supplementing with shredded cabbage creates a filling dish with fewer calories. This quick and easy dish packs a flavor and texture punch.

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 cup shredded cabbage

Approximately 4 lightly packed cups baby spinach

1-15.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (or your favorite chili powder)

1/4 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder (or, again, your favorite chili powder)

2 tablespoons vegan half-and-half (I like Silk or Ripple brand, but you can substitute vegan sour cream or cashew cream)

2 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese (I like mozzarella, but use your favorite or whatever you have on hand)

Garnishes: vegan sour cream, sliced green onions, halved cherry tomatoes, lime wedges, and peanuts or pumpkin seeds

In large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, bring 1/4 cup water to simmering. Add onion, salt, and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, for two or three minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cabbage and continue sauteing for another two or three minutes. Add spinach in two parts, allowing it to steam and shrink in size, folding it in to onion mixture. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Add rice and remaining spices, stirring and cooking to heat through. Stir in half-and-half and cheese until fully incorporated and hot throughout. Serve garnished as desired.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganMexicanrice #plantbasedMexicanrice

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Creamy Lemony Riced Cauliflower Risotto (low-calorie, vegan & plant-based)

Yield: serves four as a side dish, two as a main dish

I love anything creamy, particularly if it also has a little bit of texture and layers of flavor. But I am quite a calorie counter and avid exerciser, so the wide availability of riced cauliflower and the fairly new availability in our area of Silk brand half-and-half inspired this dish. That and a powerful appetite on this Father’s Day Sunday at midday. This dish is filling, but light and bright, quick, easy, and so pretty,. Just perfection.

2 cups water, divided

1 small onion finely chopped

1 vegetable bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon vegetable base

1 bulb roasted garlic or two to three cloves raw garlic, minced

10 ounces riced cauliflower

Zest of 1 small lemon

1/4 cup Silk brand vegan unsweetened half-and-half (Ripple brand is nice too, but if you can’t find either or another brand of unsweetened vegan half and half, use coconut milk)

1/4 cup shredded vegan mozzarella

2 tablespoons vegan Parmesan

Garnishes: minced parsley, slivered almonds, toasted or not, a few nutritional yeast flakes or vegan parmesan shreds, fresh lemon slices, wedges, or more zest (in the photo, I used nutritional yeast flakes, parsley, and toasted slivered almonds)

In a large iron skillet over medium-high, bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer, add onion, and sauté/simmer until virtually all water is evaporated. Add remaining water, bouillon cube, garlic, and cauliflower, and simmer, stirring frequently, until virtually all of water is once again evaporated. Add remaining ingredients, lower heat if necessary, and stir until cheeses are melted and all ingredients are fully incorporated. Serve immediately topped with the garnishes of your choice.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganrisotto #plantbasedrisotto

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Quick & Easy Rice Cakes (vegan and plant-based)

The trick with vegan or plant-based skillet-fried cakes, fritters, and even burgers, is how to get them to hold together without a lot of breading or filler.

These rice cakes, made with leftover cooked rice, hold together beautifully with just a flax egg and cornstarch.

They are ready to devour in minutes with the topping of your choice or by themselves because they are quite tasty.

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup leftover cooked rice

1 green onion, green part only, thinly sliced or snipped with scissors

In a medium bowl, whisk together flaxseed meal and water. Set aside for just a few minutes until it thickens, whisking occasionally. Whisk in cornstarch, sea salt, and onion powder. Then stir in rice and green onion with a fork. Heat a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray over medium to medium high heat. Divide mixture into four even mounds, pressing into a disc about 1/4-inch thick. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side or until golden brown, adjusting heat if necessary. Serve alone or topped as desired.

#veganricecakes #plantbasedricecakes #vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Thai Savory “Rice” Pudding













Yield: 6 Servings

Calories: app 217/serving without cashew garnish  (app. 1,300 for entire recipe)

I love rice as much as the next gal.  BUT, it contains far more calories and starch than I can justify in my 1,500-1,800 calorie daily diet.  Thank goodness that someone far smarter than me started the “riced” cauliflower movement.  I love all of the “riced” vegetables and even made a previous version of this dish with a combination of them, but I wanted the lighter color and more pure flavor of the cauliflower by itself.  I would have loved for the dish to be even more white in color, but cauliflower turns slightly yellowish when cooked.  But it is still beautiful, nutritious, and delicious.

I think I got it just right and hope you agree.

