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Cauliflower Rice. The Ultimate Diet Food.

Updated on October 3, 2013
Cast your vote for Cauliflower Rice

My recent obsession with Pinterest has brought to my attention a whole new world of fake out recipes. I stumbled across the idea of rice made out of cauliflower one day, and just had to give it a try. Now, my Lose It app says 1 cup of cooked white rice clocks in at a whopping 246 calories and 53 grams of carbs. Delicious, but not exactly a diet food! On the other hand, the same cup of cooked cauliflower has a measly 29 calories and only 5 grams of carbs!

This makes cauliflower a potential powerhouse for most popular diets including Atkins low carb, paleo, 5 2 diet, VLC (very low calorie diet), just to mention a few. But, how does it taste you ask? I found it surprisingly tasty, and similar texture to rice. It is very versatile, and can be used where ever rice would normally work, like under a curry, in a burrito bowl, even sushi. Who knew!

First I will tell you how to make and store the "rice", then I will give you my favorite suggested recipe for how I like to eat it. Of course you need to start with a good quality fresh head of cauliflower, that is firm and white, with no brown spots. Organic would be great, but often expensive. If not using organic, than wash well and try and dry as much as possible.

Cut the core off the cauliflower, and cut into florets. Remove most of the stem. Add the florets, in about 3 or 4 batches for a head of cauliflower, to a food processor. Turn on for 30 seconds. Check the texture, you want it to look like rice. You may need a few additional 5 second pulses to get it uniformly chopped. Remove to bowl, or zip lock bag for storage if not all is needed.

I was able to get 5 cups from my head of cauliflower. I used one for the recipe, and filled 4 storage bags. Squeeze the air out of the bag, and lay flat in the freezer for another day. Let thaw about 30 minutes on the counter before using from the freezer.

The cauliflower rice can be a base for many flavor combinations. The recipe I chose to make was cilantro lime, and I had some cooked shrimp to use up in the freezer, which made this a complete meal. First I assembled my ingredients: the cauliflower, 1 clove of garlic, a silver dollar worth of fresh ginger, 1/4 cup diced onion, large handful of cilantro, and zest and juice of a lime.

The rice is best made in a seasoned cast iron pan, or a non stick pan. Depending on your diet restrictions, start with some vegetable oil spray, 1 tsp coconut oil, or another oil. Saute the aromatics- in this case the onion, garlic and ginger. Once softened, add the raw cauliflower rice, and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. I added the thawed cooked shrimp, cilantro and lime zest and juice at the very end.

Now for the best part. Hope you are sitting for this! The whole meal comes in at a whopping 90 calories! And it is very filling.

Saute aromatics in pan
Saute aromatics in pan
Add the cauliflower rice
Add the cauliflower rice
Add some cooked protein like shrimp
Add some cooked protein like shrimp

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 8 min
Ready in: 18 min
Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cauliflower, "riced" in food processor
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 10 cooked shrimp, thawed
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, zest and juice
  1. Heat a cast iron or non stick pan over medium to medium low heat. Spray with cooking spray, or use 1 tsp of oil. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger, and saute 1 minute. Add cauliflower rice, salt and pepper. Saute, stiring often for 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. If adding protein, add now and stir until heated. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Plate, and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Calories 90
Calories from Fat0
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 3 years ago from USA

      yum! voted up and shared.

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for looking Bishop55. Hope you give it a try!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and very useful.

      Here's to so many more by you.

      Voted up and here's wishing you a great day.

      Eddy.

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Eddy! Hope you have a great day yourself.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

      Interesting recipe. This cauliflower rice looks good. The images help to show how to make this "rice" for those who are interested in trying it out.

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for your comment Ceres Schwarz. It is very easy to make, and a great low calorie, low carb option, and all natural to boot! It can also be grated by hand if you don't have a food processor. Don't be discouraged when you open the lid of the food processor and get a strong cauliflower smell! You can barely identify the cauliflower taste when it is cooked. It nicely absorbs the aromas of the aromatics and seasonings. Hope you give it a try!

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 3 years ago from United States

      It looks a bit like couscous -- and of course rice. Hey, that's a great idea for a rice substitute. It's healthier too, and you won't feel guilty eating it all over again. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, there are also "couscous" recipes for cauliflower. It has a nice mild flavor, and fits in perfectly where rice would go. The first time I made it, I was a little skeptical because of the strong cauliflower smell when I opened the lid of the food processor. Once cooked, the flavor is quite subtle. Can't beat the calorie savings!!

    • fiftyish profile image

      Andy Aitch 3 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

      With so much junk food at the family table these days, it's lovely to see some folks are still looking at a more healthy diet. I still think that most average people don't know what they're putting down the gullet, or what the potential health or harm a given food has on the mind and body over time.

      Cauliflower rice sounds like something that an entrepreneurial type could run with and make commercial kitkat1141 ;) Cauliflower can also be used as a substitute for mashed potatoes making it a great substitute for the popular high-carb food. It also juices well, and when added to cucumber it makes for a very freshening drink in the summer, not to mention super-healthy.

      Aitch

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for your comment fiftyish. Cauliflower seems to be a trendy food item this year. I agree, it has been transformed into everything from mashed potatoes to Mac and cheese. The flavor is so neutral, and even cauliflower haters usually end up liking these dishes. Any way to consume more vegetables is a good idea, in my mind. My kids ask for my cauliflower rice regularly! Check out my cauliflower wings recipe for a healthy appetizer with the flavor notes of chicken wings.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 3 years ago from Canada

      This is such a good idea, I will try it for sure. it sounds like a recipe that my kids will actually eat too. Its so hard to get them to eat any vegetables so I always appreciate a kid friendly recipe

    • kitkat1141 profile image
      Author

      kitkat1141 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Daisyjae, thanks for looking. My son, who likes to cover everything in ketchup, actually prefers cauliflower rice to the real stuff! Just don't let them smell it when it comes out of the food processor, because it has a strong raw cauliflower smell! It gets very mild as you cook it, so don't worry. Add any flavors that your kids normally enjoy!

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