Cauliflower has definitely been all the rage lately, especially on my Instagram page, mainly because I recently found out about how versatile it can be when it comes to low carb cooking and I love it! I use it as an actual rice substitute for my Asian inspired dishes, as base for my pizza crusts, as a substitute for pasta for mac and cheese, as well as a really great substitution for grits when I make shrimp and grits; there are many more uses, as well. There are tons and tons of videos on YouTube on how to make these dishes, and there a couple different ways to “rice” the cauliflower.
“Ricing” cauliflower just means taking it from its original state and either grating it or putting it through a food processor so that it resembles short-grain rice. One thing I see time and time again is that people who use a food processor tend to over-process the cauliflower until it’s almost a puree, and that’s not really the point of cauliflower rice. Depending on how you’re going to cook it or use it in a specific dish, you want the cauliflower to have some bite or texture.
First, you have to choose how you’re going to rice the cauliflower, with a grater or food processor. Typically, when using a grater, most people keep the cauliflower whole as it’s easier to handle a whole head rather than trying to grate little florets. If you choose to use a food processor, you will need to remove the leaves and part of the stalk, and separate the florets. When using a grater, you want to choose a box grater and use the side with the largest holes, as this will yield the best result. If you choose the food processor route, make sure you DO NOT overcrowd the bowl. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to do this in batches. The important step in using a food processor is to PULSE the cauliflower anywhere from 20-30 times until it starts to look like short-grain white rice. If you just just leave the processor on and let it run, you’re on your way to a puree, which is helpful for certain recipes like cauliflower “mashed potatoes”, but that’s not what this article is about, homie! We’re talkin’ cauliflower rice!
Once you have your “rice” done, it’s up to you on how you want to use it. When I’m using it as an actual rice substitute, I just saute the cauliflower in a little butter or coconut oil and spices for about 5-7 minutes until it’s tender and that’s it! For recipes like Cauliflower Pizza Crust, you will need to extract as much moisture as possible out of it to achieve a crisp enough crust. This usually involves either steaming the cauliflower rice or microwaving it, waiting for it to cool, then wrapping it in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth, then physically squeeeeeezing all the moisture you can possibly get out of it. Don’t worry, I’ll be posting recipes and videos for this in the future.
That’s about it though! Like I said, I love cauliflower because it’s so versatile. I have to admit, at first, I was very skeptical about using it as an actual rice substitute because, let’s be real here, I’m Asian, and rice has been a staple for me pretty much since birth. After the very first time trying it out, I was pleasantly surprised and have no problems eating it on a regular basis. Knowing what I know now about my own body and how it responds to carbs and insulin, incorporating a healthy substitute like this is a no-brainer! Try it out sometime and let me know what you think!