Chinese Food Craving? This Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe Has You Covered
I'm often skeptical when I hear a vegetable substitute is just as good as the original (higher calorie or carb) food it's intending to replace. It happened with spiralized zucchini and it happened again with riced cauliflower. However, I still prefer to preface it's a delicious option if you're looking to add more vegetables into your life as opposed to the intention of totally replacing rice. I'm a big fan of mixing half (brown) rice and half riced cauliflower, but I encourage you to try it and decide for yourself what works best. And I especially encourage you to try it with this cauliflower fried rice recipe because the flavor is incredible! The recipe includes scrambled eggs that contribute great texture and taste.
Why this recipe works from a nutritional standpoint. It's vegetable focused; containing cauliflower, carrots, onions, green beans, peas, mushrooms and green onion (scallions). The inclusion of these veggies help balance out your calories for the day because it contains a lot of volume compared to calories, which means it increases physical fullness without the excess calories. Consequently if you're enjoying this as your dinner meal there's research to support if you consume less calories in the evening compared to earlier in the day, it's helpful for managing weight.
The other benefit about this dish is that it's incredibly flavorful, so it addresses an important component of eating...satisfaction. If we can't find ways to enjoy eating healthy, it just won't stick. So yes, this recipe has more calories than if you heated up a bag of frozen cauliflower in the microwave and ate it, but it also may encourage you to eat all these vegetables again because it just tastes so good! Although the frozen cauliflower is very convenient and by adding spices it's quite good.
And because people are always asking me how I cook, I'm passing on my modified portions from the original recipe because the amount of oil seemed unnecessary and I increased the portion of vegetables. The sesame oil lends a lot of flavor, so be sure to include it. This recipe could be enjoyed as a side dish or a main entree.
1. If you're short on time, simply buy frozen riced cauliflower, but check the label that it doesn't contain any other ingredients. The bags are small, so look at the portion and servings per container to see how many bags you need to buy. You can always half the recipe.
2. I use a food processor, but clients have said they've used a high power blender like a Ninja. The most important tip is to follow the instructions and process the cauliflower in batches. I made the mistake of overfilling the bowl and the cauliflower starts to liquify and is harder to remove. Do it in batches and you'll be so please how fast and easy it is.
3. You can freeze extra riced cauliflower for future use! Cauliflower rice doesn't have much flavor, so it's perfect with any future saucy dish.
4. You can also add cooked ground beef or turkey to turn this into a main dish; add it at the same time as the green onions. I've also added leftover salmon, which was delish!
To good health and meals,
1 small head cauliflower, outer leaves removed
1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
4 large eggs, beaten (Feel free to add more eggs for a main dish)
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped green beans or frozen peas
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms of choice
1/3 cup gluten-free reduced- sodium tamari
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
Sea salt, to taste
Using your hands, break apart cauliflower into large florets. Chop the core into smaller pieces. Working in 2 or 3 batches, in a food processor, process cauliflower for 30 seconds, stopping to mix in larger pieces. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes, until cauliflower resembles small grains of rice. (You want to yield about 4 cups.) Set aside.
In a large nonstick sauté pan on medium, lightly spray olive oil. Pour in whisked eggs, swirling them slightly to get a thin, even layer on the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until just cooked through. Slide cooked eggs onto a cutting board and chop into a small dice. Set aside.
Increase heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan. Add carrots and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add yellow onion, green beans and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add reserved cauliflower rice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly browned and cooked through. Add tamari and mix well for 1 minute.
Turn off heat and add sesame oil, reserved cooked eggs and green onion. Mix well and season with salt.