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Low-Carb Herbed Cauliflower “Rice” with Pine Nuts {Paleo}

I know, I know…

‘Tis the season for festive foods…and festive typically leans more toward the side of indulgent descriptions like gooey, buttery, or chocolatey. So what’s the deal with this low-carb dish?

Low-Carb Herbed Cauliflower “Rice” with Pine Nuts {Paleo} 2

You know the moderation drill: fill your body with mostly healthy, nourishing foods and you should be fine (or at least better off) when the holidays roll around and you want to indulge in an occasional festive treat. I know so many people who live by the 80/20 rule because it works.

This Low-Carb Herbed Cauliflower “Rice” with Pine Nuts comes together quickly and goes with just about anything you want to serve it with. (I particularly love it along with Pina Colada Chicken or instead of brown rice in my Herbed Chicken and Brown Rice Spanakopita Bowls.)

Low-Carb Herbed Cauliflower “Rice” with Pine Nuts {Paleo} 3

Now, be forewarned, if you’re expecting this to be classic rice, forgo this and go ahead and make regular rice instead. This is similar to rice in shape and versatility, but it is in fact cauliflower and does taste like cauliflower. (Well, really good cauliflower because of how flavorful the dish is.) I guess my point is that this is a fair simulation of rice if you keep an open mind, delicious in its own right, and a nice healthy choice, especially when you want to eat low-carb.

And if you’re into cauliflower in all its many forms, you might want to check out my recipes for Cauliflower Crust Garlic “Breadsticks” and Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower Gratin!

Low-Carb Herbed Cauliflower “Rice” with Pine Nuts {Paleo} 4

Low-Carb Herbed Cauliflower “Rice” with Pine Nuts {Paleo}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 large (2 lbs/900 g) head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil (or a mixture of both; see Note below)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  1. Add the cauliflower florets to a medium to large-sized saucepan. Cover the cauliflower completely with water, then put a lid on the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down a bit and cock the lid so it doesn’t boil over; cook until the cauliflower is fork-tender but not mushy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and cool slightly.
  2. Add half the cooked cauliflower florets to a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is chopped into very small pieces (about the size of rice), but not pureed (scrape down the sides as necessary). Transfer the chopped cauliflower to a bowl and process the rest of the florets the same way.
  3. Add the ghee or olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, salt, and pepper, and cook until the cauliflower’s moisture is cooked off, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the herbs.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle the pine nuts on top, and serve.
To Make This Dish Vegan: Use olive oil instead of ghee.

To Make This Dish Ahead of Time: Cook the cauliflower and process it in the food processor (Steps 1 and 2); then let it cool to room temperature and store it in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you want to serve it, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Just letting you know that over the weekend I featured this recipe in my monthly Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Recipes round-up. I hope a lot of my readers will click over and try the recipe! And Happy New Year!

  2. I always try to cut a few corners during the holidays to make things a tad bit healthier without sacrificing flavor…and this is the perfect example of that!

  3. I love this idea of using cauliflower as rice…indeed a great way to remove some carbs.
    Hope you are having a great week Faith :)

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