Turkey Chilli with Cauliflower ‘Rice’

Name me a worse fad than cauliflower ‘rice’

I can’t get enough of turkey at the moment, and I love a chilli, so making Turkey Chilli with Cauliflower Rice from the Hairy Dieters seemed like a no-brainer. A lot of spices go into this and the chipotle paste adds some further heat. However, one thing I couldn’t taste was the dark chocolate, so you might want to up the quantity (the recipe states 15g) but remember that you’ll also need to up the calorie count from 300!

Cauliflower ‘rice’ has become fashionable but still seems a pointless aversion to me. But undoubtedly it does keep the calories down compared to proper rice. If you’re seeking a quicker, arguably tastier alternative, check out the Hairy Dieters’ Speedy Turkey Chilli from their Make it Easy book.

Recipe: Turkey Chilli with Cauliflower ‘Rice’

Calories: 300 per portion (with cauliflower); 240 (without cauliflower)

Serves: 4

Book: Hairy Dieters – Make it Easy

Prep time: Approx 20 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 45 minutes


  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 large red pepper (deseeded and diced)
  • 2 celery sticks (trimmed and diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can of beans (kidney, pinto beans or black-eyed peas – drained and rinsed)
  • 15g dark chocolate
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

To serve:

  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Lime wedges (for squeezing)
  • Low-fat crème fraiche

Cauliflower rice:

  • 1 cauliflower (broken up into florets)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander (chopped)
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

Cost per portion: Approx £2.33 (with cauliflower ‘rice)


Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, pepper and celery. Cook over a low heat for 5 mins, until the veg are starting to soften, then add the garlic and the turkey mince. Turn up the heat slightly and cook until the turkey has browned all over. Keep stirring and use the spoon to break up any clumps of turkey mince.

Add the oregano, bay leaves, cumin, allspice and chipotle paste. Give everything a good stir so it all gets coated with the paste, then pour in the chopped tomatoes and 250ml water. Add the drained beans and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer the chilli over a low heat for half an hour, until the sauce has thickened. Keep an eye on it and add a drop more water towards the end if you think it is in danger of catching. Five minutes from the end of the cooing time, add the chocolate. To serve, divide between 4 plates, sprinkle with coriander leaves and add a wedge of lime and a dessertspoon of crème fraiche to each serving.

reduce the heat and simmer over a low heat for 25 mins, until the sauce has thickened, adding a little more water towards the end if needed. Add the chocolate and cook for a further 5 mins.

Cauliflower rice

Break the cauliflower up into florets. Put these in a food processor and blitz to the texture of large breadcrumbs.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over and dry-fry the cumin seeds for a few moments until they start to give off a spicy aroma. Coat the bottom of the pan with water – about 100ml should do it. Evenly spread the cauliflower crumbs over the frying pan and season. Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring fairly regularly until the  water has evaporated and the cauliflower is looking quite dry. Stir in the coriander and remove the pan from the heat. Fork the cauliflower over and it will ‘fluff up’ nicely.


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