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Basil Beef and Cauliflower Rice Bowls

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Fresh Thai-inspired flavors combine in Basil Beef and Cauliflower Rice Bowls, a simple, gluten- and grain-free weeknight recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Diet Gluten Free
Keyword basil, cauliflower rice, ground beef
Prep Time 10 d
Cook Time 20 d
Total Time 30 d
Servings 1
Calories 679


For the Beef

  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil or other neutral flavored oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced or finely grated
  • 1 pound lean ground beef grass-fed if possible
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from about 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil

For the Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other neutral flavored oil
  • 1 head medium cauliflower riced*
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lime zested and juiced

For the Quick Pickled Carrots

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice from about 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large carrots shredded or grated
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • Hot sauce optional


  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently until lightly golden brown.
  • Add the beef, stirring to break into chunks. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and just cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Turn the heat to low, then add 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey and the fish sauce, stirring to combine. Turn off the heat, then add the basil and stir again. Remove from beef mixture from the pan and set aside.
  • To the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower, ¼ teaspoon salt, and lime zest. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and lightly  browned, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, add 2 tablespoons lime juice, then stir to combine.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce for the Pickled Carrots by whisking together 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add the carrots and green onions, tossing to combine.
  • To make assemble, divide the cauliflower rice between 4 bowls. Top with the beef and Pickled Carrots. Top with hot sauce if you like.


*Make the cauliflower rice by cutting the cauliflower into large pieces. Pulse the pieces in a food processor into very small pieces, about the size of rice. Alternatively, grate the cauliflower using the large holes on a box grater.
If you don't feel like making the cauliflower rice, substitute cooked brown or white rice, or quinoa.
Look for fish sauce on the Asian or ethnic foods aisle of your grocery store, near the soy sauce. It adds a very distinctive Thai flavor, but if you don't want to buy a bottle, use 2-3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari in its place.
If you're feeding resistant eaters, pull aside some of the cooked ground beef prior to adding the fish sauce, honey, lime juice and basil, and serve it plain on the side of the cauliflower rice or regular rice.
Freshly grated carrots do a much better job of soaking up the quick pickling marinade, but if you don't have time, pre-crated carrots will also work.
Inspired by Shutterbean Thai Beef with Basil.


Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 102g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 281mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 2349mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 25596IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 13mg