I was just trying to think of the last time I had plain, white rice. Sure, I eat quite a bit of sushi and gobble down plenty of rice during that time. I’m just not sure when I last made or ate rice to eat by itself or as a side. I know I made a conscious effort to remove carbs from my diet about five or six years ago so it was likely some time in 2008 that I last ate plain ol’ white rice. Why am I telling you this? Because not only did I stop eating rice for nutritional reasons, I also stopped eating it because it never tasted that good in the first place. Recently, I made the discovery that cauliflower rice is pretty darn good and just about as simple to make. For those of you who are looking to eat healthier or if you just want a taste of something new, cauliflower rice is for you.
This recipe is great because you can tailor it exactly how you like it. What I mean is that once you have the basic cauliflower rice made, you can add as many or as few ingredients as you wish. The first time I made it, I kept it plain. The second time I made it, I added some cilantro to the final product. The third time I made it, I added cilantro, lime juice, onions and garlic. This is all to say: tweak, and and tinker with ingredients based upon what you like or what would pair well with your meal.
In case you did not know, the picture above is a cauliflower. Now that we got the hard part out of the way, let’s get to cooking.
The first step is to break up the cauliflower and get rid of the stems and leaves, leaving only the cauliflower florets. Once that’s done, break up the pieces a bit more so your food processor’s job is a bit easier. You should have something resembling this when done:
Next, using the pulse feature on your food processor, grind away at the cauliflower until you get them down to the size of a grain of rice. WARNING: Be careful not to over process the cauliflower or you’ll be left with a mushy mess.
Now comes the fun part: customization. As the title suggests, this cauliflower rice gets spruced up with garlic, onions, cilantro and lime. If you’d like to make this exact recipe, you can get the full breakdown below.
One thing to note about the garlic and onions. Do not sautee them, instead you want to sweat them. What this means is that instead of using a high heat and browning the food, you want to use a medium-low heat to gently cook them. By sweating the onions and garlic instead of sauteing them, you will get a much more nuanced flavor profile that brings out all the flavors. You’ll know your sweating is complete once the onions have reached a translucent state, usually about five minutes.
The final step is to put all this into a skillet or saute pan and heat it up. Again, you don’t want any browning to happen here so use a medium-low heat, mixing often until your cauliflower rice is nice and hot.
Be sure to stay tuned as I’ll be showcasing some recipes down the road that take advantage of the cauliflower rice including burrito bowls and a pizza crust! As always, if you have any great tweaks or tips to share, please add it to the comments.
- 1 large cauliflower
- 2 limes
- 4 - 5 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- A handful or so of cilantro, roughly chopped
- Break down the cauliflower into small florets
- Using your food processor break down the florets until they are about the size of a grain of rice (be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything is uniform)
- Sweat the onions and garlic and set aside
- Heat the cauliflower rice into a skillet/saute pan over medium-low, mixing often
- Squeeze the lime juice directly over the rice
- Add in your onions and garlic to the mixture
- Right before removing from heat, add in the cilantro
- Serve warm