The cauliflower is a vegetable, cruciferous in nature that is similar in its physical and nutritional qualities as the broccoli.
They both a bunch of large green flower that is joined together by a core which is very thick. Sometimes, few leaves surround the core.
This plant originated from the Mediterranean region of Europe. It is mostly white in color but can also have other varieties that are purple, green and orange in color.
The cauliflower possesses a nutty and slightly sweet taste. Although the colors might vary, they all taste alike.
It provides phytonutrients and antioxidants that can protect the body against cancer and other carcinogens.
Other components of the cauliflower are fiber which helps in digestion and weight loss and choline which plays a vital role in the improvement of cognitive abilities.
What Is Cauliflower Rice?
Cauliflower rice is made when cauliflower is pulsed in a food processor or grated. This is done until it forms into granules that are about the size of rice.
Even though it might be as good as rice, it is healthy and has the same texture as boiled rice.
When it is well seasoned and used in combination with other recipes and ingredients, it is quite delicious. When eaten raw, cauliflower rice grains are tender and a little bit crunchy. Eating vegetables never got any tastier.
Nutritional Value Of 100g Of Cauliflower
- 100 grams of cauliflower rice prepared from one head cauliflower contains:
- Energy – 27 calories
- Fat – 0.3g
- Protein – 2g
- Carbohydrate (of which sugars) – 2g
- Carbohydrate (non-sugar) -3g
- Fiber – 2.1g
- Vitamin C – 51.6mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.197mcg
- Vitamin K – 16.6mcg
- Folic acid – 61mcg
- Potassium -320mg
- Magnesium – 16mg
- Calcium – 24mg
- Phosphorus 47mg
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
The consumption of fruits and vegetables has been known to greatly reduce one’s chances of developing several types of ill-health.
Likewise, the consumption of plants is also believed to reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, obesity and increase the life span of the consumer.
They are also known to provide energy, help in maintaining a healthy weight and complexion.
Cauliflower is a plant and also a vegetable and therefore possesses these amazing qualities. Below are the health benefits of eating cauliflower:
Cauliflower is known to be rich in antioxidants like indole-3-carbinol (I3C). This antioxidant is usually present in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, and kale.
This antioxidant has been known to greatly reduce or even prevent the occurrence of breast and reproductive organ cancers. This antioxidant also has the ability to prevent oxidation from free radicals and cell mutations that results from them.
Sulfurous compounds like sulforaphane which gives the cauliflower its bitter aftertaste is known to help in the prevention of different types of cancer. This is done when sulforaphane inhibits the production of an enzyme known as histone deacetylase (HDAC).
This enzyme is involved in the growth and rapid division of cancerous cells in the pancreas, prostate, esophagus and in the melanocytes of the skin.
Due to its high fiber and water content, cauliflower can be used to prevent constipation, bloating and even reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
This is because fiber is known to support a healthy immune system and also reduce the incidence of inflammation. Therefore, it can reduce the risk of diseases that cause inflammations such as cancer, heart diseases, obesity and diabetes
Fiber-rich foods such as cauliflower can be used to reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and improve weight loss for obese people.
The deficiency of vitamin K is always present in cases of soft bones and osteoporosis. Consuming the daily required quantities of vitamin K can greatly improve bone strength.
This is because vitamin K helps in the absorption of calcium useful in building strong bones and teeth.
It is also known to modify the proteins of the bone matrix and also reduce the rate of removal of calcium from the blood by the kidney.
Cauliflower contains choline which helps to improve memory, learning, normal sleep patterns, restful sleep, coordinated movements, nerve functions, fat absorption and maintenance of cellular structures.
Difference Between Cauliflower Rice and Real Rice
Before substituting the real rice we all know and love with healthier cauliflower rice, here are some facts you need to know.
Cauliflower is a vegetable while rice is a grain. The grains of the cauliflower rice won’t give you the same feeling and texture when you chew it.
However, the grains of the cauliflower rice is fluffy, light and has a fresh flavor. It can be used in the same way as you would use rice and a great alternative.
Unlike real rice, cauliflower rice should not be simmered or cooked in boiling water. Boiling cauliflower will make it slightly slimy, soggy, soft and mushy and cannot be used as an alternative to rice in that state.
It is usually consumed raw or slightly sauteed if it is to be used as a side dish. It is not a good idea to cook cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower rice does not absorb water in the same way that the starchy grains of real rice do.
When sauces or dressings are added to a dish of cauliflower rice, very little quantity of them is absorbed while the rest pool at the bottom of the plate.
It is best to add dressings or sauces that are just enough to coat the cauliflower rice grains instead.
Although riced cauliflower is used as a substitute for rice, it does not have the same neutral taste as the real rice grains you are already used to.
