I can say that since I was little, I’ve never been a fan of cauliflower. Cauliflower was never ever my go-to choice on the cold veggie platters, I hated the curries my family made using it. I think it was a more textural thing rather than flavour dislike but I never touched it. One of my goals this year is to explore those foods I never liked as a tiny human (and haven’t bothered trying again as I got older) and attempting to make yummy meals from ’em. I’ve been meaning to give cauliflower a try again but with the costs being veryyyy high in Vancouver lately ($7+/head), I have laid off them. But with a recent sale at my local grocer, I decided to finally experiment with this disliked white vegetable of mine.
I heard of using cauliflower as your “rice” in dishes and didn’t believe it could be any good. With its naturally mellow/neutral flavour and lack of typical odour that comes from vegetables stemming from the “cabbage family,” it’s actually the perfect vegetable to use as a rice substitute. I really enjoyed how easy it was to make and subbed it for my rice when I made my go-to quick Pad Ka-Prao weekday meal. Two ingredient “rice” that allows you to add in more veggies to your meal instantly? Sign me up for that! P.S. When my guy entered the house, he thought it was rice at first glance sitting on my counter – he was very confused when I said otherwise!
- 1 head cauliflower – if you want a smaller yield of “rice,” use half the head instead
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
What to do:
- Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the hard inner core and taking off larger pieces of stem (can use these more tender stems for later use). Stick into a food processor and pulse until “rice” sized pieces – I batch processed this to get even sizes of cauliflower.
- Heat a large frying pan to medium high heat. Add oil to pan – warm through.
- Add cauliflower to pan. Stir then close with lid for approx 1 min. Open pan and stir again. Close for another minute. Stir again. This process allows the cauliflower to get a bit of browning colour action going while also steaming/cooking the vegetable through. Complete this rotation of cooking for 6-8 minutes or until the cauliflower is slightly brown and cooked with a slight crunch/texture.
Yields approx 6-8 cups “rice,” depending on the size of the caulflower
Tips and Tricks:
- Make sure your pan is hot before adding the cauliflower and don’t cook too long, otherwise your “rice” will be quite soft and lack the usual rice texture.
- Try to use the florets rather than the stems. The florets is where the texture comes from. That being said, DON’T waste those stems! Add it to your next stir fry or as an added bit of fibre to your soups!
- Want to make a meal out of the “rice” itself? When heating the oil, add some garlic/ginger, then stir in the cauliflower with some of your other fav vegetables/soy sauce/seasonings to make a quick vegetable fried rice! Top with your preferred protein!