Low carb diets are one of those trends that doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon. And as more people jump on the low-carb bandwagon, there are more and more ideas every day. One of those ideas, and one that might be the trend of all trends, is using cauliflower rice in place of carbs. You can use it simply in place of rice, or you can get really creative with it and have some fun.
Start by making a big batch of cauliflower rice. To do it, simply break a head of cauliflower into florets, place them all in your food processor and then pulse it all up until it breaks down and resembles grains of rice. You can cook it at this point just by sautéing it with a bit of olive oil, or you can keep it raw and use it cold dishes. And if you can't decide what to do with it from there, try out any one of the creative ideas below.
1. Make a pizza crust
That's right, you can enjoy pizza sans carbs! To do it, wrap the cauliflower rice in a clean towel and squeeze the moisture out of it. Then place it in a large bowl and add two lightly beaten eggs and about one cup of cheese. Season it with salt and pepper and then use your hands to press it into a greased pan that you want to use for your pizza. Place the pan into a hot oven (about 400 degrees) and let it cook until firm. Remove from the oven, let it cool, and then place your cooked toppings on top. Then just pop it under the broiler to get your toppings extra crispy and to melt your cheese. Delicious!
2. Make fried cauliflower rice
Okay, this one is even simpler. Just swap out your regular rice for cauliflower rice and then make your fried rice as you usually would. Fry one lightly beaten egg in a frying pan before removing it and setting it aside. To the pan add chopped onions, finely diced carrots and garlic. Stir fry for a few minutes then add your cauliflower rice and saute everything together. Add some frozen peas and your fried egg and then toss it all together. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy your new healthy take on Chinese fried rice.
3. Make fritters
In a large bowl mix together your cauliflower rice, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, and whatever other veggies you love (just make sure everything is diced finely or shredded). Place it in the microwave for about three minutes, or until all the veggies are tender. Place them all in a clean towel and squeeze the moisture out of them.
Add the veggies to a bowl and add the spices and herbs you like best, one egg, and about 1/4 cup of coconut or almond flour (as a binder). Shape into patties and then saute in a pan over medium-high heat with a little bit of olive oil.
4. Make porridge
Oats are probably one of the healthiest things you could eat in the morning. That is, until you swap those oats for cauliflower rice to get fewer carbs, higher protein, and higher fiber. And it's super easy to do.
Place your cauliflower rice into a medium-sized saucepan. Add one mashed banana, 1 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Cook on medium for 12 to 15 minutes until the "rice" is tender and the liquid has been mostly absorbed. Then just top with sliced strawberries, almonds, or whatever else you love on your oatmeal!
5. Use in lettuce wraps
Lettuce wraps are another great option for low-carb diets and when you combine them with cauliflower rice, they really pack a punch. But when you get tired of stuffing yours with chicken, try filling it with cauliflower rice instead.
To do it, saute garlic, green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and any other veggie you crave with some olive oil over medium heat. Add your cauliflower rice, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and the juice of one lime and cook for 5 more minutes. Then just pile it all into lettuce cups and enjoy your super healthy meal!
6. Make tortillas
This one is easier than it sounds. To do it, place your cauliflower rice in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes. Stir, and then cook it for another 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave, place the cauliflower rice into a clean towel and carefully squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can (be careful, it will be hot!) Place the cauliflower rice into a large bowl and add 2 eggs and salt and pepper. The mixture should have a little bit of liquid, but not be completely runny, either.
Spread the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in the shape of six fairly flat circles. Place them in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes, then peel the circles off, flip them, and return to the oven for about 7 minutes. Then use them for tacos, wraps, or however else you like to enjoy your tortillas!
7. Stuffed peppers
And cabbage rolls, and Spanish rice, and whatever else you use rice in! Simply make the swap of grains for veggies and get cooking! Remember that cauliflower will release some moisture as it cooks, which can sometimes make dishes watery. To prevent this from happening, cook the cauliflower slightly before adding it to a dish that's going to continue cooking and/or reduce the amount of liquid in a recipe. Then just enjoy the many different ways to enjoy your cauliflower rice!