Rather, it has a slightly nutty flavor and a mildly bitter aftertaste unlike the bland taste of the real rice grains.
Real rice grains can be cooked, put in the fridge and it can last for up to a week. This is not applicable to the cauliflower rice. After a few days in the fridge, it becomes soft and starts to smell.
Therefore it is best to use cauliflower rice the same day it is made or at most the next day.
How Do You Make Cauliflower Rice with A Food Processor?
Ingredients and Equipment Needed
- One head cauliflower
- Food processor
- Frying pan with lid
- Cut the cauliflower head into four parts using a knife. Cut out the inner core from each chunk and use them to make the cauliflower rice if they are tender enough.
- Break the cauliflower into smaller pieces using your hands or the knife and put them in the food processor.
- Fix a blade attachment to the food processor and pour the cauliflower florets up to 3/4 of the processor bowl.
- Start processing the cauliflower using one-second pulses. Continue till it is broken down evenly to the desired size.
- Remove the unprocessed cauliflower florets and process them with the next batch.
VIDEO: How to Make Cauliflower Rice With A Food Processor.
This video explains how to make cauliflower rice with a food processor.
How Do You Make Cauliflower Without A Food Processor?
Apart from the food processor, cauliflower can be made using a blender and a box grater. Here are the methods:
The Box Grater Method
This is a manual method of making cauliflower rice. It can create grains of inconsistent sizes and can make quite a mess. The few steps involved are:
Step 1: Cut the head into pieces after removing the leaves that cover the florets.
Step 2. Holding the florets on a gloved hand, glide them across the medium-sized holes of the box grater.
The Blender Method
This method is done with a regular kitchen blender that has a pulse button. It requires proper attention to avoid making a cauliflower soup instead.
This method, however, could yield soggy cauliflower rice if the draining of water is not properly done. The steps involved are:
Step 1: Cut the cauliflower florets into pieces after removing the stems and leaves.
Step 2: Put the cauliflower floret pieces into the blender and cover with water. Be careful not to fill the blender above the ‘max’ line.
Step 3: Work it in the blender using the pulse button. Use short pulses until rice-like grains are formed.
Step 4: Drain out the water from the rice using a mesh strainer.
There are so many dishes that can be prepared with riced cauliflower. They are all amazing dishes of different origins, tasty, full of flavors and can serve as any meal course.
Chicken Cauliflower Rice and Beans
This dish is veggie, low in carbs, proteinous and flavor-packed. Its prep time is 10 minutes and the cooking time is 25 minutes.
- 2 pounds of a cauliflower head
- 1 pound of chicken breasts (cubed)
- 2 medium-sized green bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 tablespoons of green onions (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- 15oz can of low-sodium tomato sauce
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 28 oz low sodium black beans (drained and rinsed)
- Black pepper powder to taste
- Salt to taste
- Cooking spray
Step 1: Heat up a large skillet and spray with the cooking spray.
Step 2: Add the rice, stir and then cook for 4 minutes until it is golden.
Step 3: Add salt and ground black pepper then set aside.
Step 4: Place another pan on medium heat and coat with olive oil. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and garlic. cook for about 7 minutes while stirring continuously. Add the chicken cubes and then cook for about 6 minutes.
Step 5: Add tomato sauce, salt, and black beans. Stir and allow it to boil on low heat for about 10 minutes.
Step 6: Turn off the heat and mix the sauce with the cauliflower rice. Sprinkle some green onions and serve.
Cauliflower Rice Jambalaya with Chicken, Shrimp, And Sausage
This Low Carb Jambalaya made with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage is healthy and quite nutritious. The prep time is 30 minutes and cook time is about 45 minutes.
- 16oz cauliflower rice
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 8oz shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
- 15oz of diced tomatoes (undrained)
- Black pepper to taste (finely ground)
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- Salt to taste
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375oC.
Step 2: Season the chicken breasts with pepper, salt and cajun seasoning and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil on it and bake for 25 minutes.
Step 3: Heat 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir for 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and celery. Cook for 5 more minutes, then add the paprika, garlic, tomatoes, and shrimps. Stir continuously and continue cooking until the shrimp is done.
Step 4. Place the cauliflower rice on a baking sheet. Season with salt, cajun seasoning, and black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Step 5: Roast for 10 minutes.
Step 6: Cut the baked chicken breasts into pieces and add to the boiling sauce. Add the roasted cauliflower rice, Tabasco sauce, and other seasonings to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Thai Chicken Cauliflower Rice
This is an easy-to-prepare, delicious, whole30, and paleo meal suitable for the whole family. This dish can be made ahead of time, frozen, and eaten later.
The prep time is 15 minutes and the cooking time is 20 minutes. The ingredients make a dish for 4 servings.
