My relationship with cauliflower rice was doomed from the beginning, but I was too naive to see that. It's been a physically and emotionally taxing journey, but I've finally found peace with myself and cauliflower after all this time. I'm hoping to help anyone else out there that may have a similar experience and needs comfort, so here's my story and my 5 stages of cauliflower rice grief.

The Incident

I was introduced to cauliflower rice by a close and, at the time, trusted friend.

"Have you tried cauliflower rice? You can substitute it for rice in pretty much anything and it's only 25 calories per serving," she said.

Rice without calories? Yes, please. I was sold.

That week I bought myself my very own bag of miracle rice and I couldn't wait to try it.

I followed a simple fried rice recipe, only substituting loyal, delicious, inoffensive real rice for cauliflower rice in the expectation that this product was about to change my life for the better.

If you didn't get too close, the finished product looked just like a regular bowl of fried rice. Pleased with the aesthetic, I grabbed my spoon and dug in.

1. Denial

Was this a joke? Maybe I bought the wrong product, because this tasted straight up like cauliflower with soy sauce. Nothing, not even the texture reminded me faintly of rice. 

2. Anger

I was mortified, disgusted, and most importantly, angry. This product truly had nothing to do with rice. It was essentially pre-chewed, full-funk cauliflower. I was furious that Trader Joe had let this happen to me.

3. Bargaining 

I've tried cauliflower rice a few times since the incident, but I can't get past the bitter taste of deception. The kicker is, I actually like accurately labeled, good old fashioned cauliflower. But you know what I don't like? Liars.

4. Depression

Perhaps the only thing worse than the betrayal that I felt from the cauliflower rice is the fact that I betrayed honest rice in the process. It still breaks my heart to think about. You know what they say, we hurt the ones we love. 

5. Acceptance

I've learned a valuable lesson: you can't just mash up whatever you want into small bits and call it "rice", it doesn't work that way (hey, broccoli, I see you all riced up now in the produce section trying this same sh*t).

If nothing else, I came out of this experience a little wiser. I can't blame myself; cauliflower rice was the Voldemort to my Peter Pettigrew and I stood no chance against its manipulative influence.