It’s obvious to us low carbers that rice is a no-no. I love rice, however, and so does my wife, who does not follow a low carb diet per se, but is looking for ways to cut back on her carbs a bit.
I had remembered an old low carber trick I had never tried: using cauliflower as a rice substitute. Cauliflower does not taste like rice, but the flavor is mild enough to act as a low carb substitute in dishes where the meat and sauce is placed on a bed of rice.
You might be asking yourself: “cauliflower is nothing like rice – how does this work?”
Simple: you grate it.
Some people who are fond of food processors can use one, but I use my dollar store box grater. This adds a certain daredevil thrill to the process as well because you get to play the game: how close can I get my fingers to the grater to make the maximum amount of grated cauliflower without grating off bits of my fingers?
I place the box grater on a cutting board, wash the whole head of cauliflower after removing the green part. I leave it whole, and gently pull apart the florets to rinse in between.
After washing, I then take the whole head and start grating. I would say that this step takes about 7-10 minutes. I empty the box grater onto a large dinner plate 2 or 3 times during the process.
At the end you are left with some larger-sized bits. Depending on how closely you want the cauliflower to resemble rice, you can dice the remaining bits on the cutting board and add them to the mix or just discard.
Now I tend to like rice the Chinese way – sticky. If you like rice the Chinese way, add a little water to the plate – maybe a quarter cup. If you like your rice fluffy, don’t.
Now take your plate and place in the microwave and cook. I set mine for 5 minutes, but as these ovens vary in power you’ll have to experiment with yours.
What you end up with is a big plate of unseasoned rice-like bits of cauliflower that can be used like rice as a bed for whatever you tend to throw on top of real rice.
I personally love just plain ‘rice’ with some soy sauce. I’ll take a cup, nuke it with some butter and pour on the soy sauce. If there’s pork belly about, I’ll put died bits of pork belly on top along with some of the fat/juice from the pork belly.
A container lasts a week in the fridge and is great for a low carb dish.
My wife hasn’t gone near it yet – to my knowledge – though I have been making it for a few weeks now and have really been enjoying it.
Old habits diet hard.