It’s always interesting to hear about the latest craze in the food industry. One that exploded in 2017 is cauliflower rice, and its popularity isn’t slowing down. Cauliflower rice isn’t truly rice at all. In fact, the label of “rice” is understandably upsetting for rice farmers. However, it has a solid concept: substitute rice for cauliflower rice to increase vegetable intake. With more and more consumers trying to decrease their intake of foods in the bread and pasta food group, vegetable “rice” is appealing.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. It’s also rich in B vitamins, folate and dietary fiber. One cup of plain cauliflower rice is only 20 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate. Comparatively, the same cup of actual rice has about 242 calories and 53 grams carbohydrate. This is not to say that you must completely forgo rice, particularly wild or brown rice, which offers the nutritional benefits of a whole grain. However, cauliflower rice is an excellent way to keep the calorie count low and the vegetable intake high.
Making cauliflower rice is easy as long as you have a food processor. After washing and patting it dry, cut it into chunks and pulse until it’s broken down into rice-size pieces. A box grater can also do the work, but with a lot more time and effort. Luckily, the food industry has responded to its popularity and has introduced frozen cauliflower rice. The convenience is unbeatable! Use cauliflower rice in recipes that traditionally call for rice, such as stir-fries, casseroles or stuffed peppers.
Cauliflower Fried “Rice”
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 medium head cauliflower, crumbled in food processor or 1 (12 ounce) package frozen cauliflower rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
½ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add egg and scramble until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside. Heat olive and sesame oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower rice, garlic, ginger and peas. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in soy sauce and cooked egg. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition facts (per serving): 100 calories, 5 grams fat, 340 milligrams sodium, 8 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams protein