Cece’s is thrilled to partner with Chef Amanda Cohen, owner of NYC’s Dirt Candy restaurant on a set of simple but twisted recipes highlighting spiralized and riced veggies. Amanda’s philosophy is to celebrate vegetables by finding unique (but uncomplicated) ways to feature them in the center of the plate.

Click here to view all recipes developed by Chef Amanda Cohen for Cece’s!

Chef Cohen’s Riced Cauliflower Paella is a new twist on the popular Spanish dish featuring Cece’s organic riced cauliflower as the base. To emulate the traditional socarrat (the carmelized rice crust found at the bottom of the paella pan), Chef Cohen adds a playful touch of puffed rice cereal atop the dish.

Note that the Spicy Smoked Paprika oil is optional and best made ahead of time (2-7 days) so it has time to infuse!


Cauliflower Puree
1 head of white cauliflower, broken down into small, even pieces
1 tsp saffron
2 tsp salt

Yellow Tomato Saffron Broth
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cups tinned yellow tomatoes + their juice
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 1/4 tsp saffron
4 1/2 cups water
1 piece kombu
1 Tbsp salt

Spicy Smoked Paprika Oil
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 pint extra virgin olive oil

1 package Cece’s Veggie Co. Organic Riced Cauliflower
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
saffron water (from cauliflower puree)
cauliflower puree
3/4 cup vegan spiced chorizo sausage, cooked through
finely chopped cilantro, for garnish

How To:

Cauliflower Puree

  1. Put saffron and cauliflower in a pot and pour in enough water to cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil. Simmer until cauliflower is very soft.
  2. Strain the cauliflower and reserve the liquid.
  3. Blend cauliflower on high speed until very smooth (add some of the reserved saffron water if necessary to help blend). *Save the rest of the saffron water for the paella!*
  4. Season with salt.

Yellow Tomato Saffron Broth

  1. Start pot over medium heat with olive oil, onion, garlic, and salt. When the garlic is very soft, add the saffron and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  2. Increase the heat to medium and add the tomatoes, and the water. Squish the tomatoes to break them down. Add the Kombu, turn down to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Working in batches, puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Push through a chinois (a cone-shaped metal strainer with a very fine mesh) to make it silky.


  1. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat (a nonstick silicone baking sheet liner).
  2. Put the oil and syrup in a large pan. Pour in the sugar so it’s evenly distributed on the bottom. Cook over medium heat without stirring until the sugar has melted, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the salt, paprika, and puffed rice cereal.
  3. Toss the cereal in the pan until thoroughly coated. Pour the mixture into the Silpat-lined baking sheet.
  4. Spread the Rice Krispies across the liner with a spatula, pressing down to form a thin layer. Allow to cool slightly. While still warm, cut into rounds.

Spicy Smoked Paprika Oil

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend to combine.
  2. Pour into sealed container and let sit for at least 2 days, up to 1 week.
  3. Shake up oil and strain through a cheesecloth.


  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sweat onion, garlic and salt until soft.
  2. Add bell peppers and riced cauliflower and sauté to coat.
  3. Deglaze with white wine and cook until all of it has evaporated.
  4. Add saffron water small amounts at a time (adding more each time it evaporates), stirring frequently until cauliflower is just cooked through.
  5. Spoon cauliflower puree in and heat through. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Divide cooked vegan chorizo sausage into 4 for serving.

To Plate and Serve

  1. Place 1 spoonful of sausage in the center of a shallow bowl.
  2. Spoon a mound of paella over the sausage. Sprinkle the rest of the  sausage on top of the paella. Repeat for each of 4 total servings.
  3. Pour warm tomato broth around the paella to form a moat.
  4. Drizzle spicy smoked paprika oil on top of the broth.
  5. Sprinkle “socarrat” on top. Garnish with cilantro and serve!

About Chef Amanda Cohen and Dirt Candy

Chef Cohen is a James Beard-nominated chef and cookbook author who was the 1st vegetarian-focused chef to compete on Iron Chef America. Dirt Candy is an award-winning restaurant and a leader of the veggie-forward movement nationwide. Dirt Candy is Michelin Guide-recommended and was crowned “The Absolute Best Restaurant on the Lower East Side” by New York Magazine in 2018.