This recipe packs some serious heat! That’s right, I’m talking about the habanero pepper, which in terms of spice, can measure anywhere between 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). Das hot, amigos. This dish is for all you chile-heads out there. ‘Cause we got to stick together.
Wait, you’re telling me that I can turn cauliflower into rice?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m telling you. It’s low-carb magic. Cauliflower works incredibly well as a rice substitute because it absorbs flavors very easily, which makes this cruciferous vegetable my veggie MVP. It’s also low-carb in a very good way–for reference, an entire pound of cauliflower florets has only 15 net carbs. In comparison, a cup of cooked white rice has 40+ net carbs. Ay Dios mío.
How do I go about this magical transformation?
I’m a big fan of buying frozen cauliflower and then pursuing the microwave + food processor route. What I like best is using a small food processor. It fits nicely in a small kitchen drawer for storage, which is a big plus for apartment dwellers like me. I have tried using a grater, chopping by hand, using the blender, etc. I like cauliflower rice to be quick and easy so I have time to do other things like
watch Netflix work on my fitness.
But doesn’t cauliflower taste like… cauliflower?
The trick to making cauliflower rice taste more rice-like is to process it finely (make sure there are no big chunks), and make sure to cook it for at least five minutes on the stove and not just dump some butter + salt and serve. This cooking process will allow all the flavors to intensify and remove any excess water. Years ago when I first started making cauliflower rice, I would try to remove all the excess water by wringing it in a kitchen towel, which leaves annoying towel fibers all over your food and leaves your kitchen towel smelling like cauliflower. There’s just no explaining that to house guests.
But I’m scared of habanero peppers.
If you’re not quite ready to leap from jalapeños to habaneros, remove the seeds or start out with half a pepper. Habaneros are fruity and delicious and pair very well with the coconut oil in this dish, which adds a bit of sweetness. The heat also mellows out tremendously in the fridge, so another option is to make this dish ahead of time and allow the heat to come down a notch. And of course, make sure to wear disposable gloves when you’re handling the peppers. Your non-burning hands of the future will thank you.
Need some more rice in your life? I got you covered.
- Vegetable Pulao
- Spiced Celery Cauliflower Rice
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Cumin Spiced Cauliflower Rice
- Basic Cauliflower Rice
- Place cauliflower on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 6 minutes.
- Let cauliflower cool down for 1-2 minutes and then process in food processor. Set aside.
- Process onion and habanero together in food processor. Set aside.
- Add 2 tbs coconut oil to a pan over medium heat.
- Once pan is hot, add onion and habanero. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add spices and garlic to pan and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add cauliflower rice to pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
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