Peppered Cauliflower Rice Topped With A Vegetable Stir
By now many of you have already heard of cauliflower rice or riced cauliflower. Apparently it is a popular alternative to regular rice with those that follow the Paleo diet. I do not follow the diet but I do love this low-calorie, low-carb and starch free alternative that won’t raise my blood sugar.
The first time I heard of using cauliflower as a rice alternative was when I saw it on my foodie friend Tania’s website. She shared a gorgeous recipe titled Low Carb Fried Rice that peeked my interest immediately. Thanks to her I learned the technique for ricing the cauliflower and have now been experimenting with different ways of cooking the faux rice. Thank you Tania:)
I’ve tried doing some reasearch as to the origins of cauliflower rice but unfortunately have come up empty handed. The only mention I saw was a blogger saying they found out about it in the popular Wheat Belly book. Do any of you know who invented the technique?
The technique is quite basic, as all that is required is a head of cauliflower and either a food processor or box grater. (I use a box grater.) You process, or grate, the cauliflower flowerets into small pieces that resemble grains of rice. Since the pieces are so tiny all that is required is a quick blanching to cook the cauliflower before it is used in the desired recipe.
One very important thing I learned is to not over cook, boil, the cauliflower. Doing so gives it a strong and bitter taste. So if you don’t much care for the that bitterness the rice won’t taste good to you. But if cooked correctly it’s amazing how your brain doesn’t put together that it isn’t rice you are eating. There will still be a faint cauliflower taste but it tastes great and compliments other ingredients wonderfully.
Peppered Cauliflower Rice Topped With A Basil Spiced Vegetable Stir Fry For #MeatlessMonday
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- boiled water
- a bit of oil
- black pepper and sea salt to taste
Stir Fry Ingredients: (amounts are for 2 servings)
- 2 portobello mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion cut into 1/4s
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- olive oil or vegetable oil of choice
- soy sauce to taste (if avoid wheat us a gluten-free brand)
Cauliflower Rice Instructions:
- Throughly clean the head of cauliflower and pat dry. Cut into florets and discard thick stalks. In a food processor pulse until you achieve small granules that resemble rice. OR using a box grater, grate the florets into rice like granules. Pour the riced cauliflower into a large bowl, then pour over enough boiled water to cover. Allow to sit for 4 minutes or until softened, then drain. Try to make sure nearly all of the liquid has drained off. Add a bit of oil to a pan and saute the drained cauliflower for a few minutes. Gently mix in some ground black pepper and sea salt, then set aside.
Stir Fry Instructions:
- Heat the oil, and once warm cook onions until soft and translucent. Add the peppers, mushrooms and garlic, cook until the vegetables begin to soften or to desired tenderness. Add a splash or as much soy sauce as desired, then add the basil leaves. Cook for another few minutes.
- Serve the stir fried vegetables over the rice and enjoy!
This meal makes a scrumptious, low calorie and low carb lunch or dinner that is perfect for Meatless Mondays. Plus there are so many great health benefits of eating cauliflower, you can read all about it from this article.
Happy Monday everyone!
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Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…
A great idea! This dish is wonderful and ever so healthy.
Thank you Rosa!
Wow . This is such a superb idea to add pepper. Love your photos. I have also worked out that you dont need to boil or cook the cauli first just go straight to the stir fry bit . Love your work Nancy
Thank you Tania for the introduction and for the new tip.
What a fantastic idea! I’ve used cauliflower like mashed potatoes, but never thought to try it as a substitute for rice. I want to go to the store and pick up a couple heads and give it a try, especially with the mushroom and pepper stirfry on top, yum!
I love using it mashed too! Have fun experimenting and enjoy.
I”ve seen numerous recipes online using cauliflower this way, but have never tried it. Thanks to you and your simple explanation and tips, I think I will!
You should give it a try Victoria, I think you’d like it. Thanks!
I love cauliflower and your basil & veggie stir fry looks mouth watering!
Realllyy, you made a vegetarian dish look this good…wow. Love the shots and this dish looks so different and unique. Thanks!!
It’s not difficult because of all the lovely veggie colours.:) Thanks Ash!
I’ve also been intrigued about cauliflower rice…but have never, until now, seen exactly how it’s made. I hope to add this to our menu soon!
I hope you do too, Lizzy:)
I also use cauliflower a lot to substitute for rice. Of course I always ask for help from food processors to cut them into pieces. And then pour in a bit water and put to microwave for 30 to 60 seconds. It’s my little technique to keep the cauliflower rice from being overcooked and get too soft.
Thanks for the microwave tip, Ann. Will have to try that next time.
The only way I’ve every been able to enjoy cauliflower is in mashed cauliflower. I really loved it. Now you’ve given us cauliflower rice. However, very interesting and one that has me quite curious. It’s one of those vegetables I’ve always wanted to learn how to eat. thanks for another lesson Nancy! Gorgeous photographs!
I too love it mashed! Thanks MJ, I hope you give it a try soon.
Yummy…sounds very delicious and healthy. I love cauliflower and I will try this out soon 🙂
It is, thanks Shema;)
Wonderful looking dish.
This looks absolutely stunning. I’ve never tried cauliflower prepared
like this but for sure I will.
Love the picture of the cauliflower looking like a Bonsai tree 🙂
Thanks Daniela, it was my intent to have it look like a tree. Enjoy the cauliflower:)
A delicious and healthy meal indeed. Cauliflower rice sounds so cool! It is something I use for making stuffed cauliflower flat bread.
You should give it a try sometime!
What a fabulous dish…. I adore that photo of the cauliflower just standing there!! What a personality it has. 🙂
Thanks so much, Ramona!
Your cauliflower rice turned out beautiful, especially with the toppings. I was doubtful too when I first saw this concept but I am a convert, really good. And I am not a cauliflower fan.
Thank you Evelyne! Glad to hear you are also a fan.
I love cauliflower, but have never riced it – I need to. It’s definitely one of the “it” dishes at the moment. Although I know I’ve seen the technique before years ago – but it wasn’t meant as a substitute for rice, just a different way of using it. Anyway, great dish – thanks.
You should John, I’d love to see how you would prepare it. Thanks!
I used to use cauliflower this way when I was on the Paleo diet but it is now on the banned list for me and it is back to rice. Stir fried vegetables are such a great easy meal to make in the evening to make sure everyone is getting their quota of vegetables for the day.
Could this be done with frozen cauliflower florets?
Hi HJ! I have never tried it with frozen florets. I would suggest you defrost them completely before using. My only thought is that since they have already been blanched you go straight to the stir fry step. Hopefully they won’t have too strong of a taste. Enjoy and I hope it works out for you!
Thank you so much on the tip about how to stop the rice from going bitter. I have made caulirice quite a few times and most of the time it was fine. but some times – yuck! So I googled it and hey presto there is the solution on your blog. Thank you for stopping me on giving up on such a fabulous dish!
My pleasure, glad you didn’t give up on it!