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RD Choice – Green Giant® Riced Veggies

Written by Andrew Akhaphong

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Have a Healthy Happy New Year!
​Doing keto, looking for low carb, or wanting to support your diabetes further?

Your Dietitian’s Choice this week is Green Giant® Riced Veggies, $2.99 each per 10 oz package on select varieties.

What Are Riced Veggies?

As the name of the type of food applies, riced veggies is simply the process of taking vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash, or zucchini into a ground or finely diced-like consistency. The purpose of riced veggies is to create a product that may be similar in texture and quality of rice to support diabetic, keto, low-carbohydrate, or high-fiber lifestyles.

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Image: Riced Butternut Squash. Image Source: Paleo Grubs

It is important to note that riced veggies are not nutritionally comparable to that of rice or other grains such as bulgur wheat, sorghum, wheatberries, and barley. The nutritional value is also dependent on the vegetable the riced veggie is made from.

For example – riced butternut squash will be a rich source in beta-carotene, a type of Vitamin A and antioxidant that is essential for eye health, gives this squash its vibrant orange color. If one were to opt for riced cauliflower or broccoli, there will be little to no beta-carotene in these products.

A major nutrient group that riced veggies lack compared to grains like rice and bulgur wheat are the B Complex Vitamins (B6, B9, B12, etc) and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and iron.

Culinary Benefits

Riced veggies can be used in any recipe that calls for a grain like rice, wheatberry, bulgur wheat, sorghum, quinoa, amongst many others. It could even be used as a binder in recipes such as meatloaf and meatballs.

An important consideration is that riced veggies tend to hold a lot of water content and may result in your meal being more wet or slightly soggy in texture. It is important to not cook riced veggies for too long. Follow the package instructions or no more than three minutes to cook the riced veggies.

Make sure the cooking device is large enough for breathing room; otherwise, the riced veggies will steam each other and not caramelize well.

Salt at the end of cooking to flavor to your taste. Salting ahead of time will draw out extra moisture, resulting in a soggy or wet texture or meal.

Use less sauce than what the original recipe calls for (if it is not a recipe for riced veggies), if any. Because riced veggies do not have any starch, there is no where for the sauce to bind onto and you are left with a super saucy meal.

Pineapple Chicken Cauliflower Rice
​Bowls

By Taste of Home
​https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pineapple-chicken-cauliflower-rice-bowls/

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Ingredients

  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1/2 cup plain or coconut Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 2, 10-oz bags of cauliflower rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Toasted sweetened shredded coconut or lime wedges, optional

Directions

  1. For marinade, place 1 can pineapple, yogurt, 2 tablespoons each cilantro and lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper flakes and chili powder in a food processor; process until blended. In a large bowl, toss chicken with marinade; refrigerate, covered, 1-3 hours.
  2. Cook cauliflower rice according to package directions. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute onion until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook and stir until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 can pineapple and the remaining lime juice and salt; cook, covered, over medium heat until cauliflower is tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in remaining cilantro. Keep warm.
  3. Preheat grill or broiler. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Place chicken on an oiled grill rack over medium heat or in a greased foil-lined 15x10x1-in. pan. Grill, covered, or broil 4 in. from heat until a thermometer reads 165°, 4-6 minutes per side. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
  4. To serve, divide cauliflower mixture among 4 bowls. Top with chicken, remaining 1 can pineapple and, if desired, coconut and lime wedges.

 

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