Couscous is a funny food. Somehow it is thought of as healthy, kind of like quinoa (not saying quinoa is a superfood, but it’s certainly better than wonder bread…for some people). I can’t even count the number of times someone has said this exact phrase:
“We eat really healthy – lots of vegetables, salads, couscous etc.”
It really blows my mind! Why? Because couscous is pasta. That’s it. It’s made of durum semolina, which, according to Wikipedia, is the only tetraploid species of wheat of commercial importance that is widely cultivated today. Translation:
COUSCOUS = WHEAT
There are so many reasons why wheat is not good, but first and foremost is this: wheat (and gluten) causes Leaky Gut. If your gut is “leaky” your whole body is susceptible to all sorts of damage. This is the case even without an allergy or sensitivity! The good news is couscous is pretty darn tasteless on its own, the reason it’s delicious is it picks up the flavours you cook it with. So it is super easy to re-create the same type of feel, using a healthier food! Enter:
If you’ve been dabbling in the real-food, paleo, ancestral, WAP, primal, gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb or creative cooking world at all, you have probably come across a recipe for cauli-rice. I used it in my recipe for Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash a few months ago, but never gave it it’s own blog post. So today I bring you, cauli-couscous! Or more specifically:
Lemon Parsley Couscous
By simply chopping up a cauliflower into teeny pieces, you can mimic the feel of couscous, or rice for that matter, really easily. The best part is it sops up sauce or gravy like the real thing. Even better? It’s jam-packed with nutrients and full of insoluble fibre to feed the healthy gut bacteria, all while being low in carbohydrates so it won’t damage your insulin sensitivity, cause small intestinal bowel overgrowth or lead to fatigue!
1. Don’t over pulse the cauliflower. It should look like this:
2. Be liberal with your fat use! It really needs the fat to get the right taste and texture.
3. Similarly, be liberal with your use of sea salt.
4. It’s pretty hard to overcook this, but you definitely don’t want to undercook it. Better to get started earlier than planned, and if it’s done early, simply turn the heat down and cover until you’re ready to eat.
5. Serve with anything! This recipe goes great with middle eastern spices, like the Cracklin’ Pork Belly from Beyond Bacon.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 small onions
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp butter (or ghee, goat butter, lard)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- Heat a large pan over medium heat, add in butter or lard and olive oil.
- Meanwhile, in your food processor, mince garlic. Throw in onion, pulse until roughly chopped.
- Scrape into pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop your cauliflower into smaller pieces.
- Throw half into the food processor and pulse until it resembles couscous or rice.
- Toss into pan.
- Repeat with the second half of the cauliflower. Season liberally with sea salt.
- Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the "couscous" is done, remove from heat, stir in parsley and lemon zest.