To say cooking is an ever-evolving craft would be an understatement. As a chef who is also a mom, host and a restaurateur, I find that much of my time is now spent trying to make familiar ingredients interesting, safe and palatable. I am constantly tapping into my training and experience to cater to picky eaters, restricted diets and guests with food sensitivities.
Gluten-free diets have become so popular, they’re almost mainstream. You can buy exclusively gluten-free foods at the grocery and order a gluten-free meal at most restaurants. Gluten-free options are in increasingly higher demand, and gluten-free recipes are becoming easier and easier to make. So, as the mom/chef/host that I am, I’m leaning right into it.
Recipes like “cauliflower rice” make my job quite simple. Inexpensive, effortless to make and straightforward in presentation, it’s a bona fide crowd-pleaser. And it’s just begging for some clever twists. So, straight from the chef, here are my notes on cauliflower rice. From how to cook the cauliflower to how to doctor it up, here’s how to make a great gluten-free recipe for dinner.
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
The Basic Recipe
1. Core, stem and quarter a head of cauliflower.
2. Pulse the florets in a food processor until you achieve a grain-like consistency. Try a box grater if you don’t have a food processor.
3. Sauté over medium-high heat with pre-warmed olive oil or butter for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
How to Use It
Offer up your cauliflower rice in place of traditional rice in your regular recipes, whether you’re entertaining the masses or feeding your family on a Tuesday night. And don’t make a peep about it – no one will know!
Try it in this black beans and rice recipe alongside any of your Mexican favorites. Use it to stuff your burritos too. Just squeeze a little fresh lime juice and chop a handful of cilantro into the “rice” as you sauté it.
You can also add it to a hot pot of broth with fresh lemon juice, chopped spinach and shredded chicken for a spin on chicken and wild rice soup.
Take It to the Next Level
Once you’ve mastered some basic cauliflower rice swaps, kick it up a notch by using cauliflower rice as the foundation of your dinner plate in an easy, gluten-free dinner recipe for the family. Doctor it up with protein-rich beans, shredded chicken, chunks of buttery avocado and plenty of hot sauce in this Tex-Mex favorite.
Top it with any fork-shredded braised meat, from brisket to pork shoulder, and crown it all with crunchy cabbage slaw. Or, sear chicken in a soy sauce reduction, toss with crunchy cashews and bell peppers and slide onto a heaping mound of cauliflower fried rice.
Give it a Mexican flare with slow-cooked pork tenderloin in enchilada sauce, served over cauliflower rice with torn cilantro, sour cream, grilled corn cut from the cob and some crumbles of queso fresco.
With an easy gluten-free recipe like cauliflower rice, you can serve a meal that’s not only packed with nutrition and allergen-friendly, but also deee-licious. It’s a super simple ingredient swap that’s tasty too!