With the rise of vegetable-forward cooking, cauliflower has unexpectedly ascended from uninteresting to cult status.
In restaurants across the country, cauliflower “steaks” are presented as a meat replacement for vegetarians. And cauliflower “rice” has become the top replacement for starchy white rice on American dinner plates.
How did it happen that cauliflower has come to rival America’s top vegetable, broccoli?
My guess is that its mild flavor is the key. Cauliflower Rice, cooked simply in olive oil with a bit of salt, is pleasant, and a bit savory, so it combines well with other savory food. Its texture is surprisingly similar to rice, and I find it really is a good rice substitute!
For this post, in addition to the simple way I just described of cooking Cauliflower Rice with olive oil, I offer a few variations:
Cauliflower Rice, In Four Variations
- Olive Oil Rice
- Onions and Butter
- Turmeric and Ghee
- Cumin Seed
Broccoli and cauliflower are part of the same vegetable family, known as cruciferous. And if you want to compare within the cruciferous family, some others are turnips, Brussel sprouts, cabbages, radishes, rutabagas, kale, bok choy, and watercress.
Brussel sprouts have been pretty popular too. And kale. Well everyone knows about kale’s long run of fame.
The cruciferous vegetable family as a whole is gaining in popularity. The reason is these are non-starchy, nutrient dense foods, and there are many people out there working to avoid starchy carbohydrates as they adjust their diets to something healthier.
Careful consideration of the cruciferous list of vegetables makes it clear that cauliflower is the mildest, and therefore, the most versatile of the lot.
Now, I am not much for memorizing the vitamin and mineral content of food.
I prefer to understand the energy of food, such as the fact that cauliflower is comprised primarily of air and ether elements, and its qualities are light, rough, and dry.
But I was really surprised to learn that one serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.
Who would of thought that cauliflower contained Vitamin C? It is white in color after all!
This food that looks like a brain is also full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and all sorts of vitamins and minerals.
Some people are even calling it a superfood. (I think all vegetables are superfoods.) But apparently, the sulforaphane sulfur compound in cauliflower helps to kill cancer stem cells. Now that is amazing!With the rise of vegetable-forward cooking, Cauliflower “rice” is the top replacement for white rice.Click To Tweet
How Do I Make Cauliflower Rice?
I had not tried cauliflower rice before creating this recipe. But when I thought about some of my friends who prefer to avoid eating starch, I just had to try it myself, and share it with you all.
I am pleasantly surprised by how good it is. It is also really easy to prepare and cook.
It is easiest if you have a food processor with a grater attachment. I do, and it was a breeze to make the rice.
If you need to grate it by hand, it could be a little … er … grating. Luckily, these days, many grocery stores are selling cauliflower in tiny pieces for making rice. Trader Joe’s sells it for sure.
I hope you really enjoy this recipe. Even if you don’t mind eating regular rice, it is always awesome to add more vegetables to your diet!
Recipe for Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice, in Four Variations
Ingredients for olive oil rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups cauliflower rice, a small head
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Ingredients for butter and onions rice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 4 cups cauliflower rice, a small head
- ½ teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Ingredients for turmeric and ghee rice
- For this recipe you need either a food processor with a large grater attachment, or a box grater or equivalent grater.
- Wash the entire cauliflower and allow to dry before starting your prep.
- Remove the leaves and stem of the cauliflower, and cut it into quarters, or pieces that fit inside your food processor’s funnel. Grate the entire cauliflower. This is what creates the rice-sized texture of this dish.
- Heat oil or ghee in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the ingredients listed before the cauliflower rice [saute the onions until golden brown, brown the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds, and release the aroma of the turmeric for about 20 seconds]. Follow with the prepared cauliflower rice, salt, and remaining ingredients.
- Sauté uncovered until the cauliflower is just tender, about 8–10 minutes. Allow the cauliflower to cook for a few minutes between stirring to allow for flavorful bits of browning on the bottom of the pan. If you want even more browning, add a bit more butter. The milk solids in the butter will help the cauliflower to caramelize.