Vegan cauliflower rice recipe with asparagus is ready in just 15 minutes. Asian cauliflower rice is low in carbs, big on flavor and enormously satisfying as a healthy side dish.
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Have carbs been calling….again? Vegan cauli-rice with asparagus is the perfect answer. Your brain will think it’s a carb fest indulgence, while this dish is actually low on the glycemic index so your waistline and sugar levels will thank you.
15-minutes for a delicious, satisfying side dish that counts as a veggie too? Actually, it’s a twofer..cuz it’s all veggies, but you’d never know it! Oh yeah, count me in!!
This easy cauliflower rice recipe is so delicious you’ll be making it over and over again.
Vegan Cauli-Rice with Asparagus Ingredients and Substitutions:
- CAULIFLOWER: Cauliflower as rice is so popular that you can find it already riced fresh or frozen at your local grocery store. You can substitute riced broccoli or riced parsnips.
- ASPARAGUS: Substitute zucchini, broccoli florets, green beans or YOUR favorite vegetable.
- SCALLIONS: These offer so much flavor! Diced onions or thinly sliced leeks will also work well in this recipe.
- FRESH PARSLEY: Fresh cilantro or oregano would make good substitutions.
- OLIVE OIL: For an oil-free cauli-rice, substitute water when sauteeing the asparagus.
- TOASTED SESAME OIL: Toasted sesame oil increases the asian flavor profile, but if you don’t cook with oil, skip it and add dry toast the sesame seeds to bring out their natural oil and flavor.
- TAMARI: The gluten-free version of soy sauce. Buy low sodium and organic if you can.
- FRESH GINGER: I think fresh ginger really makes a difference in flavor. You can also find it already grated in the freezer section of most grocery stores in tiny little ice cube type containers.
- GARLIC: Fresh garlic provides better flavor than garlic powder, but use the powder in a pinch.
- CRUSHED RED PEPPER: Substitute with white pepper for a more smoky, but subtle heat.
- SESAME SEEDS: For added sesame flavor, dry toast the seeds in a skillet before sprinkling onto the cauli-rice.
Why this is the BEST Cauliflower Rice Recipe:
- 15-minutes start to finish.
- Tastes incredible! The ginger, garlic, scallions add so much flavor….which is important since cauli-rice is kinda bland on its own.
- One pan, easy clean up.
- Simple ingredients you probably already have.
- Vegan Cauliflower Rice is a loaded with plant-based, grain-free nutrition.
- EASY….super easy to make.
- It will work with any veggies you have on hand, or know your family will enjoy. I’ve used frozen peas when I didn’t have any fresh vegetables and it was DEE-lish!
- Low in calories, low in carbs and low on the glycemic index so it won’t spike your blood sugar.
- Excellent side dish that feels “starchy” and “carb-y” but really is another veggie. YAY!
- Everyone will LOVE it…you’ll be a super star 🙂
How to make rice from cauliflower
- It’s really easy to turn fresh cauliflower into rice.
- I use my food processor because it’s super quick. You can also use a box grater.
- Either way, you’ll want to halve the cauliflower and then cut into chunks. You can rice the core too…so use it all, nothing will go to waste!
- Pulse in the food processor until it turns into small pieces, the size of rice. Make sure to use the “pulse” function so it doesn’t totally disintegrate.
- If you’re looking to save time, you can find already riced cauliflower in the fresh and frozen section of most grocery stores.
How to make Vegan Cauliflower Rice with Asparagus
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook the asparagus for 2 minutes.
- Add in the ginger, scallions and crushed pepper. Cook and stir for another 1-2 minutes, bringing out the flavors. The smell will be divine!
- Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
- Add the riced cauliflower, toasted sesame oil and tamari and mix until heated through. If you’re using frozen cauli-rice, it may take a couple extra minutes for the water to evaporate.
- Mix in the parsley and sesame seeds.
- Turn off heat and let fresh herbs wilt.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Sprinkle a bit of extra parsley, crushed pepper, sesame seeds or scallions for an even bigger pop of flavor.
- This dish comes together quickly. Prep all the veggies and have all your ingredients next to the stove before you begin to cook.
- Sub out the asparagus for whatever veggies YOU like, or you HAVE on hand. Frozen veggies work well too.
- SAVE TIME: Buy already “riced” cauliflower (fresh or frozen) from your local grocery or big box store.
- SAVE MONEY: Use a box grater or food processor to rice your own cauliflower.
- Leftovers can be heated flat on a baking tray until crisp.
- Use riced broccoli instead of cauliflower for a totally green dish.
- Cauliflower is a blank flavor canvas to work with…the ginger and crushed red pepper add a nice kick….turn up the heat and add a bit more to your taste preference.
Asparagus Cauli-Rice FAQs
Yes. You can buy cauliflower rice in the freezer section of many grocery stores. You can also freeze cauliflower rice after it’s prepared with seasonings and vegetables.
-Cauliflower rice is lower in carbs: 52 grams of carbs in one cup of rice compared to 5 grams per 1-cup serving in cauliflower rice.
-Cauliflower rice is lower in calories than rice: White rice has 210 calories per cup and cauli-rice has just 20 calories for the same cup.
-Cauli-rice also has more fiber, potassium and calcium than rice, making it a more nutritious choice.
Vitamins like A & C, plus folate are abundant in cauliflower, improving the immune system. Additionally, cauliflower is an excellent source of potassium, calcium and antioxidants. It’s also a good source of fiber, that aids in digestion.
For the longest lasting asparagus, trim the bottom off when you get home from the store. Then, store the asparagus in about an inch of water in a container in the fridge. Loosely cover the container with a plastic bag. The fresh cut will allow them to drink in the water, without sitting in water and molding.
What to serve with Cauliflower:
More Healthy Vegan Cauliflower Recipes
- Raw Cauliflower Salad with Lime
- Mexican Sheet Pan Cauli-rice
- Cauliflower Onion Rolls
- Cauliflower Leek Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower over Arugula
- Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower Kugel
- Cauliflower Soup with Red Lentils
- Roasted Cauliflower Hummus
- Basic Cauliflower Rice Recipe
- Vegan Cauliflower Steaks
- Vegan Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower Rice with Asparagus
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil water sub totally fine
- 1 ½ lbs. asparagus
- 1-2 teaspoons grated ginger *
- 4 scallions
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4-6 cloves garlic zested*
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil *
- 1 Tablespoon Tamari *
- 1 12-oz. package frozen cauliflower rice*
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds *
- PREP ALL YOUR VEGGIES: Trim asparagus and cut into 1/2" sections. Use a microplane zester to prepare ginger and garlic. Thinly slice scallions and chop fresh parsley.
- Use a large heavy skillet. Heat olive oil oil over medium high heat. Add asparagus and cook tossing gently for about 2 minutes, until they begin to turn bright green.
- Add ginger, scallions, red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add the garlic and toss constantly for 1 minute.
- Sprinkle on the toasted sesame oil and the tamari. Add the cauli-rice (totally fine if it's coming straight from the freezer) and toss as you cook for 2 minutes. Continue to toss and cook until cauliflower is heated through.
- Stir in the parsley and sesame seeds. Turn off heat and continue to toss until herbs have wilted. Taste for seasoning. Add additional tamari if needed. Garnish with additional scallions, crushed red pepper and sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Asparagus cauli-rice will stay good in the fridge for 5 days. Reheat in heavy skillet over medium heat or flat on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.