Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice

A good friend of mine recently put out a call on Facebook for low-carb lunch ideas. Eating too many carbs (and not enough protein) is something I personally struggle with. Just ask MyFitnessPal. But, I have been doing a better job lately by replacing rice and pasta with other starchy foods that are higher in protein like beans and lentils, and low-calorie alternatives like zoodles and spiralized cucumber. I told my friend about some of the lunches I’d been making lately (zoodles with hummus, sesame “noodles” with cucumbers) and then remembered I had another delicious option sitting in my freezer: cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice isn’t new–you’ve probably seen it floating around Pinterest for a while–but the first time I tried it, it was disappointing. I like to try the basic version of something before getting all fancy with it, so I made the simplest recipe I could find: a grated head of cauliflower steamed in the microwave. It was soft, a little watery and just tasted like regular bland, slightly overcooked cauliflower. Not a satisfying alternative!

After further experimentation, however, I found out there were better ways to prepare the “rice.” A saute in olive oil provides a much better taste and texture, and seasoning it with herbs, lemon, and generous salt and pepper really helps bring it to life. Plus, cooking the cauliflower on the stove gives you much better control over how soft it gets. (I like to err on the less-cooked side.) And the seasonings can be changed to reflect the dish you’re making–substitute cilantro and lime for the parsley and lemon for a Chipotle-insipired burrito bowl, for example.

One caveat: Cauliflower is always going to taste like cauliflower. This is not going to come out tasting like Uncle Ben’s or your favorite basmati. So don’t think of it as “rice” exactly. More like a fluffy, savory veggie bed for your favorite toppings, like stir-fry, curry and these delicious Cuban black beans (pictured).

Cauliflower Rice

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 30

Fat per serving: 2 g

Carbs per serving: 3 g

Protein per serving: 1 g

Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower or two smaller heads (about 2.5 lbs)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or other herb
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the cauliflower and remove the leaves and stem. Cut in half and remove the core.
  2. Grate the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces on the large holes of a box grater or with a food processor.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet with a lid. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes to steam the cauliflower, just until tender.
  4. Remove the lid, and cook and stir another minute or two to let some of the moisture evaporate. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower rice freezes and reheats well!

http://whateverpieces.com/2016/07/18/cauliflower-rice/

This recipe makes a large batch of cauliflower rice–8 servings! I make it this way when I’m doing meal prep and making a lot of lunches at once. Anything I’m not going to eat within a week is portioned into freezer bags and frozen for later. You could always make a smaller batch using half or a quarter of the cauliflower.

Cauliflower Rice

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 30

Fat per serving: 2 g

Carbs per serving: 3 g

Protein per serving: 1 g

Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower or two smaller heads (about 2.5 lbs)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or other herb
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the cauliflower and remove the leaves and stem. Cut in half and remove the core.
  2. Grate the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces on the large holes of a box grater or with a food processor.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet with a lid. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes to steam the cauliflower, just until tender.
  4. Remove the lid, and cook and stir another minute or two to let some of the moisture evaporate. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower rice freezes and reheats well!

http://whateverpieces.com/2016/07/18/cauliflower-rice/

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