Cauliflower. So Hot Right Now.

I hope some of you will get my Zoolander reference with the title of this blog post.  (Otherwise it's just me over here, laughing at my own joke as usual.)  And if not, do yourself a favor and watch Zoolander 1 next time you need to space out and laugh.

Okay, let's talk cauliflower.  The beauty of getting out of the “diet” mentality is that you really can have anything you want, any time you want!  Somedays that means eating pizza and washing it down with a few beers (or wine!), and some days, when you realize you haven’t even looked at a vegetable in 24 hours, it’s creating pizza with veggies!

Cauliflower is not only one of the most diverse veggies to use in recipes; it’s also filled with vitamin k, fiber, improves digestion, fights inflammation; the list goes on and on. That’s why I often substitute my rice or another grain with cauliflower rice- to amp up those benefits and feel great!  

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Some of you may groan at the idea of this post- and if so, more power to you!  If cauliflower rice is not your jam, by all means, dig into the real stuff! 

I tell my clients all the time: if you don't like something, don't eat it!  Same goes for workouts- if you don't like one thing, don't do it.  Ever again!  We're blessed to live in an abundant universe in 2018, where there are unlimited options for healthy food and how to move your body.  So if cauliflower rice makes you feel like you're being punished in a cruel and unusual way, by all means, move along to another blog post!

I personally really, truly enjoy it!  And when it comes to food, I'm a volume girl.  I like big-ass meals, and you guys, I can EAT.  (True story: I can out-eat any man I've ever known.  And I say this with so much pride.)

So for me if I can eat a BUNCH of cauliflower rice in a recipe that tastes awesome, AND know I'm fueling my body with extra veggies & vitamins, AND I don't feel sluggish afterwards (as I often do after a super high-carb meal) well, that my friends, is a win/win/win!!

Below is a quick & easy way to make your own cauliflower rice + 3 fun recipes to try out with the rice.  (And, side note: for those extra-hectic weeks I keep frozen bags of pre-riced cauliflower to make my life a little easier.)

Besides using cauliflower rice in recipes I also use it in my smoothies.  Yes, for reals! 

I used to use a bunch of frozen fruit in my smoothies to give it a thick, milkshake-like consistency... but then I read a post where someone was using frozen cauliflower instead of fruit.  Genius!  I love berries and eat them almost every day, but across the board I try to keep my sugar intake down (including fruit... I usually will do just 1 serving a day).

How to make Cauliflower Rice:

This low carb alternative to rice is super easy to prepare. You can also buy steam bags of pre-made cauliflower rice if you want an even quicker option (or if you don’t have a food processor! If you're looking for a food processor, I got this one as a wedding shower gift and LOVE it.)

Prep Time 2 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Total Time 7 minutes

Makes about 5 servings, 1 cup each.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower grated or finely chopped

Instructions

  •  Use the grating blade of a food processor to chop the raw cauliflower.
  • Place grated cauliflower in a covered microwave dish. No need to add water.
  • Microwave about 5 minutes or until just tender.

3 Recipes Using Cauliflower Rice

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

What you need:
1 medium head cauliflower
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.

  • Trim off and discard any leaves from the cauliflower; cut it into florets. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it resembles couscous. (Alternately, grate it against a large-hole grater.) Lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter and transfer the cauliflower to the center of the towel. Lift the towel by the corners, pull the sides up, and, working over a sink, twist until the cauliflower forms a ball and liquid seeps out of the towel. Keep twisting until liquid stops seeping from the cauliflower. Set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Stir in the Parmesan, garlic, almond flour, salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower and stir to combine.
    Line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper (this keeps the crust from sticking without using a ton of oil). Transfer the cauliflower “dough” to the pan and use your hands to spread and press it into an even 1/4-inch-thick circle. You can use a rolling pin to even it out, if you like.

  • Bake until set, golden on top and browning on the edges, about 25 minutes.
    Serve as a flatbread or add toppings and bake until toppings are as you like them.

Stir Fry

What you need:

1 head cauliflower (2 pounds or 1180 grams), cut into florets
2 teaspoons (10 ml) canola oil, divided
4 large (50 grams each) eggs, lightly beaten
2 small (100 grams) carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup (240 ml) fresh or frozen sugar snap or baby peas, thawed and drained
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable broth
2 tablespoons (30 ml) low-sodium, gluten-free soy or tamari sauce (certified gluten-free if necessary)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) toasted sesame oil
1 green onion, sliced diagonally

What to do:

  • Place cauliflower florets, in batches, in a food processor and pulse until it is the size and texture of rice. Set aside.

  • Heat 1/2  teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggs; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until set. Transfer to a plate; thinly slice and set aside.

  • Wipe skillet clean; heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil over medium heat. Add carrots, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in cauliflower and sugar snap pea pods. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes until mixture is hot and cauliflower is crisp-tender.

  • Combine broth, soy sauce, and sesame oil; stir into cauliflower and cook 1 minute. Stir in reserved eggs; cook 1 minute until heated. Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately.

Mushroom Risotto

What you need:

2 T truffle oil-divided (olive oil will also work)
1 large head of cauliflower
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
6 cups baby spinach
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp of salt, or more to taste
pepper, to taste
toasted pinenuts, optional

What to do:

  • Chop cauliflower into florets and place in a food processor. Process for 1-2 mins or until “rice-like” consistency is reached.

  • Heat 1 Tablespoon of truffle oil (or olive oil) in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.

  • Add chopped onion, garlic and thyme and saute for 2-3 mins.

  • Add in mushrooms and cook for another 3 mins.

  • Add spinach and cook until wilted.

  • Stir in cauliflower rice and let cook, stirring frequently for 5 mins.

  • On the stove or in the microwave heat up vegetable stock until warm but not boiling.

  • In 1/4 cup increments add stock to cauliflower mixture. Let each 1/4 cup absorb before adding in the next. Stir frequently. This will take time so be patient.

  • After half of stock has been absorbed add in nutritional yeast, other tablespoon of truffle oil and salt and pepper.

  • Continue adding stock until all has been absorbed.

  • Place heat on low and let cook uncovered for another 10 mins.

  • Top with pine nuts (if using) and serve.

** These recipes (and more) from here.