Cauliflower is one of those healthy vegetables that rarely gets the recognition it deserves. I mean, why would it? It resembles a pale and ghostly glob that squeaks when you cut into it and never fails to make a mess before it even makes it onto the stove. Not to mention it makes your fridge smell funny.
While this is all true, how many vegetables out there can prove to be as versatile as the cauliflower? From pizza crust, to tortillas, to muffins, to bread, and to the ever-popular rice, cauliflower not only does it all but makes even better versions—healthier and tastier—of the foods it mimics.
Being able to replace starch with some sort of vegetable is always exciting. And as someone who eats rice almost on a daily basis, cauliflower rice is an alternative that definitely comes in handy. Which is why we’re starting off with the most popular low-carb cauliflower swap: cauliflower rice. What’s great about rice is that you can pair it with just about anything, which means it’ll be super easy to incorporate cauliflower rice into your meals!
How to Prepare Cauliflower Rice
There are many different ways to cook cauliflower rice, but they all follow the same instructions on how to prepare them.
1. Cut the cauliflower head.
There’s no need to dice up the entire cauliflower head, just simply cut them into quarters to make it easier to break up the florets. Trim out the core and save it to make a vegetable stock! Or if the core is soft enough, chop it up and add it to your florets.
2. Pulse by using a food processor.
Some people use a box grater, which works if you don’t have a food processor, but a food processor will provide the most consistent ‘rice’. Fill your food processor just up to 3/4 full, then pulse until your cauliflower florets are broken down into small granules, about the size of couscous.
3. Process any intact cauliflowers.
Transfer the cauliflower rice into another container. Sometimes, there’ll be larger pieces of cauliflowers that didn’t get processed properly. Leave those in and continue processing until they’re even
Ways to Cook Cauliflower Rice
1.Serve it raw.
Have you ever dipped raw cauliflower in hummus? It’s delicious! But it doesn’t need the hummus to be delicious served raw. Add it to any salad that you might normally add couscous, quinoa, or rice to give it a bit of crunch and refreshing taste.
Sautéing your cauliflower will retain most of its original rich flavours as opposed to steaming or boiling, which aren’t ideal for cauliflower rice as they tend to turn out soggy and watery. Simply saute your cauliflower rice with some olive oil until it’s cooked, then enjoy it with your stir-fry.
Although the roasting method usually takes the longest, I find that roasted vegetables in general have the most aromatic, sweetest, and tastiest flavours. Spread out your cauliflower rice on a baking sheet in a preheated oven at 400°F for 10-12 minutes.
If you have a stovetop steamer or steamer basket, this method will produce clean, crisp flavours. The most annoying part might be finding an appropriate cloth to steam the cauliflower granules without them falling through the holes. But hey, you’ll be rewarded with a delectable dish!
After researching many methods of cooking cauliflower rice, it turns out the internet has come together to stand behind the microwave–an appliance that’s often frowned upon and not known for cooking anything delicious. The microwave will cook your cauliflower rice in just three minutes on high. Place the cauliflower granules in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. This method will most closely mimic the grain that we’re substituting.
If you have any other methods of cooking cauliflower rice, we’d love to hear them. Or any creative recipes that you’ve found cauliflower to be the perfect substitute for for a certain ingredient, let us know!