Cauliflower Fried Rice
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats: http://iowagirleats.com/2015/04/10/cauliflower-fried-rice/
I binged watch Vinyl over the weekend. I thought it was appropriate that I was watching it while hungover from celebrating Cinco de Mayo. I really felt in-tuned with the lead character, record executive, Richie Finestra, and all his bad, excessive habits. Granted, I had margaritas and nachos and not a mountain of cocaine like Richie, but still I felt his pain. Though it was more 1/32 of his pain.
Not only was I hungover from too many margaritas, I was hungover from eating badly. Not just from the night before – the whole week. Every meal was a cheat meal. I was doing the opposite of eating clean last week. It was downright dirty.
And I felt it in my workouts. On Friday all I could feel was the meatball sub I had for lunch weighing me down as I was running. And when I went to lift my barbell the plates at the end looked like the greasy onion rings I had with the meatball sub. Too much drinking and eating badly and I started to hallucinate like Richie. That’s when I thought, “I gotta make some changes…
The first time I heard about cauliflower fried rice I thought, “Eeewwww! Are you kidding me?!”
Being Filipino I grew up having rice with every meal – including breakfast. I’m talking real white rice – the kind you find only in Asian and Latin markets. It’s marked “Milagrosa” and/or “Jasmine” and you heave it out of the store in a 25 lb. sack. Literally, every Asian child’s intro to weightlifting.
I love just about every vegetable in the produce section – with the exception of a handful like fiddleheads, okra, and most especially cauliflower.
So when a friend of mine from CrossFit texted me this recipe I automatically thought, “Nope.” A nasty-ass vegetable posing as rice is going to get a pass from me. But she kept raving about it and said that the cauliflower tasted like real rice. Plus she does pull-ups like a rockstar, and I thought if this cauliflower fried rice is part of the reason she can get up over that bar so well I guess I should give it a try.
And so I did and I have to say, this white-rice-loving-Filipino-girl is convinced! It really does taste like legit fried rice.
Aside from the taste, it is so incredibly easy to make. Especially if you can get your hands on the frozen riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s and their frozen Asian vegetables. Literally, open the bag, throw it in your wok or pan, and boom – done.
My son, Will, came home from school just as I was done taking the pictures you see here. He had a taste, but I didn’t tell him it was cauliflower. He said it was good and that’s when I fessed up and told him it wasn’t real rice. He said, “I liked it better when I didn’t know it was cauliflower.” So he went outside to ride his bike and five minutes later he comes back in and said, “Can I have some more? The taste lingered in my mouth and all I could think about was how good it is!”
Between this cauliflower-hating Asian girl’s seal of approval and my 11 year-old son coming in from playing outside to have more, you have to give cauliflower fried rice a shot.
And I’m starting to feel a little better already and also less like Richie Finestra.
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 eggs (leave out if you want to keep vegan)
- 1 package Trader Joe’s Organic Riced Caulflower
- 1 package Trader Joe’s frozen Stir-Fry vegetables
- 2 scallions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 3 Tablespoons coconut aminos, or gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce)
- Combine 1 teaspoon sesame oil with eggs in a bowl then whisk to combine and set aside. (Skip this step to keep it vegan.)
- Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon sesame oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add cauliflower, scallions, and frozen mixed vegetables then stir fry until cauliflower is just beginning to turn tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, season with salt and pepper, and then continue to stir fry until garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
- Push mixture to the sides of the wok to create an opening in the center then add the eggs and scramble. Toss mixture to combine then drizzle in coconut aminos or gluten-free Tamari and mix again to combine.
- If needed, add about ½ teaspoon of sesame oil and mix.
- Serve hot.