I guess you could say I’m a little bit obsessed with cauliflower rice recently. I keep thinking of ways I can sneak it into dishes as a substitute for regular rice. So I got to thinking about the traditional broccoli cheese rice casserole dish my mom makes and the millions of variations of the dish you can find on Pinterest or the internet and I wondered how it would taste with cauliflower subbed for the majority of the rice.
There’s a trick I’ve discovered to making cauliflower more rice like and eliminating that skunk flavor: cooking it in a nonstick wok until it’s shrunken, dried out a bit and darkened in color. It gets to looks a bit like brown rice actually. That’s traditionally when I’ll add some soy sauce and hot sauce and turn it into a low carb stir-fry. It’s that type of rice I wanted to use in my lower carb version of my mom’s comfort food dish.
I will tell you that I’m pretty positive that if you didn’t know there was cauliflower in the dish (like had I not told you before eating it) that you would have no idea it’s in there. Especially if you use plain white or brown rice. The only reason I even knew there was real rice anywhere in the dish is because I used a mixture of wild and brown rice and I could see flecks of the wild rice throughout.
If you want something even lower carb, you could substitute all of the rice for cauliflower rice. Low carb wasn’t my concern here though. I was just trying to make this dish a bit healthier while still maintaining it’s integrity. (And, yes, I realize that when it comes to food cheese whiz + integrity = hilarious.)
- 1 16-oz package of frozen broccoli
- 1 10.5-oz can of cream of mushroom soup
- ½ c. onion, chopped fine
- 2 T. butter
- 1 c. cooked rice (brown and wild combo)
- 1 15-oz jar Cheez Whiz
- 1 16-oz package cauliflower rice, cooked (see note)
- Get that cauliflower rice cooking. I have this awesome wok that almost needs no oil and. Cook the rice over medium or just under medium heat until the rice becomes browned and dried out a bit. It will shrink in size considerably. Stir often; this will take a long time.
- Meanwhile, chop your onions. Once the rice is almost done make a well in the bottom of your wok/pan and let the butter melt there. Add the onion and stir to cook. You want the onions to get soft; this will take a few minutes. You can eventually stir the onions and butter in with the rice and allow it all to continue to cook together.
- Meanwhile, cook your broccoli according to package directions. You may wish to cut any big trees of broccoli down a bit. I didn’t do that and in hindsight wish that I would have. Set aside.
- When the rice mixture is done, add the real rice, broccoli, cheese and mushroom soup and mix until incorporated. Pour the mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.
This is a sneaky but not low-calorie way of getting someone who doesn’t like broccoli and cauliflower (like kids or stubborn adults) to eat it.
If my calculations are correct, you should get about 8 servings from this dish. Each serving weighs in at approximately 250 calories, 14 g fat, 23 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugar, and 9 g protein. Plus you hit over 100% of your Vitamin C goal for the day!