Yes using chopped cauliflower in place of rice really does work. It is simple, tasty and a great way to reduce calories and starch whilst increasing nutrition. We ate it last night with 10 bean chilli. It smells a bit like socks when you chop it, but it was easy, healthy and delicious, hence this post.
You can buy ready chopped cauliflower rice in supermarkets, but it is so easy as well as cheaper and fresher to make your own. Start with a whole head of cauliflower, ideally organic, the fresher the better. Rinse it off, remove the green leaves, then choose one of three methods, we prefer the chunky version. Either process the whole head and freeze the left overs or use what you need and keep the rest whole:
- Fine – use a cheese grater, chop whole cauliflower in half, hold the stalk and get grating, ideally contained in a large bowl to avoid it going everywhere.
- Fine – chop into florets, add to a food processor, pulse until finely chopped.
- Chunky – take whole head, with large carving knife start cutting thin slices of the flower, it will fall into pieces as you cut, keep trimming until you have what you want. I use the stalk and centre piece in other dishes.
Cook by lightly sautéing in a splash of water, add lid and cook until it is to you liking or add to a roasting tin with a splash of water and cook for 8-12 mins at 180c. Toss and check it as you go. You can eat cauliflower raw as you can most veg and the less cooking the more nutrients are retained, so cook it as little as you want, even serve it raw if you want!
Cauliflower is often considered one of the healthiest foods there is, part of cruciferous vegetable family, also known as the ‘Brassica oleracea’ family, along with broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and some other less common varieties. It is packed full of health-promoting phytochemicals and high level of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Top 8 health benefits:
- Reduce cancer risk
- Reduce risk for heart disease and brain disorders
- Good source of vitamins and minerals (high in C and K)
- Improves digestion and detoxification
- Aids in weight loss
- Fights inflammation
- Helps balance hormones
- Preserves eye health
100g of raw cauliflower contains:
- 25 calories,
- 5.3% carbohydrates,
- 2% protein
- 0.1% fat
- 2.5% fiber
- 46.4 milligrams vitamin C (77 percent DV)
- 16 micrograms vitamin K (20 percent DV)
- 57 micrograms folate (14 percent DV)
- 0.2 milligram vitamin B6 (11 percent DV)
- plus potassium, manganese, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus
Parting thoughts – The more veg you can pack into you diet the better, cauliflower is so versatile, it is well worth putting on the shopping list and having a play, roast it, eat it raw with dip, add to curry, make rice, soup, chowder, flavour as you wish, it isn’t fussy 🙂
Cauliflower is really easy to grow too!
The Ethical omnivore