A 10-Minute Lunch That Still Feels Fancy: Cauliflower Rice

February 27, 2014

Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.

Today: When you want a light lunch that feels a little fancy, try turning your cauliflower into rice

Cauliflower Rice on Food52

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This is the perfect lunch idea for those days when you’re craving something fancier and more substantial than soup or salad, but you’re still in the mood for something light. It features  cauliflower “rice,” which requires simply grating cauliflower on the largest setting of a box grater or processing it with your food processor. I’ve eaten cauliflower rice both raw and cooked, and I like each style equally. Since it’s not quite springtime yet, though, I like to sauté my cauliflower rice in a touch of olive oil -- just until it’s warm and tender. 

More: Use this technique to make Spice Merchant Cauliflower Couscous.

To do this, simply heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large wok or sauté pan. Add garlic, onions, or shallots if you like, and cook them till they’re tender. Add the cauliflower, along with any herbs or spices you like, and cook until it’s soft and fragrant. This time around, I added lemon, dried dill, and toasted pine nuts. You can serve cauliflower rice over salad, in a wrap, or as a base for something else, but I love to stuff it into baked portobello caps and serve it with a simple salad. It's fancier than any typical lunch of mine for sure, but well worth a little extra effort.

Tell us: What lunches do you pack when you want to feel fancy?

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.