4 Flavors of Cauliflower “Rice” (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)

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each of the 4 flavors presented in 4 white bowls

“The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.”
~ Daniel Gilbert


Cauliflower Just Got a Lot More Interesting

One of the benefits of developing new recipes for this blog is that it shakes me out of my food ruts. I tend to just broil or sauté cauliflower, and if I make cauli-rice, it’s usually plain as a base for something more interesting, like curry. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can get a little boring. No longer! I figured your standards might be a little bit higher, so I spent the past two months trying out different flavor combinations. These are the ones that made the cut. Side note: there’s a theory that bacon makes everything taste better; cauliflower rice is the exception! I know – it shocked me, too.

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A Far More Nutritious “Rice”

On a grain-free diet, people often miss the way grains can fill out a meal. While some people do reintroduce white rice back into their diet (a la The Perfect Health Diet), they do so for convenience and calories, rather than nutrition. Cauliflower “rice” is a staple that’s easy to master and far more nutritious than the rice it replaces. Just 1 cup of cauliflower:

  • Is full of vitamins, providing 73% of your daily vitamin C, along with 15 other nutrients, including many B vitamins.
  • Is full of antioxidants, including beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol.
  • Is a sulfur-rich vegetable, and Dr. Terry Wahls suggests we eat 3 cups of these daily. Why? They support our bodies’ ability to detoxify. This is especially important for people with autoimmune disease, because most of us have compromised detoxification abilities.
  • Is anti-inflammatory, containing glucobrassicin, which works on a genetic level to turn off inflammatory responses.
  • Has beneficial fiber that feeds the good bacteria in our guts, while also working to suppress overgrowth of h.pylori.

Flavor Fun

Today, I’m sharing 4 very different flavors of this recipe. Feel free to experiment on your own to create even more.

  • Plain cauliflower “rice” is a great base for curries, stir fries and any meals with a sauce.
  • Scallion “rice” incorporates another powerful vegetable into the meal. Did you know that scallions contain 120 times more antioxidants than regular onions? The secret is in the greens – you need to eat the whole scallion.
  • Asian ginger uses fresh ginger along with some paleo staples (red boat fish sauce and coconut aminos) to provide a flavor punch.
  • Moroccan spice might just be my favorite variation. These AIP spices blend together beautifully, and there’s even a hint of “butter” flavor in the mix. I don’t know where that came from, but I’m excited. As someone who is dairy-intolerant, I haven’t tasted anything like that in a long time.

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4 Flavors of Cauliflower "Rice" | Phoenix Helix

4 Flavors of Cauliflower “Rice” (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)


  • Author: Eileen Laird
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients

Plain:

Scallion:

Asian Ginger:

Moroccan Spice:

  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, riced
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins

Instructions

Plain:

  1. Cut cauliflower into chunks and pulse in food processor, until it reaches rice consistency. Set aside. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a hand grater.
  2. Melt fat in large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add cauliflower rice and sprinkle with sea salt. Cook 3 minutes. Use spatula to turn over, sprinkle with more sea salt, and cook another 3 minutes.

Scallion:

  1. Cut cauliflower into chunks and pulse in food processor, until it reaches rice consistency. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the white slices of scallion and sauté 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower rice and toss to blend. Sprinkle with sea salt and cook 3 minutes. Use spatula to turn over, sprinkle with more sea salt, and cook another 3 minutes. Add the green slices of scallion, toss to blend and serve.

Asian Ginger:

  1. Cut cauliflower into chunks and pulse in food processor, until it reaches rice consistency. Set aside.
  2. Melt oil in large skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, stir the fresh grated ginger, fish sauce and coconut aminos together.
  3. Add to the coconut oil in the skillet and stir to blend. Add the cauliflower rice and toss until evenly coated in flavoring. Cook 3 minutes. Use spatula to turn over and cook another 3 minutes. No salt needed, because fish sauce is salty (but ironically doesn't taste like fish).

Moroccan Spice:

  1. Cut cauliflower into chunks and pulse in food processor, until it reaches rice consistency. Set aside.
  2. Melt coconut oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add spices and stir until blended with the oil.
  3. Add cauliflower rice and toss until evenly coated in flavoring. Sprinkle raisins on top. Cook 3 minutes. Use spatula to turn over and cook another 3 minutes.

Notes

  1. The cauliflower stem is edible and nutritious, too! Include it when making your cauliflower-rice.
  2. Time Saving Tip: Many stores sell pre-chopped cauliflower rice in the frozen food aisle. 1/2 large head of cauliflower is equivalent to about 3 cups of cauliflower rice.
  3. There are two places you can vary the recipe slightly for texture: (1) When you pulse the cauliflower in the food processor, you get to decide how small you want your “rice”. I like mine to be a little varied in size, so I don't pulse it quite as finely. Other people like it to be a more fine and uniform texture. Just don't turn it into mush. (2) When you cook it, you can either leave the skillet uncovered for an “al dente” texture, or covered for a softer texture. Try both ways and see what you prefer. I actually like both!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop

Keywords: paleo, aip, gaps, wahls, whole30, 4 flavors of cauliflower "rice"

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Credit: recipe photograph taken by Christina Feindel

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20 comments on “4 Flavors of Cauliflower “Rice” (Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Whole30)”

  1. Can cauli-rice be frozen? If not, how long would it keep in the refrigerator? I meal prep and just want to know how best to keep this. Thanks!

    1. Hi Anne. Yes, I have frozen leftovers after cooking (putting them in individual serving size bowls). So that might work perfectly for you. However, you can also keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  2. Eileen, do you think that the cauliflower rice can be used in Paella? My husband loves this dish and asked if we could substitute!

    1. Hi Jan. I don’t see why not! You’ll just need to adjust the cooking time, since cauli-rice cooks more quickly than regular rice. Enjoy!

  3. Thanks Eileen, for the great variations. We just discovered cauli-rice at Trader Joe’s, with just organic cauliflower and salt! I was shocked at how much I had missed the idea of rice dishes. I had always wanted to try it, and discovering it at TJ’s has made it so easy. Thanks for creating new flavors for everyone to try!

  4. I love how versatile cauli rice is! It makes a frequent appearance on our dinner table. One of my favourites is cauli rice with red palm oil and a bit of salt. So creamy 🙂 Thanks for some new flavour ideas!

    1. Another great variation! For those of you not familiar with red palm oil, it has a unique flavor hard to describe and people tend to either love it or hate it. It’s worth trying, because its a healthy AIP-friendly fat, and its bright color brings with it lots of antioxidants. Thanks for sharing, Rheagan!

  5. I tried the cinnamon raisin variation last night,using currants instead of raisins because of the glycemic load, with morrocan spiced lamb shanks and it was truly delicious. Thank you!

  6. I already loved the versatility of this plant for subbing as a potato in potato salad. This can take it to a whole new level with sir frys and other delights. Bet it makes “rice” pudding too. Thanks, Eileen, and for all you do for us.

  7. I’m so thankful for this post Eileen! I can’t wait to try these combinations – especially the Cinnamon Spiced Raisin! Thanks for helping us get out of the ruts too!

      1. I FINALLY tried the spiced raisin cauliflower today! It was so delicious, Eileen! I snarfed it down like a mad-woman. I had some leftover fish and a little coleslaw to go with it. It’s going to be a staple side dish in our home. It was SO FULL of flavor! Would pair so well with chicken, fish, steak, you name it. Even my 16 year old son said it was really flavorful and he loved it! Thanks for the recipe!
        Hugs,
        Jen

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