Delicious Living Blog

Everything you need to know about cauliflower rice

by Jessie Shafer, RD
May 12, 2018

How this humble ingredient gained celebrity status and the easiest way to make your own cauliflower rice.

The story of cauliflower rice is rooted in the lure of low-carbohydrate diets, so let's start there. 

Believe it or not, the first low-carb diet book is nearly 150 years old. In 1863, English undertaker William Banting wrote a booklet called Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public that contained a plan for what was, essentially, a low-carbohydrate diet that he followed to lose weight.

Since then, some iteration of the low-carb diet (from Atkins and South Beach to Jenny Craig and Paleo) has been in vogue and used for weight loss, heart health, diabetes management, fat burning and more. And where there are low-carb diets, there are low- and no-carbohydrate foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, nuts and non-starchy vegetables, including salad greens, tomatoes, peppers and—of course—cauliflower.

Any dieter knows, if ever there was a catalyst for creativity, it is hunger. Low-carb dieters, especially, have brought some innovative gems to the world, including using lettuce as a replacement for buns and wraps, zucchini “zoodles” as pasta replacements, and pizza made on a base of eggplant or Portobello mushrooms. But perhaps no ingredient has come to the rescue as cauliflower has for dieters who want an indulgence.

First, it was mashed cauliflower as a low-carb, more nutrient-dense replacement for (or addition to) mashed potatoes. Then it was cauliflower buffalo wings. Then it was cauliflower pizza crust. But the rice form of cauliflower made these substitutes really fun.  

With the invention of cauliflower rice, the sky is the limit. Use it in stir-fries, casseroles, tabbouleh, fried rice, salads, risotto, tacos and burritos, grain bowls and more. You can make your own or purchase already-riced cauliflower in fresh and frozen form at most natural product retailers. So popular is cauliflower rice that rumor has it that Trader Joe's had to recently ration their own branded cauliflower rice by limiting shoppers to just two bags per day. According to the store's own 8th Annual Customer Choice Awards, TJ's Cauliflower Rice was both the fourth favorite item in the fresh produce category and the third favorite frozen product. Can't get your hands on a bag? Not to worry, as it's quite easy to make your own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to make delicious, fool-proof cauliflower rice

Delicious Living’s Foolproof Cauliflower Rice

2 garlic cloves, pressed

3–4 cups cauliflower florets (1 large head cauliflower)

1 teaspoon coconut oil

½ yellow onion, diced

Dash each sea salt and black pepper

  1. Press garlic cloves and set aside for 10 minutes. While garlic is resting, add half of the cauliflower florets to a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Pulse florets until they have a rice-like texture. Remove from food processor and set aside in a bowl. Pulse the remaining florets but be careful not to process too much, as the cauliflower will become mush if it’s overprocessed.
  2. In a pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sauté pressed garlic and onion in pot until onion is translucent.
  3. Add cauliflower rice and ¼ cup water to pot; stir. Cover and steam cauliflower rice for 5–8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and fluff with a wooden spoon.

Try cauliflower rice in recipes!

Here at Delicious Living, we love experimenting with cauliflower rice and subbing it in recipes where you’d typically find rice. Here are a few of our favorite recipes using cauliflower rice.

Layered Tex Mex Cauliflower Rice Salad

Skillet Chicken with Pesto Cauliflower Rice

Indian (No) Butter Slow-Cooker Chicken

Herby Hemp & Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh

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