Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cauliflower Fried Rice

One of my favorite things to do is ask J what food he dislikes.. and make that for dinner. Cooked cauliflower is one of those things, so naturally I scoured the internet for 101 ways to work it in to meals. 

If you have been anywhere near the world wide web in the past year, you might have noticed that cauliflower is the vegetable version of Jennifer Lawrence. A popular cousin to kale, cauliflower is incredibly versatile. It has masqueraded as pizza crust, mashed potatoes, buffalo wings and other random things. See?? It's the crucifer who somebody finally noticed was awesome and now gets to be part of the "in crowd." (But it doesn't care about being in the in crowd.) Anyway, today I'm going to share with you yet another trendy way to up your vegetable quotient using cauliflower:

 Fried rice! 

There are numerous cauliflower fried rice recipes floating around the interwebs. There is even a YouTube video available for instruction on how to "rice" cauliflower in a blender. Yep. (You know you want to Google that.) For me, simply using a food processor works every time. BAM. The recipe I chose for my first foray into cauliflower rice last year was this one by Brianne at Cupcakes & Kale Chips. I was initially unsure of how this cauliflower trickery would actually taste and liked that her version was a 50:50 dilution with cooked brown rice (just in case....). 

Not surprisingly, J and I were impressed with the original recipe and we've since made "fried rice" a recurring theme on our dinner menu. Seriously- the cauliflower looks and tastes so much like traditional fried rice that we no longer mix it with brown rice at all. Look at us - we are so admirable and healthy! Tonight, we used it as a side dish for veggie potstickers, but with the quick addition of marinated tofu, chicken or pork, the recipe is easily transformed into a solid main dish. Again, this rice is infinitely adaptable to all sorts of manipulations. I used peas n' carrots because that's what I had in my house, but truly, my favorite additions are broccoli and snap peas. 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Servings: 4-6 (side vs main dish)

one large head of cauliflower, raw
1 T coconut oil
6 scallions, chopped (separate dark green tops)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 t chopped fresh ginger
¾ c sliced carrots
¾ c frozen peas
2 eggs                       
4 T reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 T sesame oil

1. Chop the cauliflower into large florets and discard the leaves and stem.
2. Place cauliflower into food processor, and pulse until it resembles small rice.
3. Heat 1 T oil in a very large, deep skillet over medium heat.
4. Add the white parts of the scallions, garlic, ginger, and carrots. Saute for 3 minutes.
5. Add the cauliflower, stir to coat, spread out in the pan, then allow to cook for several minutes, until it begins to caramelize.
6. Stir, then spread out to caramelize again for another several minutes. Repeat for a total of three times.
7. While the cauliflower is caramelizing, lightly beat the eggs with 2T soy sauce and set aside.
8. Mix the sesame oil with the remaining 2T soy sauce and set aside.
9. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the peas.
10. Make a well in the center of the rice and pour in the egg mixture. Quickly scramble the eggs.
11. Stir the entire contents of the pan together, and stir in the soy/sesame oil.
12. Top with chopped scallion greens. 

NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving, 6): 
Calories 111; Total Fat 3.5g; Cholesterol 62 mg; Protein 7.2 g, Dietary Fiber 5.4 g

If you are at all interested, I encourage you to try it. It might rock your world and broaden your horizons when it comes to cooked cauliflower. Just ask Jason!

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