10 ounces cauliflower florets, steamed until tender (I steam it in the microwave for about 4 minutes on high)

1 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup vegan fish sauce (sold as “vegetarian” in Asian Markets or you can make your own)

1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided (you can substitute any vegetable oil, BUT this dish made with coconut oil is indescribably more flavorful, as I tried it both ways)

1 pound riced cauliflower (I’m always in a rush, so I purchase it, but you can make your own by mincing cauliflower in the food processor until it reaches the texture of rice)

1/4 cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips and then 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup fresh peas or frozen peas thawed

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Garnish: roasted and lightly salted cashew halves and pieces; sprigs of Thai basil, mint, and/or cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a shallow casserole dish, about 9 x 13″, with 1 teaspoon coconut oil.  In a food processor, puree cooked cauliflower.  Add coconut milk, cornstarch, and fish sauce and puree again until smooth.  In a large skillet, heat approximately 1 teaspoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add riced cauliflower and gently saute, stirring frequently, until tender.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Return skillet to heat and melt remaining teaspoon of coconut oil.  Add bell pepper and onion and saute, stirring, until they lose some of their crispness.  Add mushrooms and cook until moisture is released and evaporated.  Add peas, garlic, and soy sauce and saute, stirring, just until peas are heated through.  Add veggie mixture to the bowl of riced cauliflower and pour the pureed cauliflower-coconut mixture over the top.  Stir to combine thoroughly and transfer to prepared casserole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until top is firm.  Serve topped with a few cashews and sprigs of Thai basil, mint, or cilantro.



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Creamy Vegan Green Chili Rice Casserole (my first “commissioned” recipe–thanks Tofutti!)

Green Chili Rice CasseroleI have some exciting news that I haven’t been able to share until now because I’ve had to be so neglectful of The Blooming Platter since just before Valentine’s Day.

Though it and you are never far from my mind, our school district decided we would make up snow days on three Saturdays, with the first one being February 15.  I made sure my students and I had a great day–they are the best!–but that full day of school on the weekend created a domino effect of scrambling to re-prioritize.  Not only did I host a Valentine’s dinner party that night–with a different (but delicious) menu than I’d originally planned since I had only a few hours to get it all together–but three major freelance writing projects to juggle this past week.  I am NOT complaining–I feel very grateful–but I am explaining why even my Blooming Platter Facebook page sent a message saying basically, “Hey, where are you?”

Here’s the news:  recently, the good folks atTofutti hired me to develop a recipe made with one of their products!  They explained that, unlike with my other guest posts/recipes on their sites, my name wouldn’t appear with it, as they would own it, but that was fine with me.  I am just happy for them to share this tasty and easy recipe with their customers/readers.  

After scanning their recipe files, they determined that they were a little low on rice dishes.  I actually don’t make, order out, or even eat many rice “dishes,” though I serve and order Basmati rice with, say, Indian food or Jasmine rice with Thai.  But when I do prepare rice dishes, it has to be either a salad (like my Thai-inspired black rice salad) or something warm and creamy.  Since it is February, I chose the latter.  

Of the company’s products that are widely available in our area–namely Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream–I chose the former which, along with the rice, seemed the perfect match-up for something Mexican/Southwestern inspired.  These days, with time at a premium (see aforementioned Saturday School among other things), I also wanted something virtually hands-free.  After a lot of brainstorming. some research, and a little experimentation with cooking method and time, voila!, this Creamy Vegan Green Chili Rice Casserole was born.

Though this spicy side dish spends an hour in the oven–it is made with slower cooking brown rice–all of that time, except for uncovering it and a quick stir, is completely hands-free.

I would love it if you would visit the Tofutti site and “like” the recipe HERE though I’ve included it below.  Olé!

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup long grain brown rice

1-4 ounce can diced mild green chilies, drained (about 1/3 cup if you prefer to roast and dice your own chilies)

1/3 cup pitted, sliced black olives

1 cup diced tomatoes (or 1-10 ounce can diced tomatoes, plain or spicy, such as a lime and cilantro variety)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a 7 to 8-inch souffle dish or the equivalent and set aside.  Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and salt and saute, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.  Add garlic and saute, stirring, for another minute.  Add rice and cook, stirring very frequently, for 3 minutes or until rice begins to turn golden brown.  Lower heat if cooking too quickly.  Add green chilies, olives, and tomatoes, stir to combine and heat through.  Add Better Than Cream Cheese, nutritional yeast, cumin, and crumbled bouillon cube.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and completely incorporated; then stir in water until completely incorporated.  Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake, covered, for 30 minutes.  Remove cover and cook an additional 30 minutes, stirring well halfway through.  Serve immediately as a side dish.  It is also delicious as a filling for stuffed bell peppers.

