12 Delicious Ways to Eat Cauliflower Rice

By Marla Walters on 13 July 2016 0 comments

Why, you ask, did I spend the week experimenting with turning cauliflower into fake rice? There are some compelling reasons. First off, cauliflower contains antioxidants, which can protect you against cancer. There's also fiber, which will help with weight loss and digestion. It contains vitamins C, K, and B6. It has a high ANDI score (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), meaning that it provides a high amount of nutrients for not many calories. A cup of cauliflower contains about 25 calories. A cup of brown rice contains about 218 calories. If you are following a Paleo or Raw diet, or simply watching your carbohydrate intake, it's a pretty good substitute. (See also: 10 Delicious and Frugal Power Bowls You Want Right Now)

To keep it frugal, watch for heads of cauliflower to go on sale. If you find that you really love this "rice" substitution, buy a couple of heads, process, and store in your freezer. Some big-box stores have non-organic brands for less.

It's a little messy to make, so what worked for me was to process the entire head at one time and divide it up into plastic bags. I used my mini-chopper and worked in batches. Here is how to get that rice consistency. You can also do this in a blender, or even by hand.

1. Mexican-Style

My husband loved this Mexican Cauliflower Rice. I put it into a power bowl with kalua pork, avocado chunks, pinto beans, greens, chopped cilantro, and some sharp, grated cheddar. I added the chiles gradually, tasting as I went, so as not to overdo the heat.

2. Cauli Sushi

Man, do I ever love sushi, but I have to watch it. I tend to like the not-so-good for you kind, full of white rice, cream cheese, tempura shrimp, and mayonnaise. Cauliflower rice to the rescue! This is a vegetarian recipe; and I added ahi to mine. It's also good with crab and a vegan mayo. Fans of the Raw diet: Here is a "raw" version.

3. Fried Cauli Rice

We eat a lot of fried rice around here, because it's a good way to use up leftovers. I start by putting a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan, and adding the leftover vegetables and/or meat to heat. Then, add your cauliflower rice, stir everything, and add a beaten egg; fry and stir until egg is cooked through. Serve with shoyu (soy sauce).

4. Stuffed Cauli Rice

Simply substitute cauliflower rice for white rice in your favorite stuffed peppers recipe (here is mine, which also uses ground turkey).

5. Mom's "Rice" Salad

I love this old recipe of my mom's. Switching up the white rice for cauliflower gave it new life.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups prepared cauliflower rice, cooled
  • 2 2 1/2 T low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ cup drained, chopped, jarred artichoke hearts
  • ½ T capers
  • 1 T minced shallots or onion
  • 1 t curry powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Combine all ingredients and chill until serving time. Very nice with grilled salmon.

6. Pesto Cauli

This is so simple, and so delicious. To two cups of warm cauliflower rice, I added three tablespoons of pesto. Stir. Add a little freshly grated parmesan on top. To make it a meal, scoop into broiled portabella mushroom caps.

7. Cauli Fritters

Warning: These are insanely addictive.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw cauliflower rice
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 T shallot, finely diced
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, for frying

Method

Combine all ingredients. Scoop into a little ball shape, and then flatten to a three-inch diameter.

Heat oil. Fry about four minutes per side, turn and fry other side until golden brown.

8. Cilantro Lime Cauli Rice

I was hoping some creative soul would do a copycat Chipotle Lime Rice using cauliflower. Ta-daah! Inspiration to build our own healthy burrito bowls!

9. Curried Cauli

With the addition of chicken, this curried cauliflower rice becomes a great meal, or a tasty basis for a power bowl. This reheats nicely for an office lunch, too.

10. Egg on Top

To a cup of cooked cauliflower rice, add one over-easy egg and a quarter of an avocado, sliced. I like a little Sriracha drizzled on top. So easy, and so healthy.

11. Paella

To a batch of cauliflower rice (two cups), add a cup each of cooked shrimp and sausage, a cup of cooked okra, a half cup of sauteed celery, and a can of the spicy chopped tomatoes, with juice. Don't forget the Tabasco. This certainly isn't a classic Paella, but you'll get the flavors, and it's low-carb.

12. Cauli Risotto

I had some leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer, as well as some fresh mushrooms. Here is how I made some risotto-like cauliflower:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked turkey, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ½-¾ cup chicken broth, heated
  • ½ cup freshly grated Asiago cheese

Method

Heat butter and oil; add the garlic and shallot. Once browned, add the mushrooms; saute until softened. Add the cauliflower and toss until it is lightly browned. Add broth, a little at a time. (The mixture will be slightly soupy, truthfully more gruel-like than risotto-like.) Add turkey until heated through. Sprinkle cheese over and serve immediately in bowls.

What other recipes can you swap rice for cauliflower rice? Share with us!

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