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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Cauliflower Rice Makes Tasty Grain Substitute: A sulfur-rich food that is part of the cruciferous plant family.

Grain sensitivities are a problem for many people, so using vegetables as a substitute for grains is an easy fix, says Angela T. Russo, a functional nutritionist and integrative health practitioner. (It’s also a great way to sneak extra veggies onto everyone’s plate.) One of the best grain substitutes is cauliflower, a sulfur-rich food that is part of the cruciferous plant family.

“Cruciferous vegetables are high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and a compound known as glucosinolates,” she says. “Studies have shown that when chewed and digested, glucosinolates break down to form compounds thought to have preventive benefits against breast, uterine, prostate, colorectal, lung and other cancers.”

Cauliflower rice makes an excellent side dish, snack or meal, she says. It can be prepared by roasting, boiling or skillet cooking. “The only difference in the preparation is the intensity of the flavor of the rice, from most to mildest.”

The following recipe can be served hot or cold. For a heartier dish, add beans or chicken chunks.

Cauliflower Rice with Pistachio, Cranberries, Feta and Orange Zest

1 cauliflower
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup shelled pistachios
½ cup feta cheese
1 Tbsp fresh orange zest

½ tsp salt pepper (optional)

Cut the cauliflower into florets. (Russo reserves the stem to use in smoothies, for its sulfur detoxing benefits.)

Combine the florets, ½ cup water and salt in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender. Stir occasionally, adding water if needed.

Uncover and cook 5 minutes more, until water is evaporated.

Mash cauliflower with a fork into rice-size pieces.

Add the dried cranberries, olive oil, pistachios, orange zest, salt and pepper and gently mix.

Fold in the feta cheese, leaving large chunks.

Angela Russo specializes in uncovering her patients’ root problems to correct core metabolic imbalances and restore optimal health. For more info, contact her at [email protected] or visit