Are you craving a stir-fry, but don’t know what to serve as a substitute for rice? Try low-carb nutrition-dense cauliflower. Not only is it better for you, but you’ll get to eat a whole cup as a serving as opposed to a measly 1/3 cup of rice.
All you need to do is buzz up the cauliflower in a food processor or grate it by hand with a box grater. After a quick steam in the microwave, you’ll stir-fry it with onion, garlic, and ginger for about 5 minutes. It’s quicker than waiting 50 minutes for brown rice to cook, that’s for sure.
If you want to serve the rice with something besides Asian food, adjust the spices accordingly. For example, if you were making Mexican-inspired rice and beans, you could use olive oil instead of coconut oil, skip the ginger, and add cumin and/or chili powder. If you were cooking an Indian dish, you might want to substitute turmeric or curry powder for the ginger. Use your imagination and pick spices and a healthy fat that will work with your main course.
Low-carb Cauliflower Rice
- 1 head cauliflower washed, trimmed, and cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger optional - use only if it will work with your main dish
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Place a single layer of cauliflower in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cauliflower is a little larger than the size of rice. Scrape into a microwave-safe bowl. Repeat with remaining cauliflower until all of it is chopped.
Cover bowl and microwave cauliflower at 100% for 5 minutes. Dump onto a clean dish towel and spread it out. Let it sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
Bring the edges of the towel together and form a pouch. Over a bowl, twist and squeeze to remove as much liquid from the cauliflower as possible. (Save the liquid for another use such as making soup or cooking beans.)
Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Add onions and sauté, stirring constantly, until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. If onions start to brown at all, reduce heat.
Add garlic, ginger (if using), and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for an additional minute. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring often, until it is heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper and serve.
Time-saving tip: Skip steps 2 to 3 and cover the pan in step 5 to help steam the cauliflower. The "rice" won't be quite as soft and may be a little watery, but it will still be good.
Make-ahead tip: Do step 1 ahead of time and store the chopped cauliflower in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
If you don't want to use a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower with a box grater. Set the grater on top of a baking pan for easier clean up.
If you are watching your sodium intake, you may want to skip the kosher salt.