- 16oz of cauliflower rice
- 2 chicken breasts (large)
- 8oz of Rapini ( broccoli rabe)
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup of dates (pitted)
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons of red curry (paste)
- 1/2 cup of coconut aminos
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- Salt to taste
Step 1: Add the dates, red curry paste, garlic, paprika, coconut aminos, chicken stock, salt and lime juice in a blender and puree.
Step 2: Divide the puree into 3 parts and use one part to marinate the chicken. Place the marinated chicken in a freezer for 5 minutes.
Step 3. Place the marinated chicken in a greased skillet and cover. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
Step 4: When the chicken is well cooked and not pink when cut, remove and add the broccoli rube to the skillet. Cook the broccoli in the juice until it is soft.
Step 5: Pour the cauliflower rice into another skillet or non-stick pan. Pour the remaining chicken juice over it and allow it to cook for 10 minutes.
Step 6: Serve with the chicken and soft broccoli.
Mexican Cauliflower Rice
This Mexican Cauliflower Rice which is also low-carb is made with turkey and a lot of vegetables. It is easy to make, packed with flavors and is also filling. The dish has a prep time of 15 minutes and a cooking time of 20 minutes.
- 1 lb of turkey (ground)
- 16oz of cauliflower rice
- 1 diced onion
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced)
- 1 diced green bell pepper
- 1 diced red bell pepper
- 6 oz of low sodium tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 finely chopped cup cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/2 cup of stock or water
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
Step 1: Preheat a skillet and coat with 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the ground turkey then cook for about 7 minutes while stirring continuously.
Step2: Add salt, cumin, and black pepper and stir. Pour into a bowl.
Step 3: Place the non-stick pan on medium heat and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the onion and minced garlic. Stir for 3 minutes then add the bell peppers and jalapeno.
Step4: While stirring continuously, add some cumin, paprika, salt, chili powder, black and cayenne powder. Add water or broth and the tomato paste. Then stir.
Step 5: Add the cauliflower rice, the previously cooked turkey and allow it to cook for about 3 minutes. Add the cilantro and stir.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
- 24oz cauliflower (rinsed)
- 3 eggs (large)
- 1 tablespoonful of sesame oil
- 1/2 small onion (finely diced)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/2 cup peas and carrots (frozen)
- 5 scallions (diced and separated into white and green pieces)
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoonful of soy sauce
- Cooking spray
Step 1: Make cauliflower rice using a food processor and set aside.
Step 2: Add salt to an egg and beat.
Step 3: Heat up a large non-stick pan on medium heat and drizzle with oil. Then add the beaten eggs and turn it over a few times. Remove and set aside.
Step 4: Add oil, onions, white scallions, carrots, peas, and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Increase the heat and add the cauliflower rice.
Step 5: Add soy sauce, stir continuously and cook cauliflower for about 5 minutes.
Step 6: Add the cooked egg and stir. Mix with the green scallions and serve.
Mushroom Cauliflower Rice Skillet
This dish is quite delicious and it is a low-carb, vegan dish suitable for dinner and all the members of the family.
- 14 oz. Cauliflower rice
- 3 cups of mushrooms (sliced)
- 1/2 cup of onion (chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1/3 cup of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 tablespoon of parsley (chopped)
- 1 stick of celery (sliced)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- Soy sauce to taste
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Step 1: Add olive oil in a large skillet and heat on medium. Add celery and onions for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add garlic, stir and add the mushrooms. Saute till it is well cooked.
Step 3: Add the cauliflower rice, soy sauce, and vegetable broth. Then cook till it is soft.
Step 4: Add the spinach and allow it to cook for a minute. Then add the salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5: sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Indian Fried Cauliflower Rice with Chicken
This is a dish fully packed with flavors and low in carbs.
- 16oz of cauliflower rice
- 2 chicken boneless and skinless breasts (diced)
- 1 cup of chickpeas (drained)
- 1 cup peas (frozen)
- 1 cup carrots (shredded)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (grated)
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric (ground)
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon of cilantro (for garnish)
Step 1: Heat up the oven to 400of.
Step 2: Spray the baking sheet. Mix the chickpeas ion a bowl with garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, pepper, and salt. Spread the seasoned chickpeas onto the sprayed baking sheets.
Step 3: Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until it is crispy on the surface.
Step 4: Coat the chicken breasts with cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and garam masala.
Step 5: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Add the ginger and minced garlic. Stir and allow it to cook for few seconds then add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes and continue stirring till the chicken is well cooked all over.
Step 6: Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, peas, and carrots and cook while stirring for about two minutes.
Step 7: Add the cauliflower rice, stir and then cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and warm it up.
Step 8: Serve with the roasted chickpeas and garnish with the cilantro and serve.