It seems like everyone is watching their carb intake these days, as well as doing their best to avoid processed food. I know I am one such person, despite the sometimes derailing carb crawls I create while visiting various cities like my recent trip to San Francisco.
In limiting my carbs, I sometimes feel like things are missing from my plate, not to mention my stomach. A piece of fish next to a random vegetable or two has me thinking about satisfying snacks before my dinner plate even hits the dishwasher.
Then cauliflower "rice" entered my life. Yes, the air quotes make me nervous too. I won't say that this tastes like rice, but I actually think it tastes even better. It only includes ground up cauliflower. No processed food or bad ingredients to add to make it taste good or round out a meal.
After one too many buerre blancs while living in Paris, I would take my little hand grater and go to town on a head of cauliflower, and sometimes the tops of my fingers. Then I'd just cook it up with some spices and finally my fish had a nice healthy pillow to lay its head and gills.
The key for me is making sure to cook it enough. Mushy rice, no thank you. So be sure not to overcrowd the pan and have a little patience. When I don't have either of those, I take the lid of a pot and place it right on top of the cauliflower so not only does it cook well, but it also browns and develops some crispy bits which I like on any plate. Texture is important. I'd much rather chew my food than slide it through my teeth like baby food.
There's a ton of iterations and different versions (like this one) that you can play with using a variety of spices and proteins, but here's a good foundation to start. Have fun exploring from here.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 cup of chopped white onions
- 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil or other oil of your choosing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Coarsely chop cauliflower before placing in a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is broken down into a rice-like shape, but don't over-process to mush.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Once warm, add onions and cook until translucent, then add the cauliflower. Stir while seasoning with salt and pepper, but don't over do it since when it cooks down, the flavors will intensify. You can always add more at the end.
- Turn heat to medium and cover the cauliflower with a lid and let it cook for approximately 10 minutes. Stir at the 5 minute mark or if you smell any browning, but not too early as you do want the cauliflower to develop some color. Cook until the desired texture is reached.
- Adjust season as necessary.
Want more ideas to use with cauliflower rice? Try stuffing a portobello mushroom with it. Recipe below.