Cauliflower rice from Our Best Bites

You know all those people who say that mashed cauliflower tastes exactly like mashed potatoes? I am here to tell you that those people have probably not had a mashed potato in awhile. Much like Sara isn’t going to to pretend that spaghetti squash is just like sitting down to a big ol’ bowl of homemade pasta in your favorite Italian restaurant, I’m not going to pretend like cauliflower rice is just like regular white rice.

That said. I really like cauliflower rice. I’m not anti-carbs or anti-grains or anything, but for me personally, if I’m going to blow 120 calories on carbs, I’d rather blow it on a cookie than on a bowl of rice (and that’s just a 1/2 cup of rice, which is just a tease. At least for a girl who likes to eat.) It’s an easy way to get some extra veggies into my diet, it’s quick, and it transforms one of nature’s more offensive vegetables (sorry…I’m not generally a fan. I’m sure there are people out there who love a big bowl of raw cauliflower, but I’ve never met them) into something mild and easy to make.

Now, you can’t just use finely chopped cauliflower interchangeably with regular rice. Here’s a handy guide to help you know when you should and shouldn’t use cauliflower rice.

To Use:

  • If you’re cutting back on carbs.
  • If you’re trying to find new and exciting ways to implement cruciferous vegetables into your diet.
  • If you want to mix regular rice with something else to make it a little less calorie-dense.
  • If you don’t like/are allergic to/are scared of rice.

Not to Use:

  • In soups, casseroles, and other dishes where regular rice absorbs liquid and helps thicken the final dish.
  • In rice pudding. Do people still eat rice pudding?
  • Anything where you’re expecting the rice to kind of soak up juices/sauces/liquids of something else. I mean, you can still use cauliflower rice and it will taste good, just don’t expect it to operate quite the same way with your beef and broccoli.

To make this super-easy side dish, you’ll need a head of cauliflower.

head of cauliflower for cauliflower rice

You’ll also need a little olive oil (I use our garlic olive oil), a clove or two of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

Using a sharp knife, cut the stem off of the cauliflower, then break the cauliflower into small-ish florets (it will happen pretty naturally–they don’t need to be bite-sized or anything, just wherever they break naturally).

broken cauliflower florets

Place the cauliflower pieces into a food processor fitted with a chopping blade or a heavy-duty blender (my Blendtec does the job).

cauliflower in blender

You’ll probably need to do it in batches. Which is exactly what I didn’t do in this picture–only fill it up about halfway. Do as I say, not as I do.

Using the pulse setting, chop the cauliflower until it reaches a rice-like consistency. If you don’t have a blender or a food processor, you can use a cheese grater, it just requires a little more elbow grease.

cauliflower in blender

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and minced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender but not mushy (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. The chopped, uncooked cauliflower can be frozen for quick cooking in the future. Makes about 4 1-cup servings

Cauliflower Rice from Our Best Bites

 

27 comments

  1. I love your realism. Healthy substitute are great but people who think you can’t tell when you leave out the butter and oil in brownies are lying to us and themselves. Excited to try this!

  2. Another cauliflower lover here! I prefer it raw. But, I recently tried it roasted and it was amazing 🙂

    I would like to try this with my kids. They may actually like cauliflower if they try it like this.

  3. Funny that you posted this today. I made a stir fry on Saturday night and the whole time we were eating I was thinking that I should try mixing in some cauliflower rice. I’m glad you posted instructions because I would have guessed all wrong.

    And we eat rice pudding, but only on Christmas Eve.

  4. We made cauliflower rice last week using a grater instead of a food processor and now my husband officially eats cauliflower! I thought the texture was not so much like rice, but rather couscous. Again, no absorption like couscous, but more the texture and feel. Hurray since I’m newly gluten free!

  5. Hi! My name is Heather, and I love to consume a big bowl of raw cauliflower! There, you’ve met one 🙂 Then, put a big bowl of steamed cauliflower in front of me and I’m in heaven. I am excited to try your cauliflower rice! Unfortunately I have neither a food processor nor a high-powered blender, but I’ll figure it out. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. I”m totally with you! If I’m going to blow 120 calories, I’d rather consume a candy bar! I know. It’s terrible than white rice, which, while good, I can do a substitution with this cauliflower rice and save me a trip to the gym!

  7. Kate, you must be psychic. I bought cauliflower last night to try out a few things, including cauliflower rice, but I needed to look up a recipe & ran out of time. Our kids are rice fanatics, so I’d like to try mixing this in a little. I’ll definitely be trying yours today!

    Last night I did get a chance to try out this Creamy Cauliflower Sauce, which was *amazing*. I didn’t have high hopes, but the reviews were so good, and it ended up tasting like it was loaded with cream & cheese when there was none. (Just a little skim milk & butter) Husband & kid approved. There were lots of great ideas for subbing this in lasagnas & any dishes with creamy sauce, so I’ll need to experiment with that too. You girls have got to try it!
    http://pinchofyum.com/creamy-cauliflower-sauce

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