This is the best way to make a healthy rice-like substitute from cauliflower. Taste and texture are amazingly similar with this method. A low carb lifestyle is being adopted and recommended more and more by doctors and health gurus, which explains why recipes like this became popular. Truthfully, I would rather eat real rice. (shhh … don’t tell anyone). But, I’m determined to eat healthier, at least for a little while, so I want to have this recipe handy for when I want to make cauliflower “rice” again.
What’s the big deal about this method? What are we trying to do here? Make cauliflower that looks and tastes like rice. Is that even possible? Because cooked cauliflower is, you know, icky. But after browsing the internet, I found that the folks at Epicurious did an experiment, using differing methods to make cauliflower rice, to see which method tasted the best. The method they said is the “best” is the one I tried, (of course making a few little “tweaks” of my own), and we were wowed with the results! It isn’t rice. But it’s a pretty good imitation. If you like, you can read the Epicurious experiment here.
This works best with a food processor, but I didn’t have one here. I cut the pieces up smaller and did several small batches in my Magic Bullet. I had to keep stopping it and shaking it up, but it finally got the job done. I read that you can also grate the cauliflower on a cheese grater, but that sounded like too much work. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it is in little grains, about the size of rice. Make as much or as little as you need for your size of family.
Here’s my little trick for making sure it tasted really good. See the picture where I am pouring the cauliflower “rice” into a casserole dish? Notice the yellow color on the bottom of the dish? That’s melted butter. Am I defeating the whole purpose of making healthy cauliflower “rice” by adding butter? No, I don’t think so. I actually used ghee (just because I had it and needed to use it up), which is the clarified fat from butter. We need some fats in our diet, and nothing goes with white rice like a bit of butter, right? So, melt about 2 tsp of butter in the bottom of a microwaveable dish, and stir it all into the cauliflower “rice”. Also, sprinkle a little salt over the top of the cauliflower, and stir it in too. Just like you would for real rice. Now cover the dish with plastic wrap, and microwave for 3 minutes. That’s it! 3 minutes in the microwave gives just the right amount of cooking, without overcooking it. Trust me, 3 minutes. No more.
Pull the plastic off (carefully so the steam doesn’t burn you), fluff it up, and that’s it! Isn’t that easy? And I am still so surprised that it tasted so good too. Only make as much as you think you will eat in one meal. We found that the taste wasn’t quite as nice when reheated for leftovers.
Of course, if you know me, you will know that I can’t leave well enough alone. I felt like making it taste like my “Green Rice”, by stirring in some chopped cilantro, garlic, mushrooms, and green onions, and also some herbed feta cheese. Toss that together with the cauliflower rice, and you don’t even taste the cauliflower. And it’s good! But it’s OK if you like plain white cauliflower rice. Either way, it makes an easy, healthy side for your dinner plate. Here I’ve paired it with baked acorn squash and baked salmon. Yum! And healthy too.