Have you heard of cauliflower rice? All you cauliflower haters listen up: this does NOT actually taste like cauliflower!! My husband tasted the cilantro lime version assuming it was rice and loved it, and the only way he will eat cauliflower is roasted. This side dish is super easy to make, a blank canvas just like rice, and a great way to sneak more veggies in your meals! It is gluten-free, paleo friendly, and clocks in at just 61 calories a cup. Any time you want to serve rice, you can serve this instead.
I have 2 versions for you today: plain and cilantro lime. Let’s start with the plain first, as it will be the foundation for the cilantro lime version anyway.
There is an essential tool you’ll need for making cauliflower rice: a food processor. If you don’t have one, I’m sure you could meticulously chop up your cauliflower florets until they’re teeny tiny, but it would take long time! Place your cauliflower florets in the food processor and pulse until they’re about the size of rice granules. Be careful not to over-process or else you will release too much moisture from the cauliflower and it will get soggy. No one likes soggy rice, right? Right.
A tip: you may have to pulse your cauliflower in 2 batches. I have what I consider to be a standard size food processor and found I had more cauliflower than would fit at once!
While this is happening, heat up olive oil in a large pan over medium heat with onions and garlic. Once they soften, you’ll add your “rice”, give it a stir, and cover for 5 minutes. Stir it again until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. The last step is perhaps the most important: season with salt and pepper! The salt and pepper will take it from blah to perfect. If you taste it and think it tastes bland, chances are you need more salt and pepper. You can also add garlic powder if you’d like!
The end result is fluffy, slightly chewy “rice” that tastes good AND is good for you.
A few weeks ago I posted this recipe for cilantro lime rice. You all seemed to love it, so here’s how to make cilantro lime “cauliflower rice”: once the cauliflower is cooked, pour it into a big bowl. Add the juice of 1/2-1 lime and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, or more, to taste. That’s it! Easy, huh? This week I served it along with fajitas (I used this copy-cat Pappasito’s Fajita Steak marinade), but it would be perfect as a “rice bowl” using my super easy Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Chicken!
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped into florets
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1). Place half the cauliflower in the food processor and pulse until cauliflower resembles the size of rice or couscous. Be careful not to over-process or too much moisture will be released and it will be mushy. Remove and pulse the second batch.
2). Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes, while stirring often.
3). Once the onions and garlic are softened, add the pulsed cauliflower to the pan. Toss to combine and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender inside.
4). Season well with freshly cracked pepper and sea salt. Taste and re-season, if necessary. (Do not skimp out on the salt and pepper: it is critical to add flavor!)
For Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice:
1). After cooking the cauliflower as stated above, add the juice of 1/2-1 lime (depending on your preference) and 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro. Toss to combine and enjoy!
Servings: 5. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 61 Fat: 3g Carbs: 8g Fiber: 3g Protein: 2.5g WW Points+: 2.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/10/cilantro-lime-cauliflower-rice.html
Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.