Rice is quite a remarkable staple for it goes with almost anything; so too could be this cauliflower rice recipe. We seem to have been conditioned to eat rice often and having made a bold decision to go into the GAPS diet with my son, I began to wonder what would become of the space on the plate reserved for rice.
On earlier days, when we ate in the traditional way, rice took a space next to the beans, meat and some vegetables. Rice helped complete the meal. It could have been boiled until it was white and fluffy, stir fried with chopped vegetables or beans, mixed into a wonderfully scrumptious pie, even added to salads and made into a pudding or cream. I certainly loved cooking with rice. However, right now we have given rice a little break. We will eat rice later... but for now we have to substitute it with something that would fill that space on the plate.
A simple search online would lead you to many recipes using cauliflower as a substitute to rice (and even flour). It is white, and when chopped finely looks much like rice. It can look a lot like rice, but requires far less cooking time. It can also be used to prepare some "rice-like" dishes. Of course, more on that later.
The Awesomeness of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a rather interesting vegetable. The curd (or head) can be white, purple, green or orange. (Interesting fact: The orange variety originated from a natural mutant found in a cauliflower field in Canada). Cauliflower looks a lot like broccoli, both of which belong to the same species (brassica). The common variety is white.
This vegetable is a "cole crop", much like broccoli, cabbage, kale, arugula, brussels sprouts; and so it is a cruciferous vegetable. Now, at one time, I thought the word "cruciferous" was referring to the vegetables that cause much bloating and gas in the stomach. I supposed I was seriously mistaken. In fact, the word cruciferous has its origins in the Latin word Cruciferae meaning "cross-bearing" due to the "shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross" (Source). Now that's some new info lol.
Cauliflower is a perfect substitute for rice, and it's also a terrific way to eat more healthy vegetables. I recently found out that cauliflower has some remarkable health benefits also. One study, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, indicated that it provides anti-inflammatory benefits.
I certainly believe that, because once you eat more of these vegetables you will see the swelling in your legs and joints going down. Now, some people believe cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower causes a lot of stomach gas and bloating. Again, I would say if that is the case you should really deal with your gut first, and then you will find it easier to consume these vegetables.
One way to do this is to try the gaps diet as I have mentioned before and to also include some fermented vegetables in your meals. Fermented vegetables, such as Sauerkraut, Kimchi etc., are quite flavourful and very beneficial to your gut. Nowadays I don't even get bloated as before when I eat those cruciferous vegetables. I believe something positive is happening within my body.
Cauliflower is also low in calories but packed with many of the vitamins and minerals the body needs. Compared to rice which has 206 calories per cup, cauliflower has fewer calories - about 179 calories less i.e. 27 cal. It also has a lot of fiber that promotes fullness. This makes it a great substitute for rice and a benefit for those who want to lose weight.
The Cauliflower Rice Recipe
This cauliflower rice recipe really was a big surprise. Though it took a little time to chop, for I chopped it by hand, it cooked within 15 minutes over a low flame. Cauliflower rice can be served with any kind of meat, your favourite side dish, and other vegetables. I've had it with callaloo and baked chicken. In this post I will show you the basics, a buttery cauliflower rice and in later posts I will show you other recipes I did with cauliflower. You need just three main ingredients for this recipe. Here is Cauliflower Rice.
1 head of cauliflower, finely chopped
3 tbsp. butter or ghee
1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
1 tbsp. grated ginger,
sea salt (or Himalayan Pink Salt) and black pepper, to taste
Note: Make sure you use fresh cauliflower. Watch out for any soft areas or black spots on the curd.
Firstly, chop the cauliflower finely, as fine as the rice grains. You can also place pieces of cauliflower in a food processor and blitz it until it looks much like rice. Another option is to use a grater. Set aside.
In a deep pot, melt two tablespoons butter or ghee and add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion for two minutes over a low flame.
Next, add the chopped cauliflower and the rest of the butter. Mix well. Then add the grated ginger. Cover and allow the cauliflower to be cooked for another 10 minutes, stir occasionally to avoid burning. Do not burn the cauliflower. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Remove and serve hot.
Note: a 2 pound cauliflower head would give you about 3-4 cups of cauliflower rice. Serving size is a one cup. A serving of one cup of raw cauliflower has about 25 calories and 0 fat. Quite a healthy choice!
The finished buttery cauliflower rice.
And that's how easy it is. Look forward to other upcoming recipes with cauliflower rice. I definitely enjoyed eating this side with the beef, green peas, and the fermented vegetables (see picture).
If you enjoyed this post we invite you to leave your comments below. Also, tell us if you are on a low carb diet, keto diet, or even paleo diet; and how you are coping with it. We will continue sharing our experience on the GAPS diet and the recipes as we continue this journey.
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