How to swap rice for cauliflower

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

  1. Remove the leaves of the cauliflower.
  2. Cut off the base and break the cauliflower into florets.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. Remove the leaves and stem, and cut the cauliflower into florets.
  2. Add the florets to a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes until tender.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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