Let’s talk volumetrics for a second. This style of eating, created by Barbara Rolls, PhD and popularized by plans like Weight Watchers, emphasizes filling up on foods that are low in calories (like non-starchy vegetables, broth, etc) and reasonable amounts of lean proteins and high-fiber legumes and whole grains, which can help you leave a little room for smaller amounts of higher-calorie foods (high-fat meats, sweets, etc). Part of what makes this so successful is that nothing is 100% off-limits, and you can prioritize the foods that matter to you.

I think cauliflower rice is an awesome illustration of volumetrics. A one-cup servings provides 25 calories, whereas a one-cup serving of brown rice will set you back 218. It looks like the same amount on a plate, but if you want to “spend” more calories on what you’re eating with the rice, the cauliflower version would be a great choice.

For example, I love falafel and babaganoush and goat cheese, but I’m indifferent to rice. I want my carb for the meal to be something I care more about, like beans (in the falafel). Still, I appreciate the texture combination. Using greens and cauliflower rice as a vehicle for the other stuff is a great way to enjoy a satisfying, visually appealing meal that’s within a calorie and nutrient range that’s appropriate to meet my needs.

Keeping It Real Food falafel bowl

See? I overthink these things so you don’t have to ; )

I make fun of cauliflower rice sometimes as a Paleo diet cliche, but it’s actually become one of my kitchen staples. I use it in everything from salads to grain dishes, to savory oatmeal to smoothies, even. With pre-riced versions available in more stores now, it’s super-convenient to prepare while you make other things.

This simple side dish recipe gets its gorgeous golden color from turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that’s been used for thousands of years to treat all kinds of ailments. I go through phases where I kind of forget about turmeric, but the last couple months, I’ve been sneaking it into as many recipes as possible while I heal from a mild hamstring injury. Luckily, after a week of serious pain, time and PT have downgraded it to a dull ache that just reminds me I’m not getting any younger, but I’ll take whatever help I can get!

Anyway, cauliflower rice has become one of my favorite things to add turmeric to. It’s easy, delicious, and nutritious. Enjoy!

turmeric cauliflower rice

Anti-Inflammatory Cauliflower Rice


  • Oil or oil spray for skillet
  • 10 ounces riced cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, coriander, cumin, paprika


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add cauliflower rice. Add turmeric and any other spices you’re using.
  3. Cook until riced cauliflower is soft, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.


What do you think about the volumetrics approach? What foods do you think are worth making room for? 


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