FIT LIFE: Cauliflower "rice" offers low-carb alternative

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. In this week's fit life, Mercy dietitian Lindsay Sparks shares a recipe if you're trying to cut carbohydrates in your diet.

Her Mexican cauliflower "rice" recipe:

Ingredients:

4 cups cauliflower
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium plum tomatoes
1 small diced jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. When hot, add the onions, tomatoes and jalapeno and saute until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cauliflower, saute until the cauliflower is just tender, 2 minutes.

2. Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the vegetables and cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Add chopped cilantro and serve. nutrition information

Yield: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 68
Total fat: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 329 mg
Potassium: 532 mg
Carbohydrates: 10g
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 4g
Vitamin A: 30%
Vitamin C: 117%

Cauliflower is the "chameleon" vegetable with lots of uses to reduce carbohydrate in meals.

Reducing carbs in a meal is helpful for individuals with diabetes trying to control blood sugar, or those who are trying to reduce caloric density of their meal for weight management. Preparing something like this leaves more space for other complex carbohydrates such as beans, corn, or tortillas when making a Mexican dish like tacos, for example.