Super Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Super Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  It’s so good that I didn’t even get fancy here by adding any other flavors.  You get cauliflower and cheese…plus some other ingredients to help it get it on.  This Cheesy Cauliflower Rice is a delicious gluten free, low-carb alternative to a pasta or rice side dish.

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Add Vitamins & Nutrients to a Deliciously Cheesy Dish!

I eat a [mostly] gluten-free diet because it prevents uncomfortable bloating.  For this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice recipe, you replace pasta or rice with cauliflower which gives you the same satisfying hearty texture as rice.  AND you are not just taking away gluten, you are ADDING lots of vitamins and nutrients.  “Cauliflower is high in fiber, which slows down the rate at which we absorb sugar, therefore helping to keep our blood sugar levels from spiking. It has 77% of the RDI (reference daily intake) for Vitamin C. It’s also packed with Vitamins K and B6, folate, magnesium, among many others. Cauliflower is also packed with antioxidants, which have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells.” (Liana Purvis, Fitness & Nutrition Expert at Live Practically PT)   And you still get all of the cheesy deliciousness – Win, Win!

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR CHEESY CAULIFLOWER RICE COOKING ‘KIT’

You are busy, so these are the steps you can do a day or two in advance to prepare food ahead!  

(See the recipe below for more details)

  • Making your own cauliflower rice is incredibly easy.   It also tastes like rice when other flavors are added.  All it takes is 1) Cauliflower and 2) a Food Processor!  To make the cauliflower rice, you first cut off the cauliflower florets from the head. Add the florets to a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles the size of rice. NOTE: Be sure not to over process so that it becomes breadcrumb size.  I use my mini food processor, so I do this in 3 batches so that I don’t overcrowd the processor.  Once you are done making the raw “rice” just store it in a baggie or container in the fridge until ready to cook!

Making cauliflower rice at home is so simple with a food processor! This is great in this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Recipe!

  • The only other ingredient that to prep is the parsley for garnish, so just rough chop the parsley and store in a baggie.

COOK THE CHEESY CAULIFLOWER RICE:

  • When the cauliflower turns into ‘rice’, it cooks incredibly fast in a large skillet on high heat with a bit of vegetable broth.
  • Next you make the cheese sauce.  However, rather than using a traditional roux made from flour (contains gluten) and butter, in this recipe I use cornstarch and milk to make a slurry.  Add the slurry to the broth with more milk to thicken the sauce before adding in the cheese.
  • Add the shredded cheese to the thickened broth and milk a little at a time, mixing as you add until it melts.  Continue adding and mixing until all cheese is added.  It becomes this wonderfully thick and cheesy sauce that mixes so beautifully with the cauliflower.

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.

  • After adding the cauliflower rice back into to the cheese sauce, simply mix to combine and simmer for a final 5 minutes so that they become one gooey, cheesy, delicious dish!

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.

That’s it!  Serve with parsley sprinkled on top for color.

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.

BONUS: Add Roasted Chickpeas over top for a complete Vegetarian meal.  The chickpeas, which bring protein to the party, are seasoned simply with extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Then they are roasted in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes until they become almost crispy.  Pour over the Cheesy Cauliflower Rice and you have a balanced meal.

Roasted Chickpeas are crispy little bites of YUM! When roasted for 30 minutes in a 400 degree F oven with simple seasonings of salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil, they get crispy and almost nutty. Absolutely delicious!

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together. Add Roasted Chickpeas (add protein) on top and now you have a complete and balanced vegetarian meal!

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Rich and Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Rich and Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth (1/2 to cook the cauliflower, 1/2 to make the cheese sauce)
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Milk, low fat 1% or Skim
  • 2 Tbls Corn Starch
  • 1 Tbls Ghee or Butter
  • 1.5 cups Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Tbls Italian Parsley, Chopped Optional for garnish

Instructions

Prep Ahead

  1. Make the cauliflower rice by first cutting off the cauliflower florets from the head. Add the florets to a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles the size of rice.  NOTE: Be sure not to over process so that it becomes breadcrumb size.

    Making cauliflower rice at home is so simple with a food processor! This is great in this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Recipe!
  2. If you have a small processor, do this in batches and fill it half way with the florets, then pulse, empty, fill again and so on until you have completed it all.  If you are not going to be cooking tonight, then put in a storage bag in the fridge.

  3. If you are using parsley for garnish, rough chop the parsley and store in a baggie.

Cook

  1. Measure out 1/4 cup of milk and whisk in the corn starch with a fork until completely dissolved.  Add another 3/4 cup of milk to the mixture and whisk again.  Set aside until ready to add to the pan.

  2. Preheat a large skillet on high heat.  Add a tsp of oil and spread around.  Then add the processed cauliflower rice to the pan with salt and pepper.  Stir to mix, then cook for 2-3 minutes to lightly sear the cauliflower rice.  

  3. Next add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and stir to ensure all of the rice gets moisture.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring every minute or so to cook evenly.  Transfer the cauliflower rice to a bowl.

    Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Rich and Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.
  4. Using the same pan, add the ghee (or butter) and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.  Then add the milk and corn starch mixture whisking briskly as you add and as it comes back up to a simmer.  It will start to thicken after it warms back up to a simmer. 

  5. Once back up to a simmer, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and begin to add the shredded cheese a little at a time, mixing as you add until it melts, then adding more and continuing until all cheese is added.  

