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Cauliflower Rice

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


During last week's Colorado record-breaking snow bomb cyclone, I watched a Netflix documentary titled The Paleo Way, which I had downloaded onto my iPad in anticipation of power, phones, and internet being down for the duration. It featured the Australian chef Pete Evans, interviewing physicians, chefs, farmers, fishmongers, and committed Paleo diet converts.


If you haven’t discovered Pete, paleo, or cauliflower rice, it’s time you do. Pete is easy on the eyes, and fresh cauliflower rice might become one of the gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nutrient-dense items you keep in your refrigerator year round. 


Once pulverized into granules in a food processor, or grated on a box grater (think florets), cauliflower might become one of your weeknight nutrient-dense heroes: it keeps in the refrigerator for a week, can be used in many different ways, and substitutes for less-nutritious rice.

  

The NYT food writer Ali Slagle suggests, for the most flavorful cauliflower rice, use a little fat (precious Paleo Pete would say use a lot of fat, including saturated fat such as coconut oil). Add onion, garlic, and scallions, and roast on a sheet pan instead of steaming or sautéing, so the raw edges slightly caramelize.


While the florets are roasting in the oven, make the rest of your dinner, then serve it as you would rice: with curry, a stir-fry, a protein, and a vegetable, or just an egg on top. 


Cauliflower rice also works with flavors added before or after roasting (see three NYT ideas in the recipe below), or simply being eaten raw, dressed like a salad.


Ingredients for four to five cups


2 medium cauliflowers (about 4 pounds total), cored and cut into florets

6 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon), optional

sea salt and black pepper


Directions


Heat the oven to 425 degrees if you’re serving the cauliflower rice cooked.


Fill a food processor halfway with cauliflower florets, then pulse until it breaks down to about 1/4- and 1/8-inch pieces and resembles rice. Transfer to a very large bowl. Repeat with the remaining florets. The rice can be eaten at this point, or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for 1 month.


To serve warm, toss the rice with olive oil and garlic, then spread in an even layer on one or two baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until dark golden brown at the edges and lightly golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve plain or with one of the sauces below.


1. For the ginger-garlic sauce: Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic ,and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, then stir in sesame oil, red-pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Pour over cauliflower rice, toss to combine, and serve at once.


2. For the tahini-Parmesan sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 3 tablespoons water, tahini, and lemon juice. Once warm, add grated Parmesan and continue stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce has come together. Season with black pepper. Drizzle over the cauliflower rice, to taste. Pass extra at the table.


3. For Thai-style rice: To the cooked rice, add red onion, scallions, cilantro, mint, fish sauce, lime juice, and red-pepper flakes. Toss to combine and serve at once.


Nutritional value


Cauliflower is considered one of the world's healthiest foods. It's high in fiber, as well as vitamins C, K, B1, B3, B2, B5, B6, and folate as well as minerals including choline, biotin, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.  


Enjoy and have a great week.


Ellen Troyer, with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff


After discovering Pete Evans last week, I also tried frozen riced cauliflower and have added it to my cadre of freezer staples. The brand I tried is below. It was great lightly sautéed in a small amount of coconut oil, topped with chopped green onions, slices of avocado and a fried egg on top of each serving for a nutrient-dense, Paleo breakfast. 


For those who might be interested, here is a link to the Pete Evans interview with Loren Cordain, PhD, Colorado State University Professor emeritus, 17+-year CSU Director of the Human Nutrition and Exercise Research Lab, and the undisputed leader of Paleo diet research.