World According to Mandi

Cauliflower: Rice it, Eat it, Love it

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that have always been around. Sometimes it’s obvious, like on salad, and sometimes it’s hidden, like as pizza dough. But I can’t remember a time I didn’t love this delicious veggie. Over the last year it’s become a staple in my house. Every time I go to the grocery store I buy a head of cauliflower, mainly because I love it, but it’s also so easy to cook and it’s cheap. Woo, bonus! Cauliflower for everyone!

I know how it is; cooking vegetables can at times be daunting. But don’t let your veggies get boring on you. You need to be creative or else fall into a food rut! And that is one rut you don’t ever want to be in. The key to cooking creatively, especially with veggies and cauliflower, is knowing your options. What can you do to cauliflower? So many wonderful things! You can steam it, roast it, sauté it, boil it, mash it and even rice it. Wait, rice it? What’s that?

Ricing cauliflower is something I recently learned and is basically grinding the veggie into a fine, rice like size. Now its versatile! My personal fav is making pizza with it. I first found a recipe on Lauren Conrad’s website, tweaked it into my own cauliflower pizza, and have been hooked ever since. To start you “rice” the cauliflower in a food processor and then put it in the microwave for eight minutes, making sure there’s no water in the cauliflower. Then you add an egg (or egg beaters), olive oil, cheese, and spice that sucker up. Cayenne pepper please! Spread the cauliflower mixture out evenly on either a pizza stone or flat pan. Bake that bad boy until it’s slightly browned and then top it with your favorite pizza toppings. I always add a bunch more veggies along with tomato sauce, or if I’m feeling racy, some pesto sauce. I love the low fat cheese too. This pizza is so amazing and way healthy.

Cauliflower pizza is just one way to use the “rice” technique. I also love it as the base for my own version of Mexican “rice and beans.” Yum… it’s fantastic! I stopped making real rice awhile ago; I’d rather save my legit rice eating for sushi and dining out. But using cauliflower as rice is amazing. My guy was blown away at how similar the textures were. I spiced that bad boy up with chili powder, limejuice and garlic. Then I topped the cauliflower ‘rice’ with fajita style vegetables, black beans and avocado. Talk about delish, satisfying, and filling! My guy immediately asked me to use the ‘rice’ more often. Every cuisine is fair game now!

Embrace the cauliflower! I’m currently having a bit of an obsession with it, but for good reason. Its low calorie, versatile, delicious, needs minimal seasoning and can be cooked in a myriad of ways! I promise you won’t ever get sick of this veggie. Get on the cauliflower bandwagon. Learn to rice this bad boy and let it change your life!

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