Friday, August 5, 2011

Cauliflower: the Fabulous Faux Carb

Let's be honest. Cauliflower is not the most flavorful vegetable. Often the counterpart to broccoli, when raw it is often paired with ranch dressing and, when cooked, it can be found topped with Velveeta cheese. But is that all there is? I think not.

Lately, this low-fat, fiber-filled, Vitamin C-bearing vegetable has become a healthful staple in our fridge. I often roast it in the oven, tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and sprinkle it with a little lemon juice. Sometimes I make "mashed potatoes" by boiling it, pureeing it, and adding milk and butter - just like you would do with an actual potato. This week, I made it into a rice substitute. I've heard of others doing this, but had never tried it. Here's how I did it:

 Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and then pull out your food processor.

Pulse the raw cauliflower pieces in the food processor just until it's rice-sized.

 Boil a pot of salted water, and pour the "rice" into the boiling water - kind of like you would with pasta.

After 5-7 minutes of cooking it at a simmer, drain the "rice" in a fine-mesh strainer.

I used the cauliflower rice as a bed for my Cajun shrimp, sausage, and pepper stir-fry. I used a chicken andouille sausage from Trader Joe's, chopped onions, bell peppers (red, yellow and orange), and shrimp marinated with lemon juice, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. 

And, voila! The finished dish...

The cauliflower soaked up all the yummy spice from the stir-fry, and it came out to be a nice hearty meal, without the starch. This diet thing ain't that bad after all. 


  1. blog?! About food??! Me too. Also, I'm a huge fan of cauliflower. My go-to method is roasting it with some olive oil, sea salt and nutmeg.

  2. Lea, I really love your blog! I finally had the chance to sit through and read it all. I am of the exact same philosophy with cooking (and salad dressing!!!), and I love creating interesting meals from the things I have. I too am a CSA member and I love the challenge of figuring out what to do with the "surprise" veggies I get each week. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas and taking the time to express them in such an appealing way. Wonderful writing, great photos, bravo!
    -Julie (Dina's sister)