First, my apologies folks. This was supposed to go up yesterday but…it just didn’t…that’s all…
Rice. Again, some post-ops eat it. Some don’t. I don’t. The reason started out with piety (I wanted to be a good new post-op so I avoided all starchy carbs for a long time) and now it’s just second nature to skip the rice. Once you’ve developed a habit like that you should give some thought as to whether you want to reverse it. I didn’t want to so I don’t generally eat rice.
And even though my dishes are good without the rice, there are some things I want served over top of something. In those instances (like the beautiful and easy chicken curry pictured above), I turn to cauliflower rice.
Now when I tell other post-ops about cauliflower rice I get a million and two reasons why they cannot prepare it. Among them:
Hogwash! First, cauliflower, when cooked properly is a veggie that works for many post-ops (barring the new, new new newbies). For the sake of argument, I tested the prep time for the method I outline below against a boil in bag of brown rice. My cauliflower rice took the exact same amount of time. And as you’ll see from the method I describe, you can make it using minimal prep.
So here we go. Basically it’s a ridiculously easy three step method.
Step One: The Florets
This either can or cannot be a full fledged step, depending on your preference. I personally love prepping veggies and so if I catch a big, beautiful head of cauliflower at the famer’s market (especially purple cauliflower cuz I think it’s cool), I’ll floret it myself. Even this doesn’t take a lot of time. You simply cut off the stem, cut the cauliflower in quarters and begin to cut florets from it. Floret is just a fancy word for the tops of the cauliflower (the tree looking part) along with very little of the stem. Most of the time, however, I use frozen florets like the ones pictured above.
Step Two: The Big Boil
Bring a big pot of water to boil. If you are using fresh cauliflower you’re going to want to “parboil” it. Parboil is short for “partially boil.” Basically you put it in the water for about 3-5 minutes, or until it turns slightly yellowish/brown. If you are using frozen florets, you have to boil them a bit longer because the florets will bring down the water temperature. So dump them in there, let them return to a boil and then let them go for about five minutes.
Step Three: The Mash
Once your cauliflower is softened (you should be able to pierce it easily with a fork) drain it. Now food experts will have you put it into an ice water bath to immediately stop the cooking. I don’t have the time or inclination to do all that (plus it creates more dishes than I want to wash). I simpy rinse the florets in cold water until they stop steaming and then return them to the pot. Then comes the fun part. I go at them with a potato masher! Mash your florets until they no longer look like florets.
From there I usually return them to the collander one more time to make sure I’ve drained all the excess water (soggy cauliflower rice is not fun) and then transfer to a bowl, like so:
To me there are many benefits to the cauliflower rice. It’s still a source of carbs, but less of them. More importantly to me, though, is the fact that I can eat a halfway normal portion of cauliflower rice with no pouch ache. And, as an added bonus, if take five steps back from your plate, turn five degrees south by southwest and tilt your head at a 26 degree angle…it looks JUST like real rice!
So…now that you know how to make cauliflower rice, next week I’ll show you how to make an insanely popular Indian dish to serve over it. And the week after that I’ll show you how to make a Southern favorite. And on and on…
Play with your food!