January is the time of year to clean up our eating, ease up on our digestion system and undo some of that holiday heaviness. Clean doesn’t mean flavorless. Let me say that again: clean doesn’t mean flavorless. It does mean you have to get creative, however.

Take a head of cauliflower, a very simple vegetable that can become a vessel to absorb other flavors. It’s great to thicken soups and even make a cheesy sauce out of. Today we are letting the cauliflower come alive with the addition of dried apricots for sweetness and toasted almonds for crunch.

It’s so simple yet so satisfying and delicious. Perfect on its own or serve it as a backdrop with grilled meats or a Moroccan tagine. Eat up, be delicious and get happy with no deprivation. The best part that you could use this happy healthy recipe year round!

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Cauliflower Rice with Middle Eastern Flare

  • 1 medium size cauliflower
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • fresh black pepper to taste

Chop the cauliflower into very small pieces, you can also use a food processor to pulse the cauliflower into crumbles.

In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, chopped apricots, toasted almonds and parsley.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until they are golden brown, tossing often. Add the crumbled cauliflower and salt and cook for 5 more minutes, again tossing often. The cauliflower should get a little toasted in some areas.

Turn off the heat, add in the lemon-apricot mixture and toss well to combine. Add a few turns of fresh black pepper. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.

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Happy Eats Healthy Tips: While cauliflower isn’t a “rainbow” color, it’s still highly nutritious. It’s high in fiber and water content, helping to maintain a healthy digestive tract and helps to improve calcium absorption for strong bones through vitamin k.

For more recipes, go to Monique’s blog: FatandHappyBlog.com and Monique’s new site,HappyEatsHealthy.com

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