How to swap rice for cauliflower
Looking for ways to up your veggie intake? Substitute rice, pasta or potatoes with cauliflower. Here’s our how-to-guide for making two delicious side dishes of cauliflower rice and cauliflower mash.
How to make cauliflower rice
- Remove the leaves of the cauliflower.
- Cut off the base and break the cauliflower into florets.
- Blitz the florets in a food processor until it has a fine rice-like consistency. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a box grater instead.
- Now choose your cooking method:
To microwave: Put the cauliflower into a heatproof bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring after 90 seconds. This method gives you a straight cauliflower flavour (nutty with a slightly bitter taste) which makes a great substitute for any meal that calls for a bed of rice - usally strong flavoured meals like curry.
To stir-fry: Sauté the cauliflower in a fry pan for 5 minutes with a little oil. Keep a close eye on it though, too long in the pan and it will clump and turn soggy. Feel free to add your other ingredients, including seasoning, and stir-fry away.
To roast: Heat the oven to 180°C. Put the cauliflower in a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and cook in the oven for 12 minutes. For a flavour burst, you can add spices like cumin, coriander and chilli, as well as herbs like chopped mint and parsley. This method produces a stand-alone dish full of flavours, so serve with lamp chops or steak and a green salad.
How to make cauliflower mash
Cauliflower also provides a great substitute for the old mash potato. Even though you’re swapping a vegetable for a vegetable (and there’s nothing wrong with potatoes) they are high in starch so if you’re aiming for a lower carb diet, or just something different, give this one a go.
- Remove the leaves and stem, and cut the cauliflower into florets.
- Add the florets to a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes until tender.
- Drain and discard the water. Put the cauliflower back in the pot and place over a low heat for 1-2 minutes to evaporate any excess water.
- Mash with a fork or vegetable masher until it has the consistency you want.
For extra flavour, add some chicken or vegetable stock to the water when boiling. Also try mashing with a little butter and a dash of milk, or add a little grated Parmesan cheese. Any leftovers can be moulded into patties and fried for a next-day breakfast, lunch or snack.
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