(Life-saving!) Cauliflower Rice

I don’t know how many calories this one dish has saved 5:2 people, but it must run into the millions. It seems weird the first time you do it, but it’s very easy and makes a great replacement for rice or couscous: it’s lighter, lower in calories, and you are getting a portion of vegetables. It doesn’t taste of much on its own, but that’s the point: you want it to soak up any sauce or juice from your main dish. You can keep the second portion, covered, in the fridge to eat later the same day.
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Serves 2, 25 cals per serving

I don’t know how many calories this one dish has saved 5:2 people, but it must run into the millions. It seems weird the first time you do it, but it’s very easy and makes a great replacement for rice or couscous: it’s lighter, lower in calories, and you are getting a portion of vegetables. It doesn’t taste of much on its own, but that’s the point: you want it to soak up any sauce or juice from your main dish. You can keep the second portion, covered, in the fridge to eat later the same day.

200g cauliflower florets 50 cals

fresh-ground salt and pepper, pinch of spices

Optional: a little oil or 1-cal spray

Preparation and cooking time: 5­–10 minutes

  1.  Grate or finely chop cauliflower florets until they resemble rice grains. The fastest way to do this is to pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor, which gives a finer texture.
  2. Place the cauliflower into a loosely covered microwaveable dish. Don't add water: there’s already enough in the cauliflower to stop it drying out. Place in the microwave and cook on full power for 2 minutes. If you are only cooking one portion, reduce the time to 60 seconds.
  3. Or you can stir-fry the grated cauliflower. Add a splash of water to or spray a saucepan with 1-cal cooking spray to prevent it from sticking and set over a high heat. When hot, add the cauliflower and fry for 2–3 minutes, or until softened. If you are using spray, the rice may caramelise a little, adding a nutty flavour. If you have a few more calories to play with, 1 teaspoon sesame or coconut oil (45 calories in total, so it makes each portion 48 calories) makes it even more delicious!
  4. Season and serve alongside curries, stews and other main dishes.

I like to add herbs or spices to the mixture when I process it or during cooking. You could try cumin, ginger, fresh chillis or dried chilli flakes or fresh herbs like parsley or basil. You can freeze individual portions, too, which generally won’t take much longer to re-heat than fresh. Or try the egg-fried rice recipe in the Food section of the site.