Miami and Her Flavors – Cilantro Lime Cauliflower “Couscous”

16 Jun

We moved to Miami in December of 2010. I graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work on a Sunday and we started our drive to Florida from Ann Arbor on the very next day. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d live in Miami or really any part of Florida. But I fell in love with a Marine Biologist and we had an agreement—16 months in Ann Arbor for my higher education degree and then I’d move anywhere he needed for his higher education degree. I mean granted, I made this agreement knowing that he would need to be near a beach for his PhD program so needless to say, it was an agreement I entered into without hesitation. So 16 months after we made our agreement (and one Master’s in Social Work later), we packed up our car and headed down South. Michigan to Miami is no small drive so we set out to make a few stops along the way. Because my man loves his bourbon, we made a detour to Bourbon County in Kentucky. It was a dream come true for him. My favorite part of this portion of the trip was our stay in a local Bed and Breakfast. It just so happened that we checked into our B & B on Christmas Eve. It was clear that this town and definitely this B & B hadn’t seen a tourist in quite a while. When we drove up, the proprietor turned on all her twinkling Christmas lights, pressed play on her Nat King Cole Christmas album and waited to turn on the main room’s large Christmas tree until we walked in to the room. My husband and I looked at each other thinking the same thing, this poor woman has no idea that her only two customers this holiday season are two big Jews. Oy.

Outside our apartment in Ann Arbor (with Judy Blue!) the day we moved, December 2010

Outside our apartment in Ann Arbor (with Judy Blue!) the day we moved, December 2010


Ann the Inn Keeper with her two undercover Jewish guests on Christmas day.

Ann the Inn Keeper with her two undercover Jewish guests on Christmas day.


Ann collected antiques.  She insisted we sit in this "courting" chair. We indulged her.  It was our Jewish guilt working over time.

Ann collected antiques. She insisted we sit in this “courting” chair. We indulged her. It was our Jewish guilt working over time.


Two days later, we arrived at my mom’s house in Asheville, NC just in time for the snow to start pouring down. Our trip got delayed a few days but we eventually took the risk and headed down to Miami. Watching the climate change from a winter wonderland by starting our journey in the mountains and ending 10 hours later in sunny Orlando, Florida was incredible. The next day we woke up and drove the remaining four hours to Miami. Now, I had only been in Miami once before this for about 8 hours and I had only been in South Beach. So armed with the memories of that day and one too many viewings of The Bird Cage, I was completely surprised to find out that not all of Miami is a sun-soaked, pastel, art-deco wonderland. In fact, that’s only a small portion of Miami. Miami is huge, and a bit beat-up in parts and then completely overly manicured in others. She holds hidden gems in the most random and unexpected places. I’m not in love with Miami but I try to love her for what she has to offer and when it comes to flavor, she has a lot to offer.

Father's Day in Miami.  Welcome to the good life!

Father’s Day in Miami. Welcome to the good life!

So on this beautiful evening on this hot, Miami day, that just also happened to be Father’s Day, I played with some of my favorite Miami flavors. Being that its Father’s Day, it’s hot out and my man loves the ocean, we went to the beach. We also grilled some meat because how else to you let the man you love know that he’s the greatest father on the planet but with some grilled meat?! To accompany our meat-fest, I made some cilantro lime cauliflower “couscous”. Since I now have 3 clients with varying diet restrictions, Im trying to play with alternatives. Yes, this meant saying “shalom” to my old friend, the cauliflower, but this was the perfect side dish to a heavy meal. I also think this would be beautiful as an accompaniment to fish, or maybe if you’re going paleo or grain-free, like some of my clients, this would be great with roasted veggies or in soup. You can play with the flavors if cilantro isn’t your thing. The cauliflower is extremely versatile. I hope you like!

Cauliflower as couscous

Cauliflower as couscous





Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Couscous


1 Head of Cauliflower
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Sea salt

1/2 Cup Cilantro
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
Juice of Half a Lime
Sea salt




Chop cauliflower into smaller florets for the processor. Place chopped cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until consistency resembles fluffy couscous. Heat coconut oil in a skillet or Dutch oven. Place processed cauliflower into the Dutch oven. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Turn heat to low, season with salt and pepper and cover. Let sit on low heat for 5-10 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place cilantro, garlic, salt, oil and lime juice in a clean food processor or blender. Pulse together until we’ll combined.

Once couscous is done (do a taste test for softness to let you know it’s done), turn off the heat, pour the cilantro sauce into the Dutch oven with the couscous and stir to combine. Serve hot.


Couscous complete

Couscous complete

26 Responses to “Miami and Her Flavors – Cilantro Lime Cauliflower “Couscous””

  1. Hindy Garfinkel June 17, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    I love this dish! I also love this sweet story of moving homes. It’s hard to adapt to new places!

  2. ronnievfein June 17, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Wow, what a change — Michigan to Miami! I love cauliflower, but unlike your clients I am on a no-crucifer diet for awhile. Have to save this for some other time.

    • Whitney June 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

      Definitely a change! It was a shock.

  3. jessica // the kosher foodies June 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    i love anything with cilantro! yum!

    • Whitney June 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Me too!! (I guess that was obvious)

  4. Tanya Rentsch June 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Made it tonight. Used parsley instead of cilantro because I’ve maxed out with cilantro on my husband. The Couscous was easy to make and absolutely fabulous! I posted on Instagram and FB with photo!

    • Whitney June 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

      Amazing! I’m so glad it came out nicely and you were able to get creative with favors. The best!

  5. Alessandra (DinnerInVenice) June 23, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    What a weather change to move to Miami! Wonderful post, looking forward to trying this recipe.

    • Whitney June 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      OY. Tell me about it. I can’t believe we used to live in that kind of weather!

  6. Sarah Klinkowitz June 23, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Gorgeous! If I had only looked at the picture, I would have thought it was real couscous!

  7. This American Bite June 23, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    CIlantro, lime anything is great. Same for cauliflower anything. This sounds awesome.

    • Whitney June 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      I thought you and This American Mama might like this one—you guys and your health food 🙂

  8. Chanie@BusyInBrooklyn June 23, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    You are seriously married to a marine biologist? That is so. freakin. cool.

    I’ve heard about the trend of cauliflower couscous but I’ve never seen it done. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Whitney June 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      I am. It’s a convo started. A lot cooler than, “I’m a school counselor . . .”

  9. tamarjoy June 24, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I am obsessed with cauliflower couscous – so yummy and so many options for creativity.

  10. Alison@AliBabka June 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Very cool life 🙂 great carb friendly dish!

  11. This American Bite December 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Congrats! This recipe has been nominated to win my Inspired Recipe of the Year Award. The shortlist will be announced on 12/30/2013.

    • Whitney December 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Sweeeeeet. Thanks Yosef!

  12. Cynthia Heller January 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    I didn’t like Miami either when I moved here but I like it now especially when the rest of the country is in a deep freeze. Your dish looks great. Can’t wait to try it.


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