Time to make a change
Ditch that boring rice. Lemon cauliflower rice is the colorful, flavorful healthy alternative to liven up any meal, any day of the week. And guess what? You won’t believe it’s cauliflower.
5-ingredients? That’s worth a look
Making a special (or not-so special) dish even better with a great side is a pleasure as long as you don’t have to do much planning or running around for special ingredients. Lemon cauliflower rice is well, lemon and cauliflower with some red chilis, coriander and scallions thrown in for extra color and punch.
Off to the tool shed
There are 2 easy ways to prepare cauliflower rice. Both yield the same results. Both have their pros and cons. A regular old box grater is a standard in just about anyone’s kitchen. Don’t cut the florets too small. Bigger is easier to grate (and safer). A quick solution with a tool that is easy to clean.
A food processor is a great, quicker, option. I like to set my blade on the fine grate so more of the moisture is released. Have a play around here. Food processor blades are not entirely universal. Besides, you might like a courser texture. Your food processor will be quicker than the hand grater and for safety’s sake, there will be less waste. Just cut the florets to fit into the feeder. The downside – more to clean up.
The frisk (pat-down)
Cauliflower is surprisingly moist once it’s grated. The easiest way to take care of this is to line a plate or board with a few paper towels, top it off and give the old pat-down. Food security 😊.
Since you are grating and patting anyhow, you can always freeze cauliflower rice at this point. This is a great option if you don’t want to use an entire head of cauliflower or if you want to batch up a bunch for future use. Just freeze-bad it up and you are good for the next time. Once you thaw it, you may want to give it another pat-down to get any additional moisture out.
Speaking again of security If you are going to use citric zests (or peels) such as lemon, lime or orange, you want to use organic whenever possible. It’s impossible to get rid of the pesticides and preserving agents sprayed on the skins of lemons. A blog post by Kitchen Stewardship has a suitably concerning post about this. Being practical and always on a budget, I usually only buy organic if I’m using the zest. If you are vegan and need another reason, a BBC radio program we recently caught discussed why lemon skins aren’t vegan. Who knew?
‘Rice’ in less
One of the wonders of lemon cauliflower rice is how quick it comes together. The extra few minutes grating the cauliflower more than makes up for the fact that you are seriously only looking at a few minutes of heating it up on the stove top. This is the time to add the lemon juice and the lemon zest as well as the chopped red chilis. Done and done.
What goes with lemon cauliflower rice?
Go to nearly any Indian restaurant and you’ll find lemon rice. It’s a southern Indian side-dish staple. For good reason, it’s wonderful with curry or chana masala. Don’t stop there. It’s a worthy accompaniment for stews and great with just roasted vegetables tossed on top. So, before you reach for the rice, remember how lemon cauliflower rice jazzes up any meal in minutes.
I don’t own a rice cooker, so I always end up with a big mess on my stove top when I cook rice because I fail to keep an eye on the pot. It always overflows. If I try to be ‘smart’ and use a bigger pot (I knew you were going to suggest that), I forget, am left with overcooked, stuck-to-the bottom of the pan rice or I open the lid. All this is not to say I don’t cook rice. I do. And I love it.
I admit it. Sometimes stresses me out when I am cooking rice for guests. There’s a moment of irrational thought based on past experiences and preconceived impressions of myself. I know that the best way to break such a cycle is to meet it head on and break through. Create positive experiences that change preconceived impressions of self. While I work on breaking my bad rice cycle though, I think I’ll do a bit more cauliflower rice. Peace.Print
Lemon cauliflower rice is a colorful, flavorful, healthy alternative to liven up any meal, any day of the week. Ditch boring rice and try this quick side.
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1–2 red chilis, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions (3 scallions)
- Trim and wash the cauliflower. Cut it into florets, rinse and pat dry.
- Using a hand grater or food process, grate the cauliflower to a grain-like consistency. You may want to experiment on the fine or coarse options for your grater.
- Turn the cauliflower rice out on a plate or cutting board lined with paper towels. Put another towel on top and press to release as much moisture as you can.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients by thinly slicing the 2 red chilis, grating the lemon for the zest and juicing the rest of the lemon. Chop the coriander (cilantro) and slice 3 scallions (1/2 cup).
- Heat a medium to large skillet. Add the lemon juice, zest, red chilis and cauliflower. Stir to heat through.
- Turn off the heat and place the lemon rice in a bowl (or keep it in the skillet). Add the coriander and scallions.
- Serve immediately.
- For something extra, try adding ¼ cup chopped almonds or cashews. This would be good with stir fry or Thai curry.
- Create an orange rice by substituting the lemon for an organic orange. You add ¼ cup of juice and adjust if you want it moister.
- Cauliflower rice is great to have in the freezer; however, once you’ve added the fresh coriander and scallions, I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. Best to just reheat any leftovers (if there are any).
- Category: On the Side
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: lemon cauliflower rice