Cauliflower, Daikon Rice and Quinoa Pilaf

white riceIt’s time to get out those oversized salad bowls from the back of your kitchen cupboard. Today I’m going to give you lots of healthy options for replacing white rice in your meals.

You know those times when you’re looking for an alternative to stodgy, insulin spiking white rice and not sure where to turn? Well, why not try one of these more nutritious options for the perfect partnership or base to a meal. They make excellent replacements and you can whip them up just as easily.

When eaten regularly, research has shown that eating white rice can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.  Aside from its sky high glycemic index, another reason to give white rice the flick is its lack of nutrients after undergoing refinement and processing, stripping the grain of essential B-vitamins, iron, manganese and fibre and leaving you with zilcho nutrition.

Some of the best alternatives for you to try when replacing white rice are opting for wholesome brown rice, it still has the same consistency and texture but you’re ensuring yourself more vitamins, minerals and a serve of fibre.  Try using brown rice in risotto, sushi, stir fries and alongside dishes like this health promoting Eggplant and Green Bean Curry. 

A great swapsie for white rice is buckwheat as its robust nature controls blood sugar levels rather than sending them sky-rocketing. It does this by significantly lowering blood glucose and insulin responses. Research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reveals that buckwheat may be an important dietary inclusion to help manage diabetes. The placebo-controlled study revealed that a single dose of buckwheat seed extract lowered blood sugar levels by up to 19% within 90 minutes. The component responsible is believed to be chiro-inositol; a property known to play significant roles in glucose metabolism and cell signaling. Get on the buckwheat bandwagon and get the whole family into this Buckwheat Risotto with spinach and mushroom.

Using a complete protein such as quinoa as a base for dishes is just a matter of a little exploration in the kitchen.   The uses of quinoa are remarkably diverse, from pilafs, gluten free risotto’s, soups and salads, to an interesting addition to stuffed capsicums, tomatoes or mushrooms.  These cute quinoa pancakes are delicious and can be eaten sweet or savoury. You can fluff it up or make it sticky, however you choose to use quinoa, you’ll be taking advantage of its versatility and significant health benefits. Quinoa conveniently has a quicker cooking time compared to brown rice and other grains, and accompanying flavours are absorbed beautifully, making it a great option for sweet or savoury cooking.  The quick cook method for quinoa is rinse it well, simmer 2 parts water with 1 part quinoa for around 15 minutes – then fluff it up.  For a replacement to white rice salads try this Simple Quinoa salad or a delicious Quinoa, pear, zucchini and red onion salad. And for curry lovers you won’t be able to get enough of this Quinoa and vegetable curry make double and save the rest for lunches.

Healthy grains can really spark up a dish, and if you’re really feeling adventurous why not try making home-made rice with a vegetable such as cauliflower or daikon? You may think that once you innocently announce to the family you’re making cauliflower or daikon rice you might need to duck or take cover but once you have their willingness to try something new, they’ll never ask for white rice again.

Cauliflower Rice

Makes 3 cups


  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • Pinch Celtic sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced


  • Cut the core out of the cauliflower and discard. Place the cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse until it is a fine grain. Season with Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until al dente.

Daikon Rice

Serves 3


  • 1 Daikon radish
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 TBS extra virgin Coconut Oil
  • Celtic Sea Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Peel and cut the daikon into rough chunks
  • Place in a food processor until processed to a fine rice like consistency
  • Heat coconut oil in a frying pan; add garlic and daikon, stirring
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes until al dente
  • Blend in parsley
  • Add sea salt and black pepper to taste

Quinoa Pilaf

Serves 3


  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 capsicum finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
  • Celtic Sea Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  • Place quinoa in a large sieve and rinse it until the water runs clear.
  • In a saucepan heat coconut oil on medium high heat then add the onion, capsicum, garlic and slivered almonds for about 5 mins until all ingredients are softened
  • Add quinoa and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes
  • Now pour in water and bring to the boil
  • Reduce heat to low and partially cover, cooking for a further 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed
  • Remove from heat and place in a bowl and fluff with a fork
  • Let cool and stir in chopped basil and cucumber
  • Season to taste

Enjoy your cooking adventures 🙂

Lee xo

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