A Simple Low Carb Life

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How to “Rice” Cauliflower

Rice is VERY high in carbohydrates (even as little as ½ cup and no one eats ½ cup of rice with a meal).  One easy way to cut out quite a few grams of carbs from your diet is to use cauliflower instead of rice in any dish that calls for use of rice.

What?  Use cauliflower instead of rice???

Cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable that has a neutral taste, is full of fiber, and is very low in carbohydrates. There are 2.9 grams of net carbs and 27 calories per cup (compared to about 205 calories and 43 grams of net carbs per cup of white rice). Quinoa, brown rice, bulgar wheat, and couscous have similar high net carbs and calories. Cauliflower easily absorbs the flavors of whatever is cooked with it and acts very much like rice as a base layer for sauces placed on top of it. Its texture is similar to rice.

“Ricing” cauliflower is pretty easy to do:

Purchase a nice head of cauliflower.

Trim off the stem and leaves at the bottom of the cauliflower.

Chop with cauliflower into small pieces and place into microwaveable container.

Add 1 tablespoon of water to the container and cover loosely with a lid.

Microwave the cauliflower for about 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is soft enough to break into smaller pieces with a fork.

Break all of the cauliflower into small pieces with either a fork or whisk until it has the appearance of rice.

You may now use the “riced” cauliflower any way that you would rice.

You can use your imagination to use the “rice” for paella, jambalaya, spanish rice, mexican rice, casserole dishes, top with stews or meat dishes, make rice pudding, or whatever you might otherwise make with traditional “rice”.

How to use “riced” cauliflower to make mashed potatoes:

Follow the “ricing” cauliflower method.

Instead of using a fork to break the cauliflower into rice sized pieces, you add ingredients used for making mashed potatoes and whip the mixture with a hand mixer or potato masher.

See the recipes below for ways you can use cauliflower to add variety to   your low carb lifestyle.

"Riced" Cauliflower Recipes:

“Arroz” con Leche (Low Carb Mexican Rice Pudding)


**1 “Riced” Cauliflower (**to “rice” cauliflower, cut into florets and place in loosely covered microwaveable dish, microwaving on high for about 4-6 minutes or longer,  until able to easily break up florets with a fork into rice-sized bits)

¼ cup whipping cream

¼ cup unsweetened, unflavored coconut milk

2 individual packets of stevia

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon unsweetened, dehydrated shredded coconut

Dash sea salt

1 teaspoon Torani sugar free coconut syrup

Mix ingredients together.

Microwave an additional 1-2 minutes.

Stir and allow to cool.

Refrigerate for about an hour.

Ready to serve.

Serves about 4.

Serving suggestion: Serve with cinnamon stick, sprig of mint, dessert accompanied by hot tea. Makes a nice breakfast  dish.

Nutritional information:

Calories= 42, Fat = 3.5 gm, Net carbs= 1.8 gm, Protein= 0.8 gm.


Coconut “Rice” (Cauliflower)

1 head cauliflower

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons half and half

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 ½ Tablespoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon or packet of stevia

Remove leaves and stem from cauliflower and cut into small slices.

In a microwaveable bowl and loosely covered with a lid or paper towel, microwave the cauliflower for 10 minutes.  Test with a fork to see if still firm. Cook for an additional 2-5 minutes if firm.

Drain off any condensation.

Mash cauliflower into rice-sized bits with either a fork or potato masher (may also manually use the beater from a hand mixer).

Add above ingredients to bowl and blend in well with a spoon.

Return to the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Ready to serve. Serves 6-8 depending on size of cauliflower.

Nutritional information based on 8 servings:

Calories= 106, Fa 9.5 gm, Protein= 1.7 gm, Net carbs= 0


Cauliflower Au Gratin:

1 head cauliflower (remove leaves and central stalk and cut into small florets).  

Place one tablespoon of water in microwaveable bowl and place florets into bowl. Cook in microwave on high for 8-12 minutes (depending on your microwave), until florets soft and able to be pureed easily with fork.

After pureeing the cauliflower add to the mixture:

2 Tablespoons Fage whole or 2% unflavored, unsweetened Greek yogurt

2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges (white cheddar, swiss, or Chipotle flavored)

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup unflavored, unsweetened coconut milk

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼-½ teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup shredded parmesan or pepper jack cheese (save an additional ½ cup to place on top of the mixture before baking)

Mix well in mixing bowl. Transfer to lightly greased (olive oil or coconut oil) baking   dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add another ½ cup of shredded cheese from above to tope of mixture in the baking dish.

Lightly sprinkle paprika on top of the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

Nutritional information (based on one of 8 servings):

Calories=102, Fat= 8 gm, Net carbs= 3 gm, Protein= 3.3 gm


Mashed Cauliflower


1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into small pieces (discard central stem)

2 Tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon cream cheese

¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon granulated onion

1 Tablespoon granulated garlic

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 Tablespoon butter

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Dash of Hungarian paprika for topping

1) Finely chop 1 medium head of cauliflower (discard central stem and leaves).

2) Place chopped cauliflower into large microwave safe container along with 2

Tablespoons of water.

3) Cover loosely and heat in microwave for 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is soft.

4) Mash cauliflower with a fork, manual masher, or whip with hand mixer into puree

depending on your preference.

5) Add remaining ingredient and whip into cauliflower to make a puree.

Top with dash of Hungarian paprika and serve.

Serves 8.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories = 88, Fat = 6.2 grams, Protein = 3.5 grams, Net carbs = 3.9 grams