Rumor has it that cauliflower rice was rationed at various Trader Joe’s locations this July. This is unsurprising, considering it was voted both the fourth-favorite item in the fresh produce category and the third-favorite frozen product in the store’s eighth annual Customer’s Choice Awards.
For years, the popular low-carb alternative has been hailed by the gluten-free and Paleo communities, whose members have managed to turn it into everything from pizza crust to brownies. What’s the rage all about? I decided to investigate myself.
Cauliflower rice is sold at Trader Joe’s either fresh or frozen and can also be made at home easily using a food processor or grater. To make it at home, just use the medium-sized holes on a box grater (the ones usually reserved for cheese) or a food processor to get it down to small, rice like pieces. It’s best to pulse it if using a food processor so it doesn’t turn to mush. Be sure to only use the florets and soft stems, and trim the cauliflower of any leaves before processing. Lay down the cauliflower rice on a clean towel or paper towel to remove any excess moisture, which could make your final dish soggy.
Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to rice in dishes such as fried rice, can be used as a substitute for couscous and turned into pilaf or cooked risotto style with Parmesan and pesto. My personal favorite way to eat cauliflower rice is in an Israeli tabbouleh salad, where it takes the place of bulgur. I also decided to give my mom’s classic Russian stuffed peppers a healthy upgrade by swapping out the rice for cauliflower rice. The result was stunning; the cauliflower caramelizes with the carrots and onions and makes for a lovely filling.
Cauliflower rice is way ahead of white rice in the nutritional department, not to mention that it only has 25 calories per cup compared to the 200 calories found in 1 cup cooked rice. It also boasts 77 percent of your daily vitamin C intake and is high in antioxidants and fiber. So why not give white rice a rest tonight, and try out this cauliflower rice tabbouleh salad or cauliflower rice stuffed peppers? I think, like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.