The 5-Minute Rice Recipe (Yes: 5 Minutes!) You Need in Your Life, Stat

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Cauliflower rice topped with Saag Paneer

Cauliflower rice topped with Saag Paneer

Confession: Just like I’ve always been pretty skeptical of cauliflower mash, the low-carb stand-in for mashed potatoes found ALL over Pinterest, I have also always been pretty skeptical of cauliflower “rice,” cauliflower that’s grated into rice-like pieces then cooked.

Isn’t it … mushy? I thought to myself whenever a recipe for cauliflower rice popped in on my Instagram feed, with #paleo inevitably and proudly in the caption below it. I have no fear of carbs and I am in no way a Paleo devotee, which is how I, a health editor who is borderline obsessed with all things vegetable related, had somehow avoided making the much-praised (though, questionably, in my opinion) concoction of cauliflower rice until just last week.

Spoiler alert: It is not mushy. It is so freakin’ easy (and fast!) to make. And it is the bomb. And I wish I’d first made it, like, four years ago when it first came to my attention. So dear readers, do not let this cauliflower rice FOMO happen to you.

I first made cauliflower rice out of conveniece: I had leftover Saag Paneer sitting in my fridge when I got home from work one day, but I had eaten a wild-rice-filled salad from Sweetgreen for dinner, so I didn’t want to put said Saag Paneer over plain ol’ rice and have rice for the second time that day. I happened to have a head of cauliflower sitting in my fridge, so cauliflower rice it was.

According to recipes I found online, you can either grate the cauliflower florets into rice-size pieces using a box grater (like you’d use for cheese) or put them into a food processor with a grate attachment and chop them up into rice-size pieces. I went with the box cutter method because my food processor was buried somewhere deep in a cabinet that I can’t reach without my boyfriend’s help. (Yes, you’re right: We do need to get a step stool.) This was the most annoying aspect of the recipe, but it literally would’ve taken two seconds if I’d used a food processor. Then, once grated, all I had to do was throw the cauliflower into a pan with with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté for five minutes over medium heat with salt and any other spices I felt like adding.

Let me tell you guys, taking my first bite was like watching The Wire for the very first time: I always thought it would be boring but it was the BEST THING EVER. The texture was surprisingly rice-like but way more flavorful, and thanks to cauliflower’s decent fiber content, it served as a super-filling rice alternative.

And from start to finish, making it took way less time than waiting for regular rice to cook would’ve. And if I’d prepped the cauliflower beforehand, which I’ll probably start doing, it would’ve been even faster.

Long story short: Cauliflower rice is my new favorite kind of rice.

You can find a more detailed recipe here (though you really don’t need one). Now, go get your cauliflower rice on and watch your weeknight dinners become way easier to make, more delicious AND more veggie-filled. You are welcome.

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