Surely I’m not alone in welcoming the new year with thoughts of ‘doing better’ in some areas of life. For many of us, as we vacuum the last cookie crumbs of Christmas and recycle chocolate boxes from well-meaning guests we silently vow to a healthier outlook with renewed intentions for diet and exercise.
Last year was a turning point for me, as I took health matters in hand to battle the onset of diabetes by embracing a daily exercise regimen. Now that all holiday sweet treats have happily been given away and the season of excess is officially behind us, I’m happy to jump back on the bandwagon of health with even more vigour. The reverse power of Thermomix makes cauliflower rice a healthy ingredient that’s not only easy and fun but oh-so versatile!
“We eat first with our eyes…”
A simple way to serve more nutrition (raw or cooked) meals is by making ‘mock rice’ from cauliflower. Cauliflower rice has the look of white rice and when topped with sauce, you’ll hardly notice a difference. The subtle, natural earthy-sweetness is downright tasty even! Before you know it, you will forget that this is your healthy moment. So just relax, turn off the brain and let the eyes, mouth, and body enjoy the experience.
Mock rice is not just for raw foodies. It can easily be steamed in the Thermomix simmer basket and used just as any cooked rice. Perfectly suitable for tricking kids and others into eating more vegetables too: begin by mixing your cauliflower rice with cooked rice and no one will notice. Gradually use less and less rice to more cauliflower and before long, you will be feeling chuffed and healthier!
I love this mock rice ‘trick’ because cauliflower has a much lower glycemic load than rice and only about one quarter the calories of rice. It has fewer carbs and more protein. I’m not making any health claims here, just sayin’… For info about nutritional values, I always return to this site. (There’s a bit of a learning curve to using the site but customizing for results for accuracy makes it worthwhile.)
REVERSE your engines for Thermomix mock rice!
Start with about 500 g. cauliflower florets (that’s 17.6 oz for friends using Thermomix in USA) broken into manageable chunks. Toss these into Thermomix bowl and spin about 5 seconds/REVERSE/speed 5. By “whacking” instead of “chopping” we retain the kernal-like quality of cauliflower so it resembles more of a grain than a fine mince. By using the florets and not the stalk, this will result in a pile of large-grained rice-like cauliflower. At this point, I transfer the mock rice into a large bowl. Any harder bits of stalk that may have slipped in and didn’t succumb to “whacking” in reverse can be returned to the Thermomix and chopped (forward) for a second or two to fully break down, then mixed in with the other mock rice. Use this refreshingly raw mock rice in salads, raw pilafs, or with your favorite raw or cooked sauces. (see a simple Thai sauce below)
Use simmering basket for cooked version of mock rice
Once cauliflower is converted to mock rice it can easily be cooked to your desired level of tenderness. Keep it on the raw side for a lightly refreshing and satisfying crunch, or steam it till very soft — your choice. Just fill Thermomix simmering basket with raw cauliflower rice, add 500 g (17.6 oz) water and cook for 10-12 minutes/Varoma/speed 3. Voilà!
- 30 g (1 oz) light oil (such as canola)
- 30 g (1 oz) fish sauce
- 40-45 g (1.4-1.5 oz) fresh lime juice (one lime, juiced)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium dried red chili pepper (add more if you love heat!)
- 1 small chunk fresh ginger (about 5 g, or the size of a hazelnut)
- 1 handful fresh coriander (cilantro)
- optional: ½ capsicum (red bell pepper), divided into 4 large chunks
- more options: 1-2 Tbsp. coconut milk, small handful peanuts, 1 tsp. sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Put all first six ingredients and half the coriander/cilantro into Thermomix and blend for about 10 seconds, speed 8.
- Add remainder of the coriander (cilantro) and capsicum if using. Chop roughly for 2-3 seconds/speed 5. Serve over raw or cooked mock rice. If serving with raw cauliflower rice, consider adding the sauce some time before serving and allowing flavors to marinate for a while. Extra yummy!
- see how our friends at The 4 Blades use this mock rice to create a Thermomix Cauliflower Pilaf recipe