Fake Rice And Alternative Hash Browns – Secret Ingredient Revealed

When I start talking about cooking healthier meals, my hubby just rolls his eyes because he knows more vegetables will be added or substituted for “real” ingredients. He is old school and remembers as a child growing up in upstate New York that vegetables were canned and tasteless. Times are different now, vegetables can be found grown locally, are not mushy from being canned or frozen, and have more depth of flavor. Let’s take a stab at changing his mind. 

The secret ingredient in these recipes? Cauliflower!

Fake Rice

For several years I’ve been grating fresh cauliflower (which amazingly looks a little bit like rice when grated). I’ve noticed many recipes for cauliflower rice surface over that period of time. Mine is a simple combination of a few ingredients, flavor, and texture.

When grating the cauliflower for “rice” you can use the whole cauliflower, including the stems. Some dogs like to eat the raw stems so we save them for the dogs sometimes. 

It only takes a few minutes to grate the cauliflower in a food processor or you can grate by hand with a cheese grater.

This “rice” is great as a side dish to about any meal – meat, chicken or fish based.

Serving ideas:  

I mixed the rice with salsa and served it with chicken enchiladas for dinner. It was an amazingly good Mexican rice substitute.  

Add in-season vegetables like sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, or other favorites like edamame, slivered celery, water chestnuts, bell peppers, and create a vegetarian rice bowl by eliminating the bacon. Drizzle with soy sauce or hoisin sauce.

Sauté a little longer in the pan so rice is crispy and add as a topping to soups or salads.  

Cauliflower Rice
Serves 4
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  1. 1 whole cauliflower
  2. 1-2 pieces of bacon (turkey bacon, pepper bacon, or smoked)
  3. 1/4 to 1/2 white or yellow onion chopped small
  4. 1 garlic clove grated or thinly sliced
  5. 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (could also use coconut oil)
  6. Salt and pepper
  1. Sauté bacon, onion and garlic in oil.
  2. Remove bacon and vegetables from pan, leaving the oil.
  3. Sauté the grated cauliflower in pan, adding back bacon and vegetables after a few minutes when cauliflower begins to brown slightly.
  4. Stir to blend all ingredients.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Vegetarian
  2. Eliminate bacon for vegetarian version.
  3. Asian Rice
  4. Add chopped carrots, peas, water chestnuts and substitute green onions for white onions.
  5. Add sesame oil to oil mixture when sautéing. Dash of soy sauce.
  6. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on rice when done.
  1. I add whatever vegetables I have at hand for other variations of this dish. Be creative.
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Alternative Hash Browns

A long-standing typical breakfast side dish is hash browns or sometimes referred to as hashed browns. This classic side dish originated around 1888 and is made with potatoes. There are various methods of cooking hash browns, mostly fried. Wikipedia has some history on this beloved breakfast food.

Over the years restaurants started offering substitutions of cottage cheese, tomatoes, or fruit in place of hash browns in order to present healthy options. So in an effort to take this one step further, I found a recipe that uses cauliflower in place of the potatoes. Check out these hash browns.  

A quick mix of ingredients. Form into patties.

Fry cauliflower patties in oil.

Sufficiently brown on both sides. 

These tasted great. Next time I make this recipe I will probably add the parsley in the patties as well as for garnish. 

Cauliflower Hash Browns

Makes 3 patties

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  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1-2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley finely chopped


  1. Grate the cauliflower head (food processor or by cheese grater) to create cauliflower shreds or “rice."
  2. Combine the shredded cauliflower with minced onion, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder.
  3. Heat coconut oil (or olive oil) over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the cauliflower mixture to the pan and gently press down with a spatula to flatten.
  5. Cook for 1 minute after the edges start to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Carefully flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes to get evenly browned, and the cauliflower and onion cooked through.


I would double this recipe and use the whole cauliflower instead of half. These re-warm nicely.


Calories: 189 cal
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Fat: 10 g
Sodium: 752 g
Cholesterol: 186 g
Protein: 12 g
Fiber: 6 g

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