Cauliflower Rice ... a low-carb alternative


Low-carb alternatives... I'm a bit late to the cauliflower "rice" party, mostly from a taste-trying perspective, if nothing else. And until relatively recently, I didn't feel much need for low-carb alternatives or calorie-counting, etc.  But lately I've been trying some low-carb recipes and low-carb alternatives. My middle-aging body is beginning to not play well with carbs. Too much pasta, rice, bread...it all wants to stay at my waist and hips. My bread baking adventures continue, but I must eat it sparingly. My waistline is protesting. And shall I tell you about how bloated I feel after pasta, etc.?  Or how I'm trying to figure out when to even put carbs in the day, because after 5pm I become like dough if I eat anything that's made of dough! No... ?! OK... we'll not go there today. ;)

And so, cauliflower rice... it makes a great substitute for rice, or couscous too! Low on carbs, low on calories. To really enjoy this, though, honestly, you have to like cauliflower to begin with. On it's own, it can be a bit bland. But when paired with anything that has a bit of a sauce, it's very good. Think Asian-style vegetable dishes... or perhaps an Italian-inspired meat/vegerable ragu. I like preparing it in a pan with some oil, as I feel it has more taste that way--more gentle flavor, slightly nutty. But it can be steamed in a pan with a little water, which saves calories.

For easiest preparation, a food processor or other vegetable chopper is VERY helpful. A box grater can also be used, of course, using the side with the largest holes.

Cauliflower Rice --makes 2 large portions, or 4 smaller servings

1 large cauliflower washed, dried, leaves removed, and cut into florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Place half cauliflower florets in food processor, and pulse until finely chopped, with a grain-like texture. Prepare the cauliflower in two batches with the food processor for best results.

Heat a large pan, shallow pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, and once it is heated, add the cauliflower rice. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is softened and turning slightly golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Have you had to make any dietary changes for health or happiness? Do you do low-carb recipes? Any favorite recipes/links to share?



Comments

  1. Hi Tracy, this is an interesting idea and one which I would like to try. I have been trying to make dietary changes in reducing fat, but not always successfully. Yesterday, the low fat eating went out the window, as we had fish and chips! Thank you for sharing this. Marie x

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    1. This requires a bit more time and preparation than rice or pasta, but it is a nice alternative. Last week I served a fish curry over this cauliflower rice, and it was very good. It's not easy to make dietary changes, or eliminate some things completely. Moderation and all that... which leaves room for fish & chips. ;)

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  2. I'm not sure this one will fly with me, Tracy! I love the concept and the mix-ins but cauliflower doesn't agree with me very well and I fear the end game might affect the good flavor of doing it in the first place!

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    1. Well, I think you're not much of a fan of cabbage, right? And cauliflower does have a bit of an almost mild cabbage taste... so this might not appeal on a lot of levels... LOL! It's not for everyone, for sure. And I think a lot depends on what you serve it with it too. Gotta have something really tasty to pair with it!

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  3. i'm not that crazy even about regular rice! LOL
    I did however make cauliflower potato salad once and it truly wasn't that bad.
    I made it southern style with mustard and onions and chopped boiled eggs and relish and mayo. it was very good actually.
    you could tell a little from the texture. the mayo made it fairly creamy. but not as much as the real potato salad. I only did it once. just not a huge fan!
    I like it simply steamed with a light cheese sauce. i'm not very imaginative!

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    1. Oh, but that cauliflower "potato salad" sounds good, Tammy! I'd like to try that. Cauliflower mash--using cauliflower instead of potatoes--is also pretty good. It's lighter than regular mashed potatoes, which I like. But cauliflower with a cheese sauce is still the best, isn't it?! LOL... pure comfort food! ;)

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  4. My daughter can't have gluten as she is allergic (truly allergic) so I will share this with her.

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    1. So sorry your daughter has such a bad time with gluten, Willow. More and more folks seem to, though, given how many new gluten-free items are increasingly available in supermarkets and health food stores. I hope she might give this cauliflower rice a try, and that she might like it, and most important--feel good from it. :)

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  5. After lots of trial and error with cauliflower rice, I tend to use granulated chicken broth or other dry seasoning blends when cooking it in a fry pan (cauliflower can get too watery if moisture is added). Before "riced" cauliflower was so readily available in stores, I would toss florets in my Vitamix with some water to chop it to the desired size and then drain.

    And like Tammy, I've also made not-potato salad with cauliflower. It is lighter tasting and with all the usual seasonings, I don't miss the potato much. Hope you find some relief from too much bread and pasta. If you have a way to quickly julienne squash like crookneck or zucchini, you can add it to pasta to increase your vegetable intake and reduce the bloated feeling.

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    1. Thanks so much for the tips & tricks, Anne! I want to try jazzing up the cauliflower rice a bit more, and a dry mix is a great idea. I've been playing around with julienned zucchini, making my own versions of zoodles and things, with OK results. Spiralizers are so expensive, and all this is new, so I'm not investing a lot of new gadgets yet. I don't feel I eat too much necessarily, but what's eating is affecting my body differently and weight sitting differently on my body. It's a bit disconcerting. :/ But trying alternatives has been fun!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this one; I am having the same trouble of my waist and hips growing a bit. I am afraid this is an on-going saga for me. I do find that eating a little more low carb can help me lose a bit. For me exercise is a big key and I may now have time to do a bit more so that will help.
    I loved your tutorial on how to make Cauliflower rice. I like that vegetable a lot; so I will try it.
    As I pursue my own health goals; I will let you know if I run across other good ideas. I just find that I have to not eat or at least limits the same foods as you do.
    Blessings as you work on this one! Sending big hugs your way~

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    1. You are right, LeAnn... exercise is a key element! I could do with more of that. I feel like I'm active during the day, and I enjoy walks and yoga. But I realize I need some more structured exercise that's more strength-building, etc. I'm not an exercise oriented person generally, so it is a challenge! :/ Some foods I think I may have to really cut back on though, or cut out all together. :(

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  7. Thanks for the tips on making cauliflower rice Tracy! I am just fat full on and I think its too late to help me now. Having diverticulitis, IBS, and Diabetes eating anything is often a minefield for me. Osteo arthritis makes exercise very difficult also, but I peservere because I don't want to seize up! Love you! Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend! xoxo

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    1. You have a lot of health challenges, Marie... I think you are brave in how you handle it all! :)

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