In a world that has become utterly besotted with healthy eating, it appears that nothing is what it says anymore. Rather than go into a trendy bakery and buy a traditionally made white, crusty loaf, you’re now almost forced to purchase baked goods made with quinoa flour. And if you’re having a slice of that loaf for breakfast, for example, rather than eating some luxuriously creamy spreadable cheese, you’ve probably been coerced into mashing up and slopping on some avocado. In a bid to all become fit as greyhounds, we’re all eating ‘alternative’ products that are meant to be healthier for us than the foods that originally occupied their spaces on our plates.
Rice is no exception, and the buzz phrase in this particular area is cauliflower rice. Although it’s incredibly easy to make at home [seriously, just destalk a cauliflower, blend it until it looks like it’s in grain-sized pieces, and microwave it with some pierced clingfilm over the top], it was only a matter of time for an eagle-eyed, massively ahead of the curve entrepreneur to prove that cauliflower + microwave power = nice rice [alternative].
As I noted above, making cauliflower rice is a quick and easy process to do yourself. But while the process is pleasant, the stench most certainly isn’t, and you’ll need to be prepared for your kitchen to carry the smell of damp, omnipresent cauliflower for at least 3 days afterwards. CauliRice, however, have apparently stumbled upon a way to make cauliflower rice without the foul smell. Never one to shy away from a trend, I ordered a box full of CauliRice, and while the ‘original’ flavour was sadly out of stock, I was delivered several pouches of the Indian pilau, the Mediterranean, and the lemongrass and chilli.
Each packet can either be cooked in the microwave for a few minutes, or in a pan on the hob. Being generally impatient and preferring my dinners nuked instead of being healthily prepared over a fire, I opted for the microwave when I tasted the first few packets. However, any pangs of guilt at doing this were quickly allayed by the realisation that each packet of the Mediterranean rice had only 92 calories.
The Indian pilau flavour is palatable but has a strange, sour aftertaste that would make it almost inedible as a dish in its own right [goodbye, new plan for lunches at work!]. The Mediterranean rice is the most pleasant of the three flavours, but still needs some extra seasoning if you’re not going to be bored out of your mind and want to be satisfied by whatever’s on your plate.
The pièce de résistance, however, when it comes to vomit-inducement, is the lemongrass and chilli pouch. If I mentioned that particular flavour to you, and asked you to close your eyes and tell me what images are conjured up in your mind, you’d probably say something like the hustle and bustle of a Thai market, or freshly cooked food from an authentic Thai restaurant. However, the reality is that whatever Thai restaurant this would have come out of, has had its seasoning supply spiked with Daz washing powder and Fairy washing liquid. What should be a pleasant and refreshing zing of Thai spices and flavours is an overwhelming and quite frankly disgusting explosion of citrus detergent, complemented with a sour and sickening aftertaste. Sadly, the only way to make this flavour palatable was to cook it in a pan with garlic, onions, a whole host of other fresh vegetables, whilst simultaneously drowning it in every cooking and seasoning sauce that could be found in the cupboards to get rid of the faux lemongrass ‘taste’.
So, all in all, CauliRice is a quick and convenient idea, and great if you’re watching your calories [and you’ll burn even more energy by running for the hills every time someone opens a packet of the lemongrass and chilli anywhere near you]. The flavours need work, but all in all, it’s a promising concept and could go far with a little tweaking.
Have you tried CauliRice? Have you got any suggestions on how to prevent the lemongrass and chilli flavour being an emetic? Leave a comment below!