Vegan cauliflower rice with asparagus is a delicious, quick and easy side dish that is low in calories and carbs. A simple and healthy side dish that can be made in just 15 minutes.
This post was updated from the original that was published on June 25, 2015. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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!!
Cauliflower rice recipes are a dime a dozen, so what makes this one so special?
- 15-minutes start to finish.
- 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.
Quick and Easy Cauli-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
- 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.
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.
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.
Summary: Cauliflower rice has less calories and more nutrition than regular rice.
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.
More Healthy Cauliflower Rice Recipes you will love:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (water sub totally fine)
- 1 1/2 lbs. asparagus
- 1-2 teaspoons grated ginger *
- 4 scallions
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4-6 cloves garlic, zested*
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil *
- 1 Tablespoon Tamari *
- 1 (12-oz.) package frozen cauliflower rice*
- 1/2 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.
- 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.
CAULIFLOWER RICE: You can also use 1/2 medium sized head of cauliflower pulsed in the food processor, or use a box grater to create rice sized pieces. It's easy and less expensive to make it yourself.
GINGER: I like the spicy kick ginger has to offer, so I use a microplane to get 2 juicy teaspoons. You may want to start with 1 teaspoon which will still add flavor, until you build up a taste for it.
GARLIC: You could use a garlic press, but you already have the microplane zester out for the ginger...so save yourself the extra dish to wash! Plus, there's less waste.
FRESH HERBS: Use flat leaf parsley, cilantro, or a combination of the two.
PASSOVER: To make this recipe Passover friendly, replace the tamari with 1 teaspoon salt. Omit the toasted sesame oil (if the pan is dry, add 1-2 Tablespoons water). Replace the sesame seeds with chopped nuts or just omit.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 133Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 291mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 5gSugar 3gProtein 6g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.