Confetti Cauliflower Rice
Have you ever tried cauliflower rice? It’s not really rice, it’s cauliflower, but it looks and feels like rice, and you can take it any flavor direction your heart desires! Besides the fact that cauliflower rice has a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates as regular rice, it’s also much higher in good-for-you nutrients. This Confetti Cauliflower Rice is colorful, super nutritious, and is not difficult to make. Give it a try and see for yourself!
What is it about cauliflower that makes it so nutritious? It’s part of the exclusive group of cruciferous vegetables, which, in my opinion, is one of the most health-promoting groups of vegetables around. Not that I’m biased ““ I believe any vegetable intake is nutritious, but the cruciferous vegetables stand out from the crowd as nutrition powerhouses. They contain high amounts of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which work in combination to help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against cancer and heart disease. Other cruciferous vegetables are cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli, to name a few. Studies have shown that regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables can lead to a longer life. Sound good, huh?
The nutritional benefits of the flavor-adding ingredients in this Confetti Cauliflower Rice should not be overlooked. When it comes to nutrition, every little bit counts, and when you combine several beneficial foods, the synergistic effect on health is magnified. In simpler terms, that word synergistic means that the foods work together to bring out each other’s positive health benefits. That’s why it’s SO MUCH more effective to eat whole foods than it is to take supplements of individual nutrients. The supplements never work as well as eating the whole foods.
The flavor-adding ingredients I’m talking about are cumin, green onions, parsley and lemon peel/lemon juice. Yes, all of these have some incredible health benefits, and even in small amounts can work their magic in your body when consumed over time.
I’m not even going to talk about the tomatoes and peppers that are in this Confetti Cauliflower Rice. I think I’ve blabbed on for long enough about the nutrition benefits of this tasty side dish. Now it’s time to get cooking! Oh, one more thing, I sprinkled some feta cheese on this the next day, and it tasted fabulous, so there’s an option for you!
This is what the raw cauliflower should look like after pulsing in the food processor.
Steam the cauliflower rice for 5 minutes. I use a deep skillet because then I can use that same skillet for cooking the veggies – I’m always game for fewer dishes! You’d think the little bits of cauliflower would fall through the holes in the steamer but they don’t!
The cauliflower won’t look a whole lot different after steaming. That’s good! You’re cooking it just enough to get it tender.
After all the goodies are stirred in, it’s really colorful! That’s my kind of side dish. Pretty food tastes better, right?
- 4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 medium head)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow sweet pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 green onions (green tops only), thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Place cauliflower florets in a food processor. Cover and pulse until very finely chopped (cauliflower should resemble rice). Place steamer basket over about 1-inch of water in a large deep skillet (water should not come through the holes in the steamer basket). Bring water to boiling. Add cauliflower to steamer basket. Reduce heat so water is simmering. Cover; steam for 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove steamer basket with cauliflower from the skillet. Pour out water from skillet; carefully wipe skillet dry. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the same skillet. Heat over medium heat; add sweet pepper. Cook, uncovered, for 4 minutes or until pepper is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add cumin seeds; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add steamed cauliflower. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, green onion tops, and parsley. Stir well. Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir well. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Toss to combine.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower on the large shredder of a box grater. If so, don’t cut the cauliflower into florets; cut the head into larger chunks and shred the chunks.
- If you can’t find cumin seeds, you can substitute ½ teaspoon ground cumin and add it with the salt and pepper. I like using the seeds because they don’t darken the cauliflower.
- 4 1/2 cups (6 side dish servings)
- 77 cals, 2 g pro, 8 g carb, 5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g sat fat, 2 g fiber, 318 mg sodium
I made this last night and it was amazing! For whatever reason I only had purple cauliflower and it was not only delicious, but beautiful! I will definitely be incorporating this into my summer dinners. Thank you!
That does sound beautiful, Kara and, you’re right, it’s a perfect summer dish! Thanks for letting me know you liked it.