Food Revelation: Cauliflower Rice

I may never cook with rice again.

Earlier this week, I spied a recipe for cauliflower "rice" on Pinterest. Intrigued, I pinned it and figured it might be a useful recipe to try in the next month - especially since Morgan and I are trying to watch our carb intake before the wedding. We're big fans of cauliflower "mashed potatoes," and so using it to create rice didn't seem like a huge stretch. And when I decided to make crockpot Swedish meatballs for dinner tonight, the cauliflower rice sounded like a great replacement for the typical starch that would lie beneath these meatballs. 

It's so impressive to me when people think outside the box with food (particularly vegetables) and find new ways to use it. Cauliflower rice is a perfect example of this - it's basically just steamed cauliflower that was cut up to look like rice. Mild and soft, the cauliflower soaked up the meatball gravy just as well as regular rice or noodles. I'm sure this cauliflower would sub in well for rice in any recipe - maybe in casseroles or soup. 

Crockpot Swedish Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice

1.5# ground turkey, 3/4 c. fine breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. minced onion, 1 T. Worcestershire , 1 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1 t. dried parsley

1/3 c. flour, 2 t. paprika, 1/2 t. pepper, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1 t. dried parsley, 3 c. boiling water, 1 1/4 c. sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, onion, Worcestershire, and spices in a large bowl. Drizzle 1/8 c. olive oil into a cast iron skillet. Roll meat into walnut-shaped balls and place in the pan. When all of the meat is formed, put pan into the oven and allow meatballs to brown, turning once. 

Lightly grease the crock pot and set to high. Dump meatballs into crockpot, cover and cook 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, in the skillet, heat drippings, boiling water, flour, spices, and sour cream/yogurt. Pour gravy over the meatballs in the crockpot and allow to cook on high for one hour. Turn heat to low and cook 1-3 hours more before serving.

*Both the meatball and the gravy recipes can be adjusted to taste, and would adapt well to additions or changes. Next time, I'm going to add sliced mushrooms to the gravy, and oregano to the meatballs. 

1 head cauliflower, 1/8 c. olive oil, 3 chopped scallions, 3 minced garlic cloves 

Rinse and core the cauliflower. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and then whirl in the food processor. *A grating blade is the best, but if you don't have that attachment, just dice with the regular blade. Cauliflower should be small and rice-like (or resemble crumbled feta). 

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add scallions and garlic and cook over medium until the garlic is lightly browned. Add cauliflower and stir to coat. Crank the heat to med-hi and allow cauliflower to brown. Cover the pan (so that cauliflower will steam) and stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. 

In a bowl, layer cauliflower, meatballs & gravy, and peas. Yum!

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