I absolutely love carbs, I really do. If it were possible to survive on pasta and potatoes alone, I'd be in my element. Unfortunately, I'd probably also be severely malnourished - there's a downside to everything (though... I'm tempted to think it might be worth it...).
Sometimes, when I want to step away from the carbs for a while, I like experimenting with low-carb recipes. I've done it before - low-carb tortillas, for example, or low-carb risotto. They usually involve cauliflower, and this low-carb tikka cauliflower rice is no exception. Because cauliflower only has a very mild flavour of its own (read: it can be pretty tasteless), it's the perfect vehicle for all those flavours you'd usually use on rice or pasta.
This time, I went for a tikka-style flavour combo with cumin, coriander, curry... all those old favourites. Add a few veggies and some cauliflower rice, and you've got a tasty low-carb dish. It's great served as a side dish alongside your favourite curry - half of the batch (which is a very generous portion!) only has 200 calories, so you can definitely get away with adding a nice sauce. Or, throw some protein into the pan (chickpeas, paneer, tofu...?) and turn it into a full meal.
If you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you may not realise that cauliflower rice isn't actually rice at all, just cauliflower that's been mashed up to give a rice-like texture.
You can do it in a food processor if you're feeling lazy. I actually prefer to do it the non-lazy way (there's a first time for everything!) - I use a grater, as it gives a coarser grain. In fact, this way you may even get a few little whole florets sneaking their way into your dish, which I quite like as it gives a bit of a different texture. Up to you!
I used tomatoes and green beans in my tikka cauliflower rice but of course, if you're not a fan then you can swap these out for whatever you have on hand. The tomatoes do a good job of stopping the dish from feeling dry, but they're not essential, especially if you're going to serve it with a saucy curry anyway. Enjoy!
Low-Carb Tikka Cauliflower Rice
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- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, sliced or diced
- 120 g green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (~1 cup chopped)
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Black pepper
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved (~ 1 ½ cups)
- Fresh coriander (cilantro), to serve
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, and add the onion and green beans. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until the onion is fairly soft.
- Meanwhile, remove the leaves from the cauliflower, and grate the white part (or you can blitz it in a food processor if you prefer). Add the cauliflower rice to the pan, and allow to cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's just starting to turn golden brown.
- Add the spices, and season generously. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, and cook for a few more minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to soften. Serve with plenty of fresh coriander (cilantro).
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.