Have You Tried This Healthy Swap for Rice?

The Secret: Cauliflower


It’s a wallflower no more. Cauliflower is hot. The cruciferous vegetable that seemed to always take a back seat to broccoli is trending. One reason: the white veggie is a perfect stand-in for white rice, potatoes, and other carbs that many people overdo.

Instead of the 120-or-so calories in half a cup of cooked rice, you get just 20 calories. And, since we’re talking vegetables, they come with 2 grams of fiber, 70 percent of a day’s vitamin C, 15 percent of a day’s vitamin K, 10 percent of a day’s folate, and 7 percent of a day’s potassium.

The trick is to chop (or grate) your head of cauliflower so finely that the pieces look almost as small as rice. Or you can lean on a company like Green Giant to do the work for you.

Just open the freezer, pull out one of the Giant’s four varieties of Riced Veggies, and sauté for five minutes.

Talk about simple. The name—Cauliflower, Cauliflower & Sweet Potato, or Cauliflower & Broccoli—is also the ingredient list. And the Cauliflower Medley is just cauliflower plus green peas, onions, carrots, and green onions.

Try sautéing a cup of the Cauliflower Medley in a teaspoon of olive oil and a dash of reduced-sodium soy sauce. In roughly five minutes you’ll have the perfect fried rice surrogate…for only about 70 calories.

If fresh is more your speed, pick up a bag of Green Giant Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles from the supermarket’s refrigerator case. Keep things simple by sautéing in olive oil for a few minutes, until they start to brown slightly. Then season with a squeeze of fresh lemon and, if necessary, a pinch of salt. Or try out our recipe for Cauliflower “Rice” Pilaf.

Can’t find Green Giant? Plenty of other companies have thrown their own “riced” cauliflower into the ring—sometimes fresh, sometimes frozen, sometimes both.

“Behold the power of cauliflower,” says the bag. Green Giant isn’t kidding. Another helping, please.

greengiant.com—(800) 754-3381

Cauliflower “Rice” Pilaf

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 cups (1 lb.) finely chopped or grated cauliflower
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds
  • 2 Tbs. dried currants
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Heat a pan to medium-high heat and sauté the onion in the olive oil until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in the paprika, water, and cauliflower.
  3. Cover and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the almonds, currants, and salt.

Serves 8

Per serving (1/2 cup cooked)

  • Calories: 60
  • Total Fat: 4 g
  • Sat Fat: 0 g
  • Carbs: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 80 mg