If you’ve explored new diets or recipes, or explored the foodie scene at all, chances are you’ve come across one of the most versatile vegetables in today’s culinary scene – the cauliflower!

One of the really good things about it is that it's easily available.

You’ve probably had aloo-gobi, gobi manchurian, or the regular cauliflower stir-fry as part of your usual meals. Indian cuisine itself has dozens of ways to prepare cauliflower, depending on which part of the country your recipe is from. It’s a great addition to mixed vegetable gravies as well, and can even be spiced and baked or roasted whole in the oven to be served as a main course.

But did you know that cauliflower can also be used in place of rice? Yes, “cauliflower rice” can be used to replace regular white or brown rice in dishes. If you think it’s a western concept – here’s something to think about: you can even have it with rasam or sambar in place of your usual rice, or use it to make fried rice or pulaos.

It’s a simple fix to reduce the amount of carbs you are eating, while adding more veggies to your plate.

Cauliflower rice, lower carb.

Here’s how to make cauliflower rice (it’s surprisingly simple):

  • Rinse and clean the cauliflower thoroughly.

  • Grate the cauliflower pieces (using the medium-size grater or by chopping in a food processor). Make sure you don’t overdo this; stop when you have little pieces approx. the size of rice.

  • Squeeze out any excess moisture using a paper towel/tissue paper.

  • Add 1 tbsp oil to a pan and sauté the cauliflower rice over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook for a total of 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft.

  • Add salt and use. Feel free to try other seasonings or masala too.

Here's a short video that shows the steps.

You can use it in place of rice in your usual recipes as mentioned above (including with sambar or rasam), or you can try recipes like cauliflower tabbouleh or cauliflower rice stuffed peppers.

Here's another idea, how about cauliflower crust pizza?!

You’d be surprised but cauliflower crust pizza can be delicious; even my kids love it.

Cauliflower pizza crust, lower carb

Here’s how to make it:

  • First, make the cauliflower rice using the above recipe. Make sure to squeeze out any excess moisture remaining after cooking, or it’ll get too soggy for pizza. No one likes soggy pizza!

  • Mix the cauliflower rice with beaten egg (1-2 eggs per head of cauliflower), cheese (around ¼ cup per head of cauliflower) and seasonings (any herbs will work). Mash the mixture well together.

  • Spread the mixture using onto a baking tray (use parchment paper if you have it to make it easy to flip).

  • Bake at 180 degrees C until the crust is dry and golden. Then flip it and bake until the other side is not soggy.

  • Then you can spread your favorite pizza sauce and toppings, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

  • Slice and enjoy.

Here's a short video that shows the steps.

If you need an egg-free and dairy-free version (ie vegan version) of the cauliflower crust, check out this recipe.

Images: Jessica Gavin from Simplyrecipes.

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