    Welcome to my new favorite comfort food with a healthy twist: Cheesy Cauliflower Rice.  If Mac and Cheese met Cauliflower, fell in love and had a baby, it would be this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice. This recipe is so simple with just the flavors from the cauliflower - plus a few other things to help it come together.
  6. Now, you can stir the cauliflower rice back in.  Cook on low heat for a final 5 minutes until the cauliflower rice becomes thick and gooey and cheesy and delicious!  Serve, garnish with parsley for color, and enjoy!

Spiced Cauliflower Rice with Beef Filet

Roses are Red, Violets are blue, Avocado Crema is amazing and Spiced Cauliflower Rice is too!  This Spiced Cauliflower Rice with Beef Filet and Avocado Crema is a perfect dinner for the sweethearts in your life.  Whether that is your partner, your kids, or your friends, make this to say I love you ANY day of the year!

The Cauliflower Rice is such a great carb-free alternative to Rice and gives so many benefits from fiber, vitamins, calcium, and more!  It is lightly spiced with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Chili Powder.  The Petite Filet is tender and has all of the great flavor you get from Filet Mignon without the high price tag.  Last, but not least, drizzle the buttery, delicious Avocado Crema over top and enjoy!

Cauliflower Rice

What is Cauliflower Rice, you say?  Well, my friends, if you have never had this latest food trend, it is a Valentine’s Day Miracle!  It is ‘rice’ made from cauliflower.   It really does have the same texture and consistency as rice, as well as a eerily similar mild flavor.  When mixed with other flavors, it also takes them on just like rice…BUT, without the carbs…so AMAZING!  Plus you get the health benefits from the cauliflower, such as fiber, vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and more!  Here is a great article on the health benefits from cauliflower.

These days, you can buy raw cauliflower rice at most grocery stores.  It cooks it is so much easier and faster than real rice.  You can either saute it in a skillet, roast it in the oven, or steam it.  The only caution is to not overcook it so that it becomes mushy.  But, if it does get mushy, it’s not the end of the world, you can blend it further to turn it into a cauliflower mash!

To make the Cauliflower Rice, you break off the florets and place into a food processor.  Then pulse until you get tiny pieces that resemble rice.

For this Spice Cauliflower Rice recipe, you add the Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Chili Powder with a drizzle of Olive Oil.  Toss with fork or with your fingers to mix.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.  Be careful not to over-season as the flavors cook down and get deeper with the roasting.  Then spread the ‘rice” out into a thin layer and place in preheated oven.

When the cauliflower rice is done, it will be a beautiful golden brown color and the house should smell amazing!

Prepping & Cooking the Beef Filet

While the cauliflower is roasting, you can prepare the lean, decadent beef filet.  Now, a few years back, I discovered Petite Beef Filets and this is my new go-to beef.  It’s one of the most tender cuts without the most expensive price tag.  The Petite Filet comes from the shoulder and is so incredibly tender.  It tastes very similar to filet mignon, but is much less expensive.  I season very simply with salt and pepper and a very light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil that I rub all over.  Then I roast under to broiler for about 5 minutes on each side to get a nice brown crust.  Then I move it down to the center rack and cook for another 15 minutes in 375 degrees….perfecto!

Last, but not least is the Avocado Crema.  Add the avocado, sour cream, salt, and pepper, and a dash of garlic powder to a mini food processor.   Blend until smooth and creamy.

Now…put it all together and Enjoy!

Spiced Cauliflower Rice with Beef Filet

The Cauliflower Rice is such a great carb-free alternative to Rice and gives so many benefits from fiber, vitamins, calcium, and more!  It is lightly spiced with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Chili Powder.  The Petite Filet is tender and has all of the great flavor you get from Filet Mignon without the high price tag.  Last, but not least, drizzle the buttery, delicious Avocado Crema over top and enjoy!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Cauliflower Rice

  • 6 cups Cauliflower florets
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Dash Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Petite Beef Filet

  • 16 oz Petite Beef Filets
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Avocado Crema

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Tbls Sour Cream
  • 1 Dash Garlic Powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

Instructions

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F

Prepare the Petite Beef Filets

  1. On a sheet pan (lined with aluminum foil for easy clean up!) place the Petite Beef Filets.  Very simply season with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper and then rub it all around all sides.

  2. Turn the oven to broiling and place the beef under the broiler on the top rack for 5 minutes.  Take the beef out and turn over and broil for another 5 minutes.  Then turn the oven back to 375 degrees F and move the beef down to the center rack.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes until medium rare (140 degrees internal temp)

Spiced Cauliflower Rice

  1. Break off 6 cups of cauliflower florets and place into a food processor. Then pulse until you get tiny pieces that resemble rice.

    Making cauliflower rice at home is so simple with a food processor! This is great in this Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Recipe!
  2. Pour the Cauliflower Rice onto a sheet pan and add the Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Chili Powder with a drizzle of Olive Oil and then toss with fork or with your fingers to mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed, but be careful not to over-season as the flavors cook down and get deeper with the roasting. 

  3. Then spread the ‘rice” out into a thin layer and place in preheated oven.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes, then toss and spread evenly again and roast another 10min.

Make Avocado Crema

  1. Half an avocado and remove seed, then scoop avocado out into a mini food processor.  Add sour cream and a dash of garlic powder, salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Blend until creamy smooth.  Taste and add more seasonings to taste.

Plate and Enjoy!