Weight Watchers Recipe of the Day: Cauliflower Rice – How to and Recipe Roundup
I’ve had few questions about cauliflower rice lately. If you haven’t seen it or tried it yet, I think you’re in for a surprising treat. I certainly was.
I was pretty skeptical when I first heard about cauliflower “rice” and cauliflower “couscous.” Eventually I gave it a try in this Microwave Pesto Chicken Couscous and was pleasantly surprised. I think it’s way more delicious and satisfying than cauliflower mashed potatoes, a dish that’s never worked as a satisfying substitute for me. I guess I just love my mashed potatoes way too much.
Don’t get me wrong, I like rice. Rice is delicious and healthy. But when you’re watching your calories and/or trying to lose weight, it’s one of those foods you may be trying to eat less of.
On Weight Watchers, a cup of rice has 6 SmartPoints, which is a lot, especially if you’re daily points budget is 30. So cauliflower rice is a great 0 Points alternative to rice or couscous or a just a fun way to sneak more vegetables into your day. And it works great if you’re following Simply Filling too!
The Skinny on Cauliflower “Rice” or “Couscous”
Cauliflower rice is surprisingly grain-like. No, it probably wouldn’t win in a side-by-side taste test with either couscous or white rice, but it’s pretty darn close. You make it by blitzing cauliflower florets in a food processor or blender (or grating them on a box grater) until you’ve got tiny rice-size pieces.
You can eat it raw or give it a quick cook, in the microwave, on the stove top or in the oven. Serve it just like you would rice or couscous. Here’s a video using a food processor to make cauliflower rice….
Here’s a video using a blender to make cauliflower rice…
How To Make Cauliflower Rice or Couscous
Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, cut it into quarters and remove most of the thick core, then cut each quarter into two or three chunks. Toss into your food processor/blender, being careful not to overfill it. (If you are using a blender, add some water.) Blend for 30 seconds or so, until the cauliflower resembles fine rice, or couscous. (Drain the water through a strainer if using the blender.)
If you don’t own a food processor or blender, you can grate the raw cauliflower on the coarse side of the grater. You may find you’re left with a few bigger pieces, which will give the ‘rice’ a chunkier texture.)
Serving raw cauliflower rice: Cauliflower rice can be used raw, tossed like grains into a salad or in a cold side dish.
How to Cook Cauliflower Rice
Cooking makes the cauliflower more tender and rice-like. Here are three ways you can give it a quick cook…
1) Microwave – Microwave fresh cauliflower rice in a covered microwave safe bowl for two to three minutes on high or until tender.
2) Saute – Warm a tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the couscous and sprinkle with a little salt. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the couscous is as tender as you like.
3) Bake/Roast– Toss the cauliflower rice in a drizzle of olive oil on a baking sheet, then spread it out to a thin, even layer. We then bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring it around halfway through cooking.
Storing/Freezing raw cauliflower rice: The rice can also be sealed in airtight containers or bags and stashed in the fridge for about 1 week or frozen for up to three months. Thaw on the counter for a few minutes before using or cooking.
The Ultimate Lazy Way to Make Cauliflower Rice
If all of this seems like too much work and you live near Trader Joe’s, you can buy Trader Joe’s Organic Riced Cauliflower already to go in the freezer section!
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers zero points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
More Cauliflower Rice Recipe from My Favorite Weight Watchers Recipe Sites:
- Cauliflower Fried Rice (SkinnyTaste)
- Cauliflower Fried Rice with Bacon (Drizzle Me Skinny)
- Cauliflower Rice Paella (Hungry Girl)
- Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Cauliflower Rice Casserole (Hungry Girl)
- Chickpea Curry with Cauliflower Rice (Laaloosh)
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (SkinnyTaste)
- Creamy Coconut Cauliflower Rice (Slender Kitchen)
- Hawaiian Cauliflower Fried Rice (Hungry Girl)
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice (Slender Kitchen)
- Vegetable Quesadilla with Cauliflower Rice (Organize Yourself Skinny)
Here’s a video with Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien making cauliflower Fried Rice:
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