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Countdown to Thanksgiving–Day 7: Vegan Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole

Acorn-Squash-Stuffed-with-Brown-Rice-and-Greens-Stovetop-Casserole-496x600For the next week leading up to my favorite holiday of the year–a feast that embodies the grateful life–I am going to post some of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, one per day.

My hope is that you might find them to be perfect embodiments of how much we have to be thankful for.

This recipe for acorn squash stuffed with a creamy stovetop rice-and-greens casserole seems to be a favorite of the generous folks on Pinterest, and is so lovely–presented in it’s own edible bowl–that it could easily be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal.  But whether your serve it as an entree or one of the many sides that seem to characterize this holiday, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

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Vegan Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Brown Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole

Yield: 4 servings

[Funny note about this photo:  this post published before I was ready–not sure what key I inadvertently hit–so, since I couldn’t figure out how to revert it to a “draft,” I had to photograph the dish in the midst of Hurricane Sandy as I never post without a photo!  It’s pretty overcast outside, rainy, and chilly–too dark to photograph inside where I normally do–so still in my PJs, I dashed outside into the drizzle and wind to snag a pretty fall leaf for color, and then stood in the blustery doorway for some daylight, holding the squash aloft, and hoping the photography gods were on my side.   I guess it turned out respectably, no?]

Note: though filling acorn squash with this casserole makes for a beautiful presentation and a fun dining experience, the casserole is plenty tasty enough to simply serve in a gratin dish or bowl. 

I seem to be on a roll with humble beginnings lately.  This tasty and comforting dish–simple but pretty enough for company–was inspired by acorn squash that I had cooked a few days ago, but never eaten.  I had been planning to stuff them, but couldn’t decide with what.  But then, my husband and I went to dinner at Yard House in VA Beach for date night last Wednesday.  Neither of us are big starch eaters, so when he left his rice virtually uneaten on his plate, I asked the server to wrap it up along with all of the left-over greens from my very dull salad.  (I had eaten the cucumber and shredded carrots off of it, but that was about all–thank goodness for the very tasty hummus appetizer!)

So, absolutely starving yesterday after my morning yoga class, I remembered all of these ingredients, along with the coconut milk in the fridge leftover from my Spicy Vegan “Beef,” Zucchini, and Pumpkin Chili).  And, in just a few minutes, this mouth-watering dish was born.  It doesn’t have a lot of protein, yet it is filling.  So, I would probably enjoy it with a glass of soymilk and call it a meal.

2 acorn squash (about 1 pound each), cut in half horizontally, seeds and membrane removed with a spoon

1 tablespoon olive oil + additional for oiling baking dish and basting squash

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Sea salt

4 large cloves of garlic, minced

4 cups mixed greens, large leaves torn if necessary (e.g. baby spinach, arugula, etc.)

Approximately 1/2 cup coconut milk (or other vegan creamer with a low sugar content)

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice

Garnish: approximately 12 smoked almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.  Place squash halves, cut side up, in a roasting pan.  Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle very lightly with sea salt.  Roast in the center of the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender, yet still firm enough to hold its shape.

After about 30 minutes of roasting, begin casserole.  In a large skillet (cast iron is always be preference), heat tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering.  Add onion and a pinch of salt, and saute, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes or until onion is softened.  Add garlic and saute, stirring, another 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add greens and saute, stirring, until wilted, but still bright green, about 2  minutes or so.  Stir  in coconut milk, black pepper, and cooked rice.  Check for salt and stir in more if necessary.  Continue cooking, lowering heat if necessary, until flavors marry and mixture is heated through.  Add additional coconut milk if necessary to reach desired consistency, which should be quite thick, like an oven-baked casserole.  When squash has finished cooking, fill each half with one-fourth of the casserole.  Garnish each with 3 smoked almonds and serve immediately.

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My Vegan Bangkok Black Rice Salad with Fresh Peach is Published by One Green Planet (This is NOT the rice salad of days gone by!)

Somewhere, there is a juicy summer peach out there just waiting for you to make this gloriously colorful and breathtakingly flavorful salad.

Find my surprisingly simple recipe at One Green Planet.

Don’t keep that peach waiting!


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