Cauliflower Rice Salad

November 25, 2014

This cauliflower rice salad with herbs, walnuts, and apricots is vegan and gluten-free. This simple salad is light and has a delightful fresh flavor.

This cauliflower rice salad with herbs, walnuts, and apricots is vegan and gluten-free. This simple salad is light and has a delightful fresh flavor.

I got the recipe for this cauliflower rice salad from The Grain-Free Family Table  Carrie Vitt, who runs the Deliciously Organic blog sharing grain-free and paleo recipes using whole foods ingredients.

I was so inspired by Carrie’s story of how she was able to reverse Hashimoto’s disease, chronic migraines, IBS, and eczema by going on an elimination diet, and transforming her health by eating a whole foods diet devoid of processed foods and grains. If you suffer from celiac disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, migraines, Hashimoto’s disease, or any other auto-immune diseases, you may find this book incredibly helpful.

My favorite recipe in the book is this cauliflower rice salad  because it’s such a wonderful example of a simple grain-free dish you can whip up in less than 20 minutes.

I absolutely love cauliflower rice. To make cauliflower rice you just chop up a whole head of cauliflower, discard the tough core, throw the chopped cauliflower into the food processor, and pulse a few times until it is the consistency of rice or couscous.

You can eat this “rice” raw (I love using it as a base for tabouli) lightly sauté it (like in this recipe) or roast it for 30 minutes on a baking tray in the oven at 375 degrees F.

With all of the hype about Paleo living, I should point out that Carrie does not follow a strict paleo diet. She follows a whole foods grain-free diet. What’s the difference? While a Gluten-Free diet omits wheat, barley, and rye, a Paleo diet omits all processed foods, grains, legumes, and dairy, a grain-free diet omits all grains and processed foods (including quinoa, corn, and rice) but still includes dairy and legumes. Grain-Free eating is a great place to start on a healthier journey because it isn’t as restrictive as Paleo and is also a very nourishing diet that is intended to help heal the system instead of simply taking out the offensive foods and never eating them again.

What’s great about this book, is that Carrie shares her years of experimentation which makes everything so much easier for anybody embarking on a Grain-Free Diet. Carrie starts by outlining the essential grain-free pantry ingredients: grain-free flours, oils and fats, milks, sweeteners, flavorings, and salt. I love that she is also a fan of Celtic Sea Salt. I can’t live without that stuff! You can also take a look at Carrie’s kitchen essentials.

But, what I find most helpful about this book is the how-to-adapt-recipes section, where Carrie guides you through adapting your favorite traditional recipes to be grain-free, and tips for how to eat out as a grain-free eater. I also really love the Grain-Free Basics section, with recipes for broth, nut butter, nut milk, sauerkraut, kombucha, cauliflower rice, cashew cheese, whipped coconut milk, coconut butter, homemade vanilla extract, grain-free baking powder, pie crust, bread, activated nuts and seeds, ketchup, and more.

Now, for those of you who are vegan (like me) this book contains a lot of animal products – meats, eggs, and dairy. However, there are quite a few recipes that are vegan or can be adapted to be vegan. Try the grain-free biscuits, quick chia seed strawberry jam, coconut, berry, and spinach smoothie (sans the 4 egg yolks), berries and mint, no-sugar added margarita, baby greens, avocado, red onion, and strawberry salad, arugula salad, citrus salad with shallots and pistachios (I used coconut nectar), sauteed bell peppers with chimichurri sauce, sweet buttered peas with orange and mint gremolata (I used vegan butter), roasted red onions, sauteed kale with raisins and walnuts (use plant-based oil), cauliflower steaks with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers, chia seed pudding, apricot pecan cookies (I used maple syrup and vegan butter), blackberry apple crisp (I used vegan butter and maple syrup), baked pears (use coconut oil and coconut cream), granola (use stevia or maple syrup), and banana maple ice pops. If you eat meat, there are a ton of great options.

What I love the most about this book is the sense of love and community that shines through. Having met Carrie, she is such a genuine person committed to her husband and children and that love forms the heart of this book. Could her two daughters be any more adorable? So gorgeous!

Get your copy of The Grain-Free Family Table and learn more about Carrie Vitt. 


Cauliflower Rice Salad

This cauliflower rice salad with herbs, walnuts, and apricots is vegan and gluten-free. This simple salad is light and has a delightful fresh flavor.

Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes
Servings 4 to 6
Author Tess Masters


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup  diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup chopped raw walnuts


  1. To make the cauliflower rice, put the cauliflower florets in a food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse until it has the consistency of couscous. Set aside. 
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, add the onion, and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the cauliflower rice, and stir for about 2 minutes until warmed.
  3. Transfer the onion and cauliflower mixture to a large salad bowl. Add the parsley, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, apricots, and walnuts. Toss well to combine and adjust the salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from The Grain-Free Family Table by Carrie Vitt copyright © 2014. 
Photo by Trent Lanz and styling by Alicia Buszczak


Comments 2

    1. Thanks for sharing that Ellen. My web team are working on improving the print function for the upgrade later this month, and this will improve.

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