Cauliflower rice is a key component of the ketogenic diet.
If you’re on the keto diet, cauliflower rice can be an important and versatile ingredient in a diverse array of low-carb dishes.
The keto regimen typically calls for only 4% to 6% of one’s daily calories to come from carbohydrates, says Lana Nasrallah, a clinical dietitian with UNC Health Care, a not-for-profit integrated health care system based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s owned by the state of North Carolina.
Cauliflower is low in carbohydrates, which makes cauliflower rice a good choice if you’re on the keto diet. One cup of white rice contains about 45 grams of carbohydrates, while one cup of cauliflower rice has only 2 grams of carbs.
“If you’re missing rice and other starchy foods that are high in carbohydrates, cauliflower makes for a perfect keto-friendly stand-in, while nourishing your body with fiber and important vitamins,” Nasrallah says. “Cauliflower rice is excellent paired with Asian dishes and makes a fantastic replacement for starchy grains like rice, pasta, quinoa and couscous. It’s an easy way to add more vegetables to a keto-friendly meal as the main ingredient or served on the side.”
How the keto regimen works
The keto diet is a low-carb regimen designed to achieve weight loss through fat burning. It calls for consuming less than 50 grams of carbs per day.
People who follow the keto eating regimen aim to consume 75% of their calories from fats and 20% from protein. Advocates of the keto diet say that by cutting carbohydrates and consuming more fats, your body safely enters a state of ketosis. As a result, your fat-burning system relies mainly on fat, instead of sugar, for energy, which leads to weight loss.
Cauliflower rice is widely available.
You can purchase cauliflower rice in the freezer sections of many mainstream grocery stores, says Jenna Bell, a registered dietitian based in St. Petersburg, Florida. She’s with the vertical farming company Crop One.
Using fresh cauliflower, you can also make your own rice pretty easily by grating it or placing it in a food processor. “You can eat it raw, but I stir-fry or roast it,” she says. “You can microwave it with a bit of water, but that’s more like steaming.”
Here are 10 keto-friendly dishes that include cauliflower rice:
Skillet chicken stir-fry
This dish features an assortment of colorful vegetables that are packed with nutrients, Nasrallah says.
To prepare it, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over a medium heat. Add thin strips of skinless chicken breast seasoned with garlic powder, salt, pepper and a lime-seasoning blend and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Remove the chicken and in the same skillet cook sliced red, yellow and green bell peppers, sliced red onions and sliced mushrooms for about 8 minutes.
“Stir the chicken back in and squeeze one fresh lime on top to enhance the flavor with minimal carbohydrates,” Nasrallah says.
This is a terrific and easy-to-prepare dish if you’re cooking for one, Nasrallah says. Mix 4 ounces of salmon with 1 whole egg, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and 2 ounces of cheddar cheese and bake in a ramekin bowl at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
Serve the dish with wild cauliflower rice on the side for a light supper. “These ingredients give this recipe plenty of rich flavor,” she says.
Stroganoff beef with broccoli
Beef stroganoff is a classic keto-friendly dish, Nasrallah says.
Cut your favorite tender beef cut – like beef tenderloin or sirloin steak – into narrow 2-inch strips and cook in a bullion and sour cream sauce seasoned with dill weed, she says.
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