Rice. If you’re Middle Eastern, been to the Middle East, or have ever had Middle Eastern food, you know that our food revolves around rice. Almost every dish is rice based. The first thing that my family and friends ask when I tell them I eat Paleo or Whole30 is, “What do you mean you don’t eat rice? What DO you eat?” My answer is always, “I make rice out of cauliflower.” The stunned look on their faces is quite priceless! My little family loves cauli-rice and we eat it all the time. It is full of vitamins and nutrients and it has more calcium than milk. My daughter prefers cauli-rice over regular rice, and honestly, so do I.
When I was first introduced to cauliflower rice, over three years ago, I fell in love. I followed a recipe that I found online and tried re-creating it. I did a wonderful job on my first try, one problem, my husband didn’t like it. It always came out mushy and watery and tasted nothing like rice. So, for sometime, I stopped making it. That was until last year, when I got this ingenious idea. Bake it! If I baked it, then it won’t be watery and it may taste more like rice. Experiment after experiment and viola! Cauli-rice that tastes just like rice or couscous, depending on how it’s cut. ( I use my food processor to cut my cauliflower because I can control the size of my grains, as opposed to using a knife or a cheese grater.) It wasn’t watery or mushy. My husband loved it and started requesting it. I later found out that there are others out there who use this same or a similar technique, so I’m not a genius but I sure felt like it when I first perfected it.
My cousin/best friend and her husband came to visit us from out of town last year and I made some cauli-rice as a side. My cousin’s husband dislikes cauliflower; he doesn’t like anything about it, the smell, the texture, the taste. So while I was preparing it, my cousin and I decided not to tell him what it was, and just to tell him that it was special rice to see if he could taste a difference. He ate a huge plate-full and kept saying how delicious this special rice is. When I told him what it was, he was confused. He said that the consistency and taste was just like rice, if not better. That was a proud moment for me. I know I cook delicious food, but when a picky eater says that my food is good, it makes me happy.
I make this simple recipe as a side dish for my family about 5-6 days a week and it has become a highly-requested favorite.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Dash of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Drizzle the coconut oil all over a large baking sheet. I line my baking sheet with aluminum foil, but that’s optional.
- Wash your cauliflower and cut around the core. You only want to use the florets, no stems.
- Lay your cauliflower on a kitchen towel or paper towel to fully dry. You don’t want to have any moisture on them when you bake them.
- Cut or break your cauliflower florets into about 2 inches.
- Using your food processor, pulse half of the cauliflower about 10-15 one second pulses, depending on how you like your rice. For couscous type grain, pulse a little more.
- Repeat the process to pulse the rest of your cauliflower. You don’t want to overcrowd your food processor, if you do, you’ll have uneven cuts.
- Using a spatula, remove all of the cauli-rice from the food processor and place on your prepped baking sheet in a single layer.
- Place in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!
*Arabic word for rice: ruz