Puréed cauliflower is the secret to making this cheesy rice ultra creamy and packed with nutrition.
Since mentioning cheesy rice as a side in my last post (easy oven baked chicken) I simply couldn’t get it out of my mind. Something you should know about pregnancy and me. For whatever reason, pregnancy hugely affects my love (or hatred) of a food. Basically anything that pertains to food, I feel very strongly about. It’s either the best thing I’ve ever had in my life or the worst. The other week, I practically wrote a love sonnet about ranch dressing. I didn’t even realize at the time the degree that I was gushing about it but my hubby was trying to control his laughter as we were driving. I don’t know if everyone is like this when they are pregnant, but I get this way to an extreme. The other day, I was so upset that I couldn’t find ranch style beans at the store (apparently it’s a southern thing and Michigan just doesn’t know how awesome they are) anyways, I called my mom in despair over the bean situation, and being the awesome mom that she is, she totally sent me a case in the mail. You may think that’s odd, but if you’ve ever had ranch style beans and if you’ve ever had a serious pregnancy craving…. Well, needless to say, I did a very embarrassing dance of joy when they arrived in the mail. THANKS MOM!!! But back to another serious craving, broccoli cheesy rice.
I really wanted this rice to be ultra creamy, but I also REALLY didn’t want all the crazy fat and calories that usually accompanies this dish. So I decided to try using puréed cauliflower as the base. It was AWESOME. Pureeing boiled cauliflower and then melting in cheddar created a beautifully smooth sauce. I kept it super simple in the spice department, adding only garlic salt and freshly cracked pepper but feel free to add your own bit of flare to it. After that, all you gotta do is stir in some cooked rice and chopped broccoli and voila, the creamiest, HEALHIEST cheesy rice you’ve ever tasted.
A couple quick notes before you get started.
1) I used fresh cauliflower but I see no reason why you couldn’t use frozen if it’s all you have.
2) For the broccoli, I used a bag of steamable broccoli florets but feel free to use fresh if you want. Just be sure to steam it ahead of time.
3) Brown rice or white rice, whatever you prefer. I used brown, but it does have a nuttier taste and a coarser texture that some people don’t really care for so whatever you like (or have on hand) is perfect.
4) Although very creamy, the cheddar flavor isn’t super strong, so feel free to add more to suite your own taste.
That’s about it. I made this and ate it on its own for lunch but it would make a great side to oven baked chicken or baked ham.