Cauliflower rice has been all the rage in recent years – mostly due to the rise of the Paleo diet, which uses cauliflower rice as a grain-free alternative to regular rice. We wanted to share with you 10 awesome uses for cauliflower rice so you can bring this powerhouse into regular rotation in new ways.
Cauliflower is a powerhouse of nutrients, including anti-inflammatory Vitamin C, digestive-supportive fibre and glucosinolates, which are sulphurous compounds that help us detoxify and neutralize carcinogens.
You certainly don’t need to be Paleo to enjoy a scoop of cauliflower rice or enjoy the health benefits of cauliflower. There are a multitude of diets from vegan to Paleo that can incorporate cauli rice, too! But first, a primer on how to make it:
How to Make Basic Cauliflower Rice:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- salt to taste
Break your cauliflower into large florets. Using a food processor, process the cauliflower into smaller bits, until it resembles grains of rice (you may need to do this in batches). It’s also possible to make it without a food processor, but it does involve a lot of muscle work chopping, chopping and more chopping.
To cook your cauliflower rice, warm up your oil on low to medium heat (choose healthy oils for high-heat cooking, please). Saute for several minutes until the ‘rice’ softens. Season with salt and your rice is ready to go!
Alternatively, you can skip the cooking step and use your cauliflower rice in raw dishes. However, if you add raw cauliflower rice to a cooked dish, this will affect the moisture content as the raw rice will exude liquid as it cooks.
For a video tutorial on making cauliflower rice, check out this Facebook Live video from ACN Director Meghan Telpner.
10 Uses for Cauliflower Rice
1. Stuffed Peppers
You don’t need meat or grains to pack your peppers with a satisfying filling. Mix cauliflower rice with your favourite herbs, greens, veggies or beans and drizzle with tomato sauce, pesto, or peanut-free peanut sauce for an Asian flair. And while you’re stuffing things, you could also try tomatoes or butternut squash!
2. Fried Cauliflower Rice
This is a great option if you’ve got a collection of vegetables in the fridge that are looking a little sad and wilted. With the combination of veg, cauli rice, gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos, ginger, garlic and protein-rich tofu or tempeh, you’ll find yourself with a perfect gluten-free dinner recipe.
3. Sushi with Cauliflower Rice
Instead of white rice or brown rice, swap in cauliflower rice as a way to pack even more veggies into your day. Veggie sushi is a wonderfully portable option for your lunchbox (or your child’s lunchbox) – simply grab a reusable container (preferably a glass one) and you’ll be counting down the minutes till noon arrives.
4. Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Cauliflower Rice
With the inclusion of cauliflower rice, these ain’t your grandma’s cabbage rolls. Yet they are still comforting and delicious! Load up your cauliflower filling with onions, garlic and your protein of choice (either meat or lentils), and smother the cabbage rolls with a heavenly tomato sauce. No one will know the difference.
5. Cauliflower Rice ‘Pilaf’ or Couscous
Most couscous recipes are all about the herbs and fresh vegetables anyway, so you’re really not missing out on anything when you substitute cauli rice. This is the time when you’d want to use it raw and really let the crunch and flavours shine!
6. Cauliflower Rice Pizza Crust
You’ve probably seen an abundance of cauliflower crust pizzas floating around the internet – unfortunately, most of them have eggs and cheese. If you opt for flax eggs or chia eggs, you can enjoy cauliflower crusts even if you’re vegan! The key to a good cauliflower pizza crust is squeezing out all the liquid from your cooked rice – so wrap up your rice in a tea towel or too and squeeze away.
7. Cauliflower Rice Bowls
A perfect and simple dinner bowl contains a gang of veggies, healthy fats, a nourishing source of protein, a fabulous sauce and a mix of textures. For extra flair, toss some cauliflower rice into the mix!
Recipe to Try: Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Spring Veggies + Arugula Pesto by Domesticate Me
8. Cauliflower Rice Sandwich Wraps
Add in some extra cauliflower goodness to your next sandwich wrap or rice wrap. Go Mexican with cauli rice, beans and salsa, or opt for Mediterranean with cauli rice, falafel, tomatoes and tahini sauce. With its neutral flavour, cauliflower rice can fit in anywhere.
9. Cauliflower Rice Veggie Burgers
We put all kinds of veggies into our veggie burgers, so why not cauliflower as well? Riced cauliflower will add some extra moisture to your favourite veggie burger recipe, so you may need to reduce the amount of liquid elsewhere if needed.
10. Cauliflower Rice Risotto
If you remove the arborio rice, butter, cream and Parmesan, is what you’re left with risotto? We think so! And the health benefits of ditching dairy and reducing grain consumption are more than enough incentive to make the switch.
Recipe to Try: Cauliflower Rice Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms by Cookies to Kale
What have we missed? How do you like to use cauliflower rice?
Header Image: iStock/nata_vkusidey