Not too long ago, I would have thought ‘cauliflower rice’ sounded kind of depressing. I mean, let’s be honest – it’s not the same as real rice. (For the record, I still find cauliflower pizza crusts to be depressing and am working on a primal pizza crust that doesn’t have a bajillion calories. If you haven’t tried it, though, you might be surprised at how well cauliflower functions as a rice-like base for curries and stir-fries. Aside from kind of looking like white rice, it has a neutral flavor and even manages to soak up a little sauce. Furthermore, if you’re the type who has a hard time getting in all your veggies, this is a practically effortless way to pack in a substantial amount of cauliflower. What was once a huge head is reduced to 4 modest-looking mounds of ‘rice’ after cooking.
Even when I’m making Asian dishes, I have grown accustomed to not including rice and I find that I don’t even miss it. I’d rather have more of the actual dish than just some boring old rice anyway. However, the other night I was making a Sri Lankan coconut chicken curry that was not only on the spicy side but also had a fair amount of liquid. This is when something like cauliflower rice comes in handy. The cauliflower helped to absorb some of the sauce and even out the spicy flavor.
I’ve seen recipes that call for steaming or microwaving the cauliflower rice but I can’t imagine why you’d want to cook it that way unless you are looking to save a few calories. It’s not really faster and since it absorbs water during cooking, the rice won’t be absorbent on the plate. Here’s how I prefer to make the rice. Check back tomorrow for the Sri Lankan curry.
It doesn’t get any easier than this!
1 large head of cauliflower
1-2 tbs butter or coconut oil
salt to taste
Use the large holes on your cheese grater to grate the cauliflower into small pieces. Heat the oil or butter in a large fry pan over med-high heat. Add cauliflower and cook until the cauliflower is soft and starting to get a little toasty.
If you want to get fancy, you could throw in some chopped garlic near the end.