You know when dishes pretend to be a healthy versions of a not-good-for-you dish? Like vegan melty cheese, it is risky, and comes hand in hand with disappointment. This dish is not like that. If you own a food processor or a box grater, and have a cauliflower head in fridge, do this today. It is incredibly easy and delicious (and, really good for you).
No - it won't taste exactly like rice. But it is surprisingly grain-like: a mix between rice and couscous. It will be fluffy, have a bite, and be filling. It is as versatile as rice, so think of it as you would rice or couscous.
This is the basic, bare bones recipe. Eat it raw, like a tabbouleh salad (with cucumber and tomato and avocado and a drizzle of a good oil), or warm it up (see note) and even bake it in a casserole. You can stir-fry it over high heat, toasting some of the granules for a nutty taste. I stir-fried this in some leftover arugula mint pesto, as a side for baked cod and as a bed for asparagus and hemp seeds (pictures of both below).
Add nuts, seeds, veggies, use it as a side for beans and legumes, curries, cook it with a dash of tamari or soy sauce, etc etc.
I have only made this using a food processor but if you don't own one, use a box grater, using the side with large holes to grate the cauliflower.
Ingredients: 1 whole cauliflower head (any size works) 1 tablespoon of olive oil, optional Salt for seasoning, optional
Remove cauliflower leaves and cut off tough end of stem. Cut cauliflower into quarters and trim off inner core (inner stem) if it is tough. If you see it is tender, you can leave it on.
Working in batches, crumble cauliflower head into food processor using your hands. I find it easier to fill processor no more than halfway or 3/4 up max. Pulse cauliflower, using 1-second presses, until it is crumbly and broken down, scraping down sides as needed. Remove granules from food processor and place in bowl, and repeat with the rest of cauliflower until you are finished.
Yields 4-6 cups of uncooked cauliflower rice
Cooking Note: warm up olive oil over medium heat. Add raw cauliflower rice sauté for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and other spices and herbs.
Below: Oven baked cod over steamed asparagus, cauliflower rice stir-fried in arugula mint pistachio pesto
Below: Cauliflower rice stir-fried in arugula mint pistachio pesto, hemp seeds, steamed asparagus (and not pictured - avocado)