A couple of years ago I began a health journey. I was fortunate to lose over 100 lbs. on this healthy eating plan and I was looking and feeling incredible! I went through some personal challenges and I allowed myself to fall back into my negative eating habits and I gained most of that weight back. A really dumb move on my part! But, as my health coach says “This is my journey.” Apparently, I felt the need to take the scenic route! 🤷♀️ I am in a better place now and last week I started my health journey (again!). (And I’m already down 3 lbs! Whoo hoo!) Thanks again for walking it with me! 😊
Anyway, I digress….
I love rice, but it’s not very healthy, especially white rice – and especially when you’re trying to lose weight and eat healthy. All things in moderation of course, but for now, it’s not a good option for me. When I originally began my health journey, I was introduced to riced cauliflower. Who knew I would grow to love it and utilize it in different ways! About a month ago I was making dinner and wanted to have a side dish for the chicken I was making. I felt like having Chinese food, but we weren’t sending out for it, so what to do? Raid the pantry! I had sesame oil and soy sauce which were key ingredients for making fried rice. However, instead of using rice, I decided to use some riced cauliflower and see if my kids would eat it. I had some frozen so I used that. First I scrambled up some eggs, chopped them up a bit into smaller pieces and set them aside. Then I sauteed some diced onion and some garlic in a skillet with a little oil. Then I defrosted the riced cauliflower, drained it, and sauteed it up in the skillet with the onion giving it a chance to get some color and crispy texture. Doing this helped to give the cauliflower that little bit of a chewy bite you get with rice. I then seasoned the “rice” with some salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Then I added the scrambled eggs and a small bag of frozen peas and carrots to the mixture. OMG! It tasted just like the fried rice from our favorite local Chinese take-out restaurant. The only difference was I didn’t put any meat into mine. Sesame oil is potent. A little goes a long way so as you add it, do so minimally and taste as you go. You don’t want to overpower the dish.
As I also mentioned, I did not add any meat to this dish. What I like about it is it is very versatile. You could keep it vegetarian like I did, or you could add shrimp, scallops, pork, beef, chicken – just about anything to make it your own. Get creative! I didn’t have any green onions, but that would also enhance the dish with some great color as well. For added texture, you could also add some sesame seeds (I didn’t have any of those either!) But as you can see, this is a really versatile dish and is a great base for creating some delicious meals.
My kids were none the wiser. They completely devoured the “fried rice” and even had seconds. As I was clearing the table, my son kept raving about how delicious the fried rice was and how he didn’t know I could cook Chinese food. I caved and told him that it wasn’t rice. I admitted that I used riced cauliflower instead of rice, but I reminded him how much he said he liked it and how it was good that he explore trying new things. To this day, he still gives me a hard time about how I tricked him and his sisters. If that is what it takes to get my kids to eat more veggies – trickery it is!!! And I am totally fine with that!
“Fried Rice” Cauliflower
2 bags frozen riced cauliflower (defrosted and drained of any excess water)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 eggs, scrambled (cut into smaller pieces, then set aside)
1 small bag frozen peas and carrots
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger to taste
1-2 Tbsp. sesame oil (add more or less to your taste)
2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce (add more or less to your taste)
- Defrost cauliflower and drain well of any excess water. Set aside.
- Scramble 2 eggs and set aside.
- In a medium sized skillet, saute’ the diced onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil until translucent.
- Add defrosted and drained cauliflower. Over medium-high heat, cook the cauliflower allowing it to develop a crust on the bottom. Gently stir it around allowing for addition crusts to develop on the cauliflower.
- Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground ginger
- Add sesame oil and soy sauce, adding more or less to your desired taste.
- Add the scrambled eggs and frozen peas and carrots. Adjust seasonings as desired.
- Cook until frozen peas and carrots are heated through. Serve immediately.