Mujadara with Cauliflower Rice: The Keto Version For Mujadara

Keto Recipes

Mujadara with cauliflower rice
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Mujadara with cauliflower rice is a delicious and healthy twist on the traditional Middle Eastern dish, which typically consists of rice, lentils, and caramelized onions. By swapping out the rice for cauliflower rice, this version is lower in carbs and higher in fiber and nutrients.

To make this dish, you’ll need a few key ingredients, including olive oil, garlic, onion, cauliflower rice, cooked lentils, and a blend of spices like cumin and cinnamon. I like to top mine with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh herbs like mint and parsley. If you like a little heat, you can also add some crushed red pepper flakes for extra flavor.

What Is Mujadara?

Mujadara is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is made with lentils, rice, and caramelized onions. It is a popular dish in many countries, including Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Mujadara is a simple yet flavorful dish that is easy to make and is often served as a main course.

History of Mujadara

Mujadara has a long history that dates back to ancient times. It is believed that the dish originated in Mesopotamia, which is now modern-day Iraq. The dish was popular among the poor as it was made with simple, inexpensive ingredients that were readily available.

Over time, the dish spread throughout the Middle East and became a staple in many households. Today, there are many variations of mujadara, each with its unique twist.

Cauliflower Rice Variation

For those who are looking for a low-carb (keto) alternative to traditional mujadara, cauliflower rice is a great option. Cauliflower rice is made by grating cauliflower into small pieces that resemble rice. It is a healthy and delicious alternative that is perfect for those who are watching their carb intake.

To make cauliflower rice mujadara, simply substitute the rice with cauliflower rice and cook it in the same way as traditional mujadara. The result is a flavorful and healthy dish that is sure to impress.

Nutritional Benefits

Health Benefits of Lentils

Lentils are a staple ingredient in mujadara, and they offer several health benefits. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, making them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. Lentils are also rich in iron, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood cells and preventing anemia.

In addition, lentils are low in fat and calories, making them an excellent choice for weight management. They also contain several essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium, and magnesium.

Cauliflower Rice vs. White Rice

Cauliflower rice is a popular alternative to white rice, and for good reason. It is low in calories and carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for those watching their weight or following the keto diet. Cauliflower rice is also rich in fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion and can reduce the risk of certain diseases.

On the other hand, white rice is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, which can cause blood sugar spikes and leave you feeling hungry soon after eating. It also lacks the vitamins and minerals found in cauliflower rice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 thinly sliced large yellow onion
  • 2 cups of cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups of cooked green or brown lentils
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Plain Greek/coconut yogurt
  • Chopped fresh mint and parsley for topping
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

How to Make Mujadara with Cauliflower Rice?

  1. Warm some oil in a big skillet on medium heat. When it’s ready, toss in garlic and onions, and cover. Cook the onions until they’re soft and turn dark brown, about 20-30 minutes. Then, add cinnamon, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  2. Then, reduce the heat and put cauliflower rice in the skillet. Cook it until it’s soft, which usually takes about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the cooked lentils, cauliflower rice, and onions in a large dish.
  4. Serve it either warm or at room temperature. Top it with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes if desired, and fresh mint and parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Garnishes and Toppings

One of the best things about this mujadara is that it’s incredibly versatile. You can add a variety of garnishes and toppings to this dish to give it a unique flavor profile. Some of my favorite garnishes include:

  • Fresh herbs: cilantro, parsley, and mint are all great options.
  • Sliced avocado: this adds a creamy texture and a boost of healthy fats.
  • Toasted nuts: almonds, pine nuts, and cashews all work well.
  • Pickled veggies: pickled red onions, carrots, or radishes add a tangy crunch.

Pairing with Sides

This is a hearty and filling dish, but it also pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are a few ideas:

  • Roasted veggies: roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots are all great options.
  • Salad: a simple green salad with a lemon vinaigrette is a refreshing complement to the warm and savory mujadara.
  • Hummus and pita: if you’re looking for a more substantial meal, serve the mujadara with some hummus and warm pita bread.
  • Roasted chicken: if you’re a meat-eater, roasted chicken is a great protein source that pairs well with the flavors of the mujadara.

Storage and Reheating

Refrigeration Tips

To keep your mujadara fresh, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should stay good for up to 3-4 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to reheat it, make sure to take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before reheating it. This will help it heat up more evenly.

Best Reheating Practices

  • Microwave: Put your mujadara in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave it for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through.
  • Stovetop: Heat a small amount of oil or water in a pan over medium heat. Add your mujadara and stir occasionally until it’s heated through.
  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Put your mujadara in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Bake it for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s heated through.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t overcook the cauliflower rice: Overcooked cauliflower rice can become mushy and lose its texture. To avoid this, cook the cauliflower rice for only a few minutes until it is tender but still firm.
  • Don’t skimp on the spices: Mujadara is a flavorful dish that relies on a combination of spices to give it its unique taste. Make sure to use a good quality spice blend and don’t be afraid to add more spices to suit your taste.
  • Don’t forget the caramelized onions: Caramelized onions are a key ingredient in mujadara and add a sweet and savory flavor to the dish. Take the time to properly caramelize the onions to bring out their full flavor.
  • Don’t add too much liquid: Adding too much liquid can make the dish watery and dilute the flavors. Be sure to follow the recipe carefully and add only the recommended amount of liquid.

Variations of the Dish

Adding Proteins

While mujadara is already a protein-packed dish, sometimes I like to add even more protein to make it a heartier meal. Here are some options:

  • Chicken: Cook up some chicken breast and serve it on top of the mujadara. You could also marinate the chicken in Middle Eastern spices like cumin and coriander for extra flavor.
  • Lamb: If you’re feeling fancy, try adding some lamb to the dish. Ground lamb works well, but you could also use lamb chops or even shredded lamb.
  • Chickpeas: For a vegetarian option, add some chickpeas to the mujadara. They’ll add a nice texture and flavor to the dish.

Conclusion

I hope this recipe for mujadara with cauliflower rice has inspired you to try something new in the kitchen. It’s a delicious and healthy twist on a classic Middle Eastern dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

By using cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice, you’re able to cut down on carbs and calories without sacrificing flavor. Plus, the addition of lentils and caramelized onions adds a satisfying texture and depth of flavor.

Overall, this dish is a great option for anyone looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover cauliflower rice you may have on hand.

I encourage you to give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and herbs to make it your own. Enjoy!

As already mentioned, for a heartier meal you can add hummus with shawarma.
Get this recipe now (by clicking the image below):
hummus with shawarma


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