Riced cauliflower- it's everywhere, am I right? By now, even if you haven’t tried it, you’ve heard of it. Some of you may be buying it and eating it every week.
But I’m sure there are some of you who’ve never tried it and, as someone who hates cauliflower, have no intention of trying it anytime soon. Well I’m here to help you learn what it is and why you’d want to eat it. For those of you who are already obsessed, I’m here with some creative ways to enjoy your riced cauliflower.
Let's start with the WHAT:
Riced cauliflower is cauliflower florets (the top bulbous-y part) that has been pulsed in a food processor until it is crumbled into small pieces, about the size of a grain of rice.
Next, the WHY:
Why would you want to eat riced cauliflower? Well for starters it helps you to reach your daily veggie intake goals. I don't know about you, but I could always use help with that for myself and my family. Even more importantly, when cooked properly it can mimic the texture of rice.
You know, that stuff that is oh so yummy but can be oh so terrible for your diet. If you're watching your calories, cauliflower rice is your savior. Finally, and this is legit the most important of all, my babe absolutely does not know he’s eating cauliflower unless I tell him (which I do, after he confirms he loves it). For picky eaters it’s a lifesaver for sneaking extra vegetables into your babes food. For kids who aren’t as picky, it reminds them that not every meal needs to include a grain.
Do I have you excited? Great! Let's move on to the WHERE: I buy my riced cauliflower at my fave spot: Trader Joe's, where it costs way below where I've found anywhere else. But, if you are unfortunate enough to not have a TJ’s nearby, many supermarkets are starting to carry it because it's basically the best.
Also, you can make it if you have a good food processor. That process is here (with video): http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-cauliflower-rice-couscous-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-203344
Finally, the HOW:
The easiest way to cook riced cauliflower is to use it like you would rice: you can toss it with your fave veggies and toss it in a stir fry sauce (this homemade one here is a good one: http://thisishowimom.com/homemade-lo-mein/ ). Or you can cook it with a bit of turmeric, fennel seeds, and smashed garlic for an indian feel.
If you're not yet convinced that you should be cooking with riced cauliflower at least once a week, or are having riced cauliflower fatigue, here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing (and stomach growling):
Riced Cauliflower Mac ’n Cheese:
The best part of this faux Mac ’n Cheese is that it literally takes less than 1/4 cup of cheese to get that ooey gooey yummy flavor. I start by placing a large skillet over medium heat with a tbsp of walnut oil (you can use any oil but I love the warm nutty flavor it gives the cauliflower).
Once the pan is hot I add a whole bag of riced cauliflower and spread over the pan in an even layer. I season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika, then cover the pan and let it cook, unmoved, for about 7-10 minutes, or until the corners begin to brown.
I then uncover, stir, and sprinkle a few pinches of shredded cheese over the top (gouda, cheddar, fontina… you can’t go wrong!) and a tbsp of parmesan. Cover for another 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted, then serve immediately. I served it with some turkey chili here for the ultimate sneaky comfort food.
Mushroom, Blue Cheese, and Pear Riced Cauliflower Risotto:
This is the kind of recipe I normally find annoying because, duh, this is NOTHING like risotto. But, it does come out creamy like risotto, savory like risotto, and complex like a good risotto should be. So, ok, my Insta BFF was giving me side eye when I posted this but anything that gets my guys to eat fruit with dinner is a win for me. Here’s how I did it:
1. Over medium heat sauté 1/2 container of sliced baby Bella's with a drizzle of olive oil until brown.
2. Once golden, remove from pan and add a drizzle of olive oil to pan.
3. Wait for the pan to get hot and add 1 bag of @traderjoeslist riced cauliflower + spread evenly over hot pan.
4. Add salt + pepper to taste but don't toss or mix.
5. After 5 mins stir gently and add crumbled blue cheese, chopped pears, mushrooms, + chopped parsley.
6. Cook for another 2-3 mins until cheese begins to melt and pears are warm.
Serve + enjoy.
Julian ate 3/4 of his serving and I really couldn't ask for anything more. He especially loved eating the pears in a new savory way.
Riced Cauliflower + Broccoli Stuffed Shells:
Ok, so this isn't exactly what I would call healthy per se, but if you have a legit craving for stuffed shells but are watching your calories and fat grams, this recipe is for you. This one even include riced broccoli for some extra yum! Make these like you would make any stuffed shells: Begin by cooking the shells.
While shells are cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat with a tbsp of olive oil and sauce riced cauliflower and riced broccoli (both purchased at TJ’s, FYI) until just beginning to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Remove shells and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, mix riced cauliflower and broccoli with 1/4 cup of fat free ricotta + 1/4 cup of parmesan. Stuff shells, top with your fave marinara sauce, and bake covered for 45 minutes at 375. Uncover and allow to bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving. This recipe also keeps well if you decide to freeze it or gift it.
Healthy, filling, and endlessly customizable: cauliflower rice is here to stay! So tell me, which recipe are you pumped to try next?
-Christine (make sure to follow Christine on Instagram HERE)