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Is Cauliflower Rice Better Than You Think?

“I made a healthy pizza for dinner!” my mom said as she confidently served us dinner.

I look down at my plate to see a sad excuse for a slice of pizza. She had ground up cauliflower to form a “crust” and covered it with sauce and cheese—all the rage on Pinterest, due to its low carb content. Needless to say, I had little appetite left after taking the first bite due to the horrible texture and lack of flavor—sorry Mom. I was sure cauliflower crust had potential as a healthy pizza crust when done right, but all I wanted was a nice greasy piece of real pizza.

Cauliflower, in my opinion, is the “worst-case scenario” vegetable on the veggie tray, the one that has to be drenched in ranch in order to be tolerable raw. Ever since my traumatizing experience with a creative use of it, my mind had been closed to the idea of eating or cooking cauliflower. I now see it all over Pinterest, various food websites, and I hear from peers about how great it can be–particularly when riced–as a healthy alternative to added carbs. 

At last, I decided to put my pride and past experiences aside and give cauliflower rice a try. I was pleasantly surprised. I did not have to do any extra work, because I bought a bag of riced cauliflower from Trader Joes. I could barely taste the difference from that of regular white rice, and it cooked much faster. Being such a versatile vegetable that can take on most flavors and textures, adding flavors and vegetables or proteins to the cauliflower completely transforms it from its original pale and flavorless form.

Not only does riced cauliflower work for texture and flavor, it is a great way to cut back on to nearly 7/8 the calories and carbs, and lighten up a meal.

 

1 cup of white rice= 206 calories, 45 grams carbohydrates 

1 cup of cauliflower= 25 calories, 5 grams carbohydrates

 

After doing some research on the best ways to make riced cauliflower, I chose to make fried rice. I came up with a simple and delicious recipe to satisfy a craving for some fattening Chinese food.

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

olive oil

½ yellow onion

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 cup chicken(canned works)

1 cup peas and carrots

salt & pepper

red pepper flakes

4 cups cauliflower rice

approx. ¼ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar(optional, but helps flavor)

1 egg, lightly scrambled

Cook onion and garlic in oil until fragrant. Add in chicken, peas, carrots, cauliflower, spices, and cook until veggies are slightly softened. Add in soy sauce and brown sugar, toss all ingredients in the pan until completely mixed and cooked through. Make a well in the middle of the cauliflower mixture, pour in scrambled egg, and cook on its own almost completely before incorporating into the rest of the rice.

 This receipt only takes about 20-30 minutes to make, at entry level cooking with low price ingredients. If you have doubts just like I did, I suggest you buy yourself a bag of riced cauliflower and give it a try, if only to make cilantro-lime rice or cook with some butter and salt. Cauliflower softens in about 7-8 minutes on the stove and can be eaten with the same versatility as rice—minus the guilt or carb-loading. 

Notorious foodie and optimist, hoping to cook for a living and experience a vast cultural variety. Business student, Netflix ethusiast, and avid day dreamer, just trying to make it through college and fulfill my potential. 
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