Do you remember having a substitute teacher in school? Depending on the class, this imposter would come in and either be the coolest person in the world or a complete nightmare. They could be funny and laid back or be the kind who wants to quiz you on things you haven’t even learned again. Maybe no one can ever fill the shoes of your teacher so it doesn’t matter who subs in.

I am kind of like that with food substitutions. I’m not talking about doing something easy like subbing ground turkey for ground beef or fettuccini for spaghetti. I’m talking about really out of the blue substitutions like cauliflower for rice.

It seems to be the new thing for those of you who want to cut carbs. (Poor carbs, what did they ever do to you?) Can’t people just eat things in moderation instead of trying to put the rice industry out of business? (I love rice so I’m not really objective on this entire topic.)

Apparently, the “experts” say if you take a head of cauliflower and pop it in a food processor or grate it, it will be just like white rice.

In the food world dictionary, “like” means it is white…it still tastes like cauliflower!!!!!!!!! It still smells like cauliflower!!!!!! IT ISN’T RICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Trying to calm down.)

Why can’t people just say it is cauliflower than mar the reputation for rice? These are the things that scar children. Imagine Little Tommy getting his dinner and his mom says it is rice; he tastes it and knows something is off. He takes another bite…he KNOWS something is wrong. He snoops around and finds the bottom of a head of cauliflower…he was just lied to by his MOTHER!!!

What kind of monster does that to a child? Besides the fact that Little Tommy will have trust issues that will one-day cause havoc on his adult life, he is missing all the benefits a person can receive because of eating rice.

Did you know that white rice has digestive and anti-inflammatory properties, contains protein that will help Little Tommy grow and not be so little any more, manganese which is good for the immune system, low in fat and gluten free! So why are these cauliflower rice people so against it?

Now so I don’t seem like the kid throwing spitballs at the sub (like a kid named Little Tommy who is acting out because his mom was a liar pants), I decided to give cauliflower rice a go.

As I googled recipes, I found it funny that a lot of them stated that it tastes better with things like a good curry or as a stir-fry. (Kind of like a substitute is better if you watch a movie instead of listening to them teach.)

I took a head of fresh cauliflower and plopped some florets into my food processor. I twirled it until it looked as close to rice as I could get it. For “fun”, I steamed a little bite for taste….it tastes like cauliflower….which I will confess that I can’t stand steamed cauliflower.

So I thought to myself, that I was going to treat it like I always treat cauliflower….with love and respect. (Like how you should treat a substitute teacher…because if I didn’t add that I was going to get hate mail.)

I gave it a toss in some olive oil and sprinkled it with some garlic and spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet. I roasted it in the oven until it was brown and toasty.

Roasted Cauliflower Rice
 
I made this and put it on top of spaghetti instead of bread crumbs....it added a very nice, moist toasty feature. I can only fully enjoy cauliflower if it is REALLy brown...so if you like it lighter...go for it.
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Break up the head of cauliflower so it will fit into your food processor. You may have to do a few batches.
  4. Twirl until it resembles a rice like size. (You can also twirl like a magician's assistant because that is the only way people will question you if this is rice or cauliflower.)
  5. Twirl and chop the garlic cloves
  6. In a large bowl, toss the "rice" with a swirl of olive oil.
  7. It should not be doused, just enough to make it look a little shiny.
  8. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake about 15-30minutes. Toss it a couple times.
  10. Sprinkle with the parmesan
  11. Bake another 10 minutes (or longer if you REALLY like it brown like I do)
  12. Serve.

Now it still didn’t make me think of rice but I did like it. I know it would never become my go-to for rice but I could see after roasting it that sometimes a substitute isn’t all bad….it just isn’t as good as the real thing.