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.
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!
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
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add cauliflower rice. Add turmeric and any other spices you’re using.
- 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?