There are few meals in life that I love more than a spicy, hearty, colorful fajita bowl. Bowls like this manage to walk the line between totally healthy (this is like 95% vegetables!) and still somehow totally stick-to-your-ribs satisfying. This is the meal I’d serve to someone who isn’t too sure about healthy eating—this meal can make even the most skeptical person change their tune.
A typical fajita or burrito bowl has a base of seasoned rice to act as a vehicle for all the glorious toppings. If you eat grains, rice (especially sprouted rice) would be a great option. But here, I use cauliflower rice, which has the fluffy, starchy texture of rice but with the added nutrition, fiber, and flavor of cauliflower. Cauliflower rice (or cauli-rice as some folks call it) is a great option for those of us who struggle to digest grains or otherwise choose not to eat grains.
Cauliflower rice has been a thing now for quite some time, and when I first made it, I have to be honest, I thought it was so not appetizing. What crazy person said this was anything like rice? It was mushy and soggy and tasted like CAULLIFLOWERRRRRR! And I typically love the taste of cauliflower, but I don’t want my rice to taste like it!
I was determined to keep working at mastering cauliflower rice though, and I’m happy to say that I can now cook a pan of cauliflower rice like a boss! Here are a few tips to making good cauliflower rice each time:
- Use frozen riced cauliflower if you can. Most major supermarkets now carry frozen riced cauliflower in their frozen veggies section. Not only is it easier than chopping up a head of cauliflower in your food processor and more affordable than fresh, but I also find that it results in a much fluffier, rice-like end result. I’ve been able to make good cauliflower rice from fresh, but it takes a little more effort—from frozen, I get perfect results every time.
- Steam, don’t boil or sauté. Whenever you go to cook your cauliflower rice, add just a touch (a couple of tablespoons per bag of frozen riced cauliflower) of water and steam your rice—don’t boil it (too mushy!) or sauté it (not fluffy!). By the time the cauliflower is cooked through, all the water should have evaporated and/or been absorbed. You want your end cauliflower to be tender, but not over-cooked.
- Flavor your rice. Sulfur-heavy cauliflower can be a bit overpowering when left to its own devices, so make sure you season your cauliflower rice liberally. Strong flavors like garlic do a great job of helping to mask some of the cauliflower-iness.
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