In 15 minutes or less you can make this delicious alternative to fried rice – cauliflower fried rice. A versatile recipe, you can add your favorite meat (esp. left-over ones), veggies and adjust the taste to your liking!
One of the loveliest memories we have of Michigan is shopping at Meijer’s – a great grocery chain in the Midwest. You’re probably asking yourself, “Grocery shopping? How can that be memorable?” You see, shopping in Meijer’s was our very first introduction to American culture. The moment we stepped into that huge supermarket, hubby and I were totally astounded with the dizzying variety of what’s on offer – seemingly unending aisles of cereals and other breakfast products, endless varieties of ice cream, frozen pizza galore….and what have you. It was quite a sight for us who, back in 2004, were used to smallish to medium size kind of grocery stores and not of the mega-mall variety.
Now, what does this have to do with cauliflower fried rice? We’ll get there. Don’t worry. One thing we won’t forget about shopping in Meijer in 2004 was the free donut (of the Krispy Kreme kind) that they were giving out as free samples to anyone who entered the store. At that time, we both thought – these were the best donuts ever! We have never tasted anything like that – melt-in-your-mouth goodness in donut form! We couldn’t believe they were giving it for free and it went on for quite a while so we were happy to indulge.
Now after months and months of having that much good (not all healthy!) free food (and we got lots of free food as well from a pantry provided by the church we used to attend in Grand Rapids), hubby and I decided we couldn’t go on eating like this or we’d gain too much weight. We knew that we had an upcoming holiday vacation to the Philippines at the end of 2014 so drastic actions had to be taken to lose the pounds we gained! At that time, the diet that was so popular was Atkins and so we ventured into a low-carb diet. And it really worked well for the both of us and to this day, it’s one of the most successful diets we have ever tried. I just wish I still have the discipline I had then….
And so because of the Atkins diet, I discovered and learned how to use cauliflower as a low-carb substitute for potatoes and rice. Back then, I often made mock cauliflower mash which we truly loved. Today, while I am not doing any low-carb diet per se (perhaps I should to lose the 10 pounds I have been wanting to shed since forever!), I thought I’d try making a mock fried rice using cauliflower. Hence, this alternative recipe. I used the Pinoy style of making fried rice but it’s easy to transform this into the Chinese variety simply by adding a little sesame oil to the mix. You can also add some meat, especially left-over ones, to make a full meal out of this and also your favorite veggies. Use lower carb veggies to replace corn and peas, if that is what you prefer. I used frozen peas and corn kernels as I always have them in the freezer and there’s no need to thaw them at all as they defrost as they cook.
It is an easy recipe, indeed. Perhaps the only tricky part is turning the cauliflower florets into grain-size variety. But if you have a food processor, then it’s even simpler as you simply pulse the florets until they are the size of rice grains. Some also suggest using a grater though that may take awhile longer. The best short cut would be to buy it already pre-cut and they are available in the grocery stores, already pre-washed and ready to use. I actually have used that! Anyway, below is the photo of what it should look like after having gone through a grating or pulsing process. Hope you try this soon!
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Cauliflower Fried Rice
By: Manila Spoon
In 15 minutes or less you can make this delicious alternative to fried rice. A versatile recipe, you can add your favorite meat, veggies and adjust the taste to your liking!
- 2 Tablespoons Oil, divided
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 large cauliflower head, core removed, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce, or to taste (may sub with Salt instead)
- Coarsely chop the cauliflower into florets. In batches, place some florets into a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower has the size of a grain (like rice or couscous). Repeat with the rest of the florets ensuring not to over process.
- Heat half of the oil in a large work or frying pan using medium heat. Add the eggs and gently scramble. Set the eggs slightly to the side of the pan. Add the remaining oil and let the garlic sizzle for a few seconds. Add the cauliflower grains and stir-fry for a minute.
- Gently mix the scrambled eggs with the cauliflower and stir-fry for a couple more minutes. Stir in the frozen corn kernels and peas and season with soy sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 3-4 minutes or until all the vegetables are nicely done. Season to taste with extra salt, if desired. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 07 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 08 mins.
Total time: 15 mins.
Tags: Asian, Cauliflower, Fried Rice, Rice, Side dish, Low Carb, Gluten-free