Cauliflower “Rice” {and a new love interest!}

cauliflower rice

I am in a new relationship. And I’m giddy. “C” and I have always gotten along – I mean, we’ve been “friends” since about 3rd grade.  But I’ve always seen “C” as kind of one-dimensional… even boring! It’s just recently that my eyes have been opened to how fun and versatile “C” can be… A chameleon, really.  And Husband is totally fine with it.

It started with roasting. All of a sudden I was eating those toasty little cauliflower florets like popcorn. Then I mashed some, for a guilt-free side dish that rivals the usual potato. Next, it became my secret weapon in creating a healthy and delicious “Alfredo” sauce…

I had heard rumors that “C” could do a great imitation of rice, in a supporting {side dish} role. But I was skeptical. Cauliflower rice?

Turns out, it’s delicious. And easy. And guilt-free. And while I will still pick up Chipotle rice on occasion, this is my new go-to partner for stir-fries.

Simply cut a head of cauliflower into florets, and pulse in the food processor just until, well… Until it looks like rice! {Alternatively, you can grate the florets.}

cauliflower rice

Next, spread it out on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cauliflower has a high water content so it’ll steam a bit, which is good. You want it to almost dry out completely. Watch carefully so it doesn’t begin to brown – you want it to keep that nice “white-like-rice” color.

Simply toss with lime juice, a little more salt {if needed}, and cilantro and serve immediately.

Here it is as a bed for a honey-orange chicken that my friend Lindsay created, and is publishing soon in her latest cookbook from Pinch of Yum.

cauliflower rice

Let’s say you go a little nutty in the produce section, or maybe cauliflower is on sale – you’ve got a surplus. No worries. Crumble it in the food processor, and store in freezer bags until ready to use.

cauliflower rice in ziplock

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Cauliflower "Rice"
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime zest {optional}
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Place florets in food processor and pulse until texture resembles rice, or course meal. Spread on cookie sheet. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until cooked through. Toss with lime juice, salt, cilantro, and zest, if using. Serve immediately.

VARIATION :: You can cook the cauliflower “rice” in a saucepan, like you would a regular pilaf, but remember that it won’t absorb liquid like rice does. Sauté an onion and maybe a little garlic until softened, then add the cauliflower and cook gently, covered until cooked. Toss with fresh herbs, or perhaps thawed frozen peas.


cauliflower rice

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