Friday, July 15, 2011

Basic Cauliflower Rice

A simple, useful substitute for rice.
Cauliflower rice - for when you don't want a bowl full of sugar.
I've already posted a recipe for Fried Cauliflower Rice, but I wanted to lay out the steps for the basic version. I've got two reasons for this. First, cauliflower rice is a nice side item to have in your repertoire. It works well with barbecue (For example, pulled pork in both regular and strawberry flavors) and lots of other southern style dishes. Second, I'm lazy. I have a few recipes in the pipeline that use cauliflower rice as an ingredient, and I'd like to be able to just say "2 cups of cauliflower rice" with a link to this post instead of listing cauliflower as an ingredient and then describing how to make it into cauliflower rice every time.

Nutritionally, cauliflower is awesome. It's a cousin to cabbage and broccoli, and eating more of it will make your momma proud. It's kind of bland, so it's good to add a few spices to it when you make it into rice, especially if you're planning to eat it as-is instead of using it as an ingredient. If you're using it as a substitute for rice in a recipe, you need to remember that rice has starches that thicken liquids, whereas cauliflower rice often contributes some liquid of its own, thinning things out.

This ingredient list almost feels silly.
1 head of cauliflower
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Food Processor (Recommended)
Microwave-Safe Dish With Lid

First, trim any green leaves away from the bottom of the head of cauliflower. Then, cut the cauliflower into pieces that are small enough to fit into the shoot of your food processor. Use your food processor's grating disk to grate the cauliflower into very small bits.

If you don't have a food processor with a grating disk, see the notes.

Place the cauliflower into a microwave-safe dish with a lid. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and mix everything to distribute the seasonings. Microwave, loosely covered, on high for about 7 minutes.

"Loosely covered" means lay the lid on top of the dish, but don't seal it.

  • If you don't have a food processor with a grating disk, you can use a handheld cheese grater instead. Trim any leaves from the head, but leave it intact otherwise. Then just start grating it like a head of cheese. I recommend using the smaller holes on the grater for this.
  • Cauliflower varies in size, but on average one head of cauliflower will make between four and six cups of cauliflower rice.
  • Loosely covering the dish as it cooks lets the cauliflower steam a little, but doesn't let it collect water in the bottom of the dish.
  • I know this is a really short, simple post. Don't worry, though, I've got another one coming very soon.

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