If you are looking for an alternative to rice or couscous, why not take a look at cauliflower rice. Low in carbs, easy to make and cooks in just a couple of minutes. In this dish, it's put with some stir fried vegetables and a bit of chilli to bring the heat. A super quick and nutritious dinner!
Hands up for all of you have been eating cauliflower rice forever? Now for the rest of us, let's look confused.
Yes, that is exactly how I felt about cauliflower rice ever since I heard the term, probably last year. I am not going to lie, I actually thought it was some kind of rice. Yes, I really did. I mean, rice was in the title so it made so much sense to me. Rice it was.
Well, you know what? It really isn't rice, sorry. For those of you who have been cooking and eating this stuff for years you can all plug your ears or skip all the way to the bottom.
What is it exactly? It's cauliflower, clearly.
Lately, it seems everywhere I turn I am seeing something referring to the stuff. It's all over social media (or maybe that was last year), and I have been continuing to have this itch to try the stuff. So I folded. I did a google search for cauliflower rice to see what in the word all the hype was about. And with trusty Google by my side, I only got a few million hits. That's all. And like everyone on planet earth, I picked the first hit in the search and started reading about it. Who has time for page scrolling. Yes, I am aware that if you search a recipe for say, Chicken Quesadillas, mine might turn up on page 300,459. Anyway, the rice was not as I had expected. It was a literally a cauliflower cut up and put in a food processor, done. Really, that's it!
Because I lack patience, I had to try it out straight away. Like that minute right away Despite being in the middle of too many other things, the towel was thrown in the cauliflower ring.
Lucky for me there was a lonely cauliflower sitting in the fridge in desperate need of attention.
Here's how it went down.
I cut up the cauliflower exactly as described and just put it in the food processor. Because I did an entire cauliflower, I had to do this in two batches. NOTE, this recipe only uses 1/2 of that cauliflower. So, that was easy and it only took a few minutes. Then it said all you had to do to cook it was stir fry it for a couple of minutes. Well, that honestly sounded boring and almost plain ol' yuck. I guess if you were using it as a direct substitute for rice and pouring a sauce over it, then I am sure it could be good.
This was what I did instead.
I decided to turn it into a vegetable stir fry. I just sliced up some peppers and asparagus, chopped some garlic and a tiny dried chilli. Added all that to my stir fry pan until it was soft and then added the "rice" and let it cook for a further few minutes. It topped it off with teriyaki sauce and some fresh cilantro. Done!
How did it taste? Honestly, it was good. Like, I really enjoyed it. Did it taste like rice? No. Did it taste like couscous? No. Did it taste like cauliflower? No. So, I have no idea what it tasted like, but I will make it again. I found the texture to be slightly damp, yea, I think that's the best way I can describe it. You don't get the fluffy texture that couscous will give you or that fine texture of rice. How am I selling the stuff so far? I did several attempts at the cauliflower rice to see if the texture would change and maybe I was doing it wrong, but no, that was the texture every single time.
All in all, I think it's a great alternative to grains if you are trying to keep those calories or carbs to a minimum. Not that I pay too much attention if I am completely honest. I still love rice and couscous and really do prefer those in a heartbeat. The cauliflower rice I will keep on the back burner for those days when I am trying to fit into my jeans...ha!
Happy cooking friends!
Spiced Cauliflower Rice and Stir Fried Vegetables
Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 15 minutes
1 Small red pepper
1 Small green pepper
1 Small yellow pepper
Small bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 Cup/60 ml teriyaki sauce
1 Dried chilli, finely diced
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
Small bunch fresh cilantro
Cut the cauliflower into very small florets. Rinse and drain. Put the florets into your food processor and pulse until it looks almost like couscous. This will only take about 30 seconds. Set aside.
In a large skillet set over medium to high heat, add the olive oil, garlic and chilli. Stir for about a minutes. Add the peppers and asparagus. Cook, tossing regularly for about 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened but still crisp.
Add the cauliflower rice and stir well to combine. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the teriyaki sauce and give another stir. Top with fresh cilantro and serve.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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