Healthy Cauliflower Rice Recipes – My Obsession
I tend to get obsessed with various foods. And for the past few years it’s been cauliflower rice. If you haven’t heard of it – or tried it – you should! It’s a super trendy item right now. It sells out of my local supermarket within hours of them stocking the freezer shelf. I heard Trader Joes put limits on how many bags you could buy last year. Why is it so popular? Probably because it’s very low in calories and carbs and loaded with nutrients. It’s a great replacement for rice, couscous and pasta if you are trying to cut carbs. So whether you have diabetes, prediabetes, PCOS, trying to follow a low carb diet – or looking for a way to sneak in more veggie, I’d recommend you try it. I put together a few of my favorite healthy cauliflower rice recipes to entice you.
It’s funny how the shape of a vegetable can make it more appealing. I could take or leave zucchini, but love zucchini noodles. The same goes for cauliflower. In the past I would rarely buy heads of cauliflower. But then I started to hear about cauliflower rice (or “riced” cauliflower). If you don’t know what I am talking about – it is cauliflower that has been ground or chopped/grated into little pieces resembling rice or couscous. You can make it in a food processor or blender or buy it already “riced”. Since I’m a bit on the lazy side when it comes to food, I have no interest in making it myself. So you an buy it fresh already riced – or better yet frozen. Frozen is my favorite because it doesn’t go bad … and make your refrigerator all stinky. (pics are of my freezer and refrigerator … not on the same day. I’m not that obsessed!)
Why I’m obsessed with cauliflower rice
– It’s easy. Cooks in a few minutes in the microwave or on the stove
– Versatile. I mix it into scrambled eggs, frozen dinners, add marinara sauce or use for a base for stir-fries. My favorite easy ways to make it:
Sautéed with a little olive oil, then add chopped tomatoes, capers, olives, black pepper and freshly grated parm cheese
Sautéed with a little sesame oil, scallions, fresh garlic, ginger, hot mustard powder, splash of soy sauce
– Low calorie, low carb. You get to eat larger volumes of food with minimal added calories.
Nutritional content and calories in cauliflower rice
From a nutrition standpoint, cauliflower is about as healthy as it gets. It’s is categorized as a cruciferous vegetable but doesn’t get nearly the same attention as its green relatives, kale and broccoli. But it should! Here are some of the health benefits:
- Rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories: One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. A whole head of cauliflower only has 129 calories! (pic credit: cookiestokale.com Cauliflower Riced Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms)**Now compare cauliflower rice to regular rice:
A cup of cauliflower rice is about 40 calories, 8 gm carbs and 4 gm fiber compared to a cup of white rice for 240 calories and 45 gm carbs, 0 gm fiber.
- Cancer fighting: Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. It is believed to help decrease risk of colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.
- Anti-inflammatory: Cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
- Boost heart health: Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. Because of its ability to bind bile acids, intake of cooked cauliflower has also been linked to better regulation of blood cholesterol. (pic credit: skinnytaste.com Mexican Cauliflower Rice)
- Antioxidants and phytonutrients: Cauliflower is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients. It’s rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, cinnamic acid, and much more.
Where to find cauliflower rice
While all cauliflower has health benefit no matter what form it’s in, this post is on cauliflower rice. You can make it in a food processor or blender or buy it already “riced”. Lucky for us lazy peeps, you can find cauliflower already “riced” in stores including Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Stop and Shop and Fresh Direct. It can be found fresh in the produce department or frozen. (pic credit: hungrygirl.com Cauliflower Rice Breakfast Bowl)
Quickie ways to cook it
- For the easiest and cleanest white-rice—esque cauliflower, use the microwave.
- For a sweeter, more cauliflower-forward rice, sautéing is a great option.
- For a quick-cooking, caramelized cauliflower side dish, roasting is the way to go (pic credit: nomnompaleo.com Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice)
Check out this article on Epicurious on the best ways to make cauliflower rice
Healthy cauliflower rice recipes (and suggestions from my facebook friends!)
My sister, Courtney Baker Hurley’s, quick fix is sautéed with chopped onion, garlic and a little olive oil. Her favorite recipe is from Nom Nom Paleo – Asian Cauliflower Fried
Rice. (see pic above)
Erica Sawers loves it sautéed with coconut oil and coconut aminos.
Angela Grassi, MS, RDN, LDN author of The PCOS Nutrition Center Cookbook: 100 Easy and Delicious Whole Food Recipes to Beat PCOS makes Cauliflower Crust Pizza (see the main pic on this blog for her pizza crust!)
Cauliflower “Rice” Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms recipe credit: cookiestokale.com (see pic above)
Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp recipe credit: kalynskitchen.com (see pic)
The Secret to Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe credit: detoxinista.com
Cauliflower Rice Pudding recipe credit: cookiestokale.com (see pic)
10 Minute Cauliflower Rice recipe credit: damdelicious.com
Mexican Cauliflower Rice recipe credit: skinnytaste.com (see pic above)
Cauliflower Rice Breakfast Bowl recipe credit: hungrygirl.com (see pic above)
Shari Bilt Boockvar, my RD colleague, recommends Simple Cauliflower Egg Scramble: Sauté 3/4 cup cauliflower rice in 1 teaspoon olive oil. Scramble in 1 egg. Top with 1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese & sprinkle with garlic seasoning salt.
Natalia Roca substitutes it for anything that has rice in it like stir fry’s or fried rice and when she wants to pump up the
nutrient value, mixes it with any salad greens and a lemon lime vinaigrette with some white beans. Loves cauliflower rice and think it’s a great crust.
Jess Pollack makes cauliflower rice by adding chopped carrots, celery and onions with lite soy sauce and sf teriyaki sauce -add chicken or fish. She also loves Healthy Teriyaki Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowl recipe credit: hungry girl.com
For more recipes, check out Pinterest-popular cauliflower rice
What is your favorite way to eat Cauliflower Rice